Sunday, November 20, 2011

UC Davis: Speechless

Turn off your TV. Put down the phone.

Just watch.

From reporter Lee Fang, who witnessed the scene last night.

A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for 4:00pm between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage.

A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).

The video is so quiet you can hear the echo of Katehi's shoes on the concrete. The students remain seated, staring at her with disdain, less than 24 hours after the police Katehi ordered to disperse the protestors forcibly opened the mouths of some of the them to shove pepper spray down their throats.

I'm in awe of these UC students, here and in Berkeley, who have consistently adhered to the principles of creative, non-violent civil disobedience. They've punched through the conscience of a nation, laying bare the militarization of our domestic police force while simultaneously taking control of their own narrative.

These kids can't easily be characterized as "dirty hippies" by the main stream media (although, of course, they're trying) because the the videos show what a bright shining lie that is.

They have focus, purpose. They know why they're there. And now, thanks to their discipline, the rest of the country will too.

We can help. Sign this petition to Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and the UC Board of Regents demanding Chancellor Katehi's resignation.  

Click on this link to sign.

Then, imagine if you will,  thousands of these silent, reproachful demonstrations happening at corporate headquarters all over the country, on Wall Street, in the halls of Congress. How, well, unnerving that would be.

Yes, we can.

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