UC Davis: The power of silence

After the UC Davis pepper spraying, a string of lies and vacuous declarations:

“The students had encircled the officers,” UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”

As the video above shows, police officers were able with perfect ease to step over the peacefully sitting demonstrators whenever they chose to do so.

“I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage. I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident,” Linda P.B. Katehi.

I take full responsibility has been turned into a phrase whose meaning extends no further than its utterance.

There was a day these words would preface a tangible demonstration of their meaning: “I take full responsibility and have therefore tendered my resignation.”

Then comes Katehi’s boss’s declaration of deep concern:

“I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

“I intend to do everything in my power as president of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest.

“Chancellors at the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses already have initiated reviews of incidents that occurred on their campuses. I applaud this rapid response and eagerly await the results,” said University of California President Mark G. Yudof today.

Nothing is more predictable in the practice of damage control than the promise of an inquiry — bury the story in the mud of time and deadening bureaucratic detail.

“I will be asking the chancellors to forward to me at once all relevant protocols and policies already in place on their individual campuses, as well as those that apply to the engagement of non-campus police agencies through mutual aid agreements.

“Further, I already have taken steps to assemble experts and stakeholders to conduct a thorough, far-reaching and urgent assessment of campus police procedures involving use of force, including post-incident review processes.

“My intention is not to micromanage our campus police forces. The sworn officers who serve on our campuses are professionals dedicated to the protection of the UC community.

“Nor do I wish to micromanage the chancellors. They are the leaders of our campuses and they have my full trust and confidence.”

Yudof might trust Katehi but the students in her university do not.

After a news conference on Saturday she was presented with an instant report on the conduct of her administration. The text was scornful silence — a message from hundreds of students who sat and watched as Katehi retreated to her car..

“Corporate America is using our own police departments as hired thugs, and that’s a disgrace,” says Retired Captain Ray Lewis from the Philadelphia PD.

And if we need any further reminders that the police in the US have indeed become hired thugs, here’s another view of their assault on peaceful protesters in Berkeley.

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3 thoughts on “UC Davis: The power of silence

  1. David

    Implicit in the students’ silence is an expectation that something will be done and that if nothing is done, there will be consequences. My fear is that the movement will founder in the face of increasing harassment and intimidation. And therefore, the implicit threat of consequences will become impotent.

  2. Norman

    We are witness to what the plutocracy is all about. The powers to be are nothing more than sycophants to the few. The revolution in this country is already taking place, it’s just that the MSM takes its marching orders from the ones at the top, as well as the hired police that masquerade as protectors of the peace. Today’s youth, like their brethren threw out the Middle East, are not stupid, but are intelligent in the fact that they know how the game is being played out. Being lulled into complacency, is only the dream of the few, not the Youths. Already, we are witnessing the restrictions, shutting down of various communication outlets in order to keep those lines open between the participants. Misguided individuals, those who side with the few, ultimately find out that they are among the first discarded by the few, because if they will betray their fellow demonstrators, then they can’t be trusted by the few either. Food for thought to those who think that they are above the many.

  3. delia ruhe

    In 1982, Ridley Scott gave us a pretty accurate image of what corporate imperialist America would look like in the early 21st century with respect to law enforcement. In *Blade Runner*, the cops are there to serve the Tyrell Corporation, and they operate in an environment characterized by the complete absence of a public sphere. This is a good time to watch that movie again.

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