Much of the news recently has been either terrifying—the economic outlook, the failure to address global warming) or infuriating—pretty much everything the federal Conservatives have been doing, particularly their retarded Omnibus crime bill…
(Results that came up when typing “omnibus crime bill” into Google:
StarPhoenix – 2 days ago
And also the fact that they are being petulant, nasty jackasses in the House, instead of sitting back and basking in the fact that they can do anything they damn please for the next four years.
So when I saw the story about the peaceful, unresisting UC Davis students being casually pepper-sprayed at point-blank range by a police officer, I initially saw this as just more nasty news.
It just reminded me of the excesses the Canadian police forces brought down during the G20 summit, and not even just against protestors—also against a lot of people who just happened to be there.
(The above is not a photo is not of Guantanamo. It’s a Toronto G20 temporary jail, clearly depicting the human rights violation of leaving people handcuffed once in a secure area. And 90% of these people never should been arrested at all…)
And nobody’s really been held to account for that.
But the UC Davis story seems to be going a little differently.
For one thing, if you watch the full 8 minute 30 second video (instead of just the 1 minute 30 second pepper spraying), you can’t help but be really impressed at how the students handled this.
First of all the students are not being threatening in any way; the police office is just being a dick. As if pepper spraying seated students at point blank in the face one time isn’t enough, he then does it again, and again.
The crowd responds: “Shame! Shame!”. And they begin to act and move together. And one point, they do seem to have the police officers surrounded. And then… They offer a “moment of peace.” “You can go. We won’t stop you. You can go. You can go.”
And the policemen do retreat.
It’s kind of cool, and nearly gives me hope.
And sure, there are a ton of YouTube trolls posting horrible comments, but the UC Davis University has also been flooded with complaints about the incident. The mainstream media is all over the story. The officer involved has already been identified and suspended (OK, with pay, but it’s a start).
And to those who think these kids don’t even know what they’re protesting about (“What do they want?”), note that these ones do have one really specific target: The university plan to raise tuition fees 80% next year (with no plan to improved the education quality by 80% in compensation). Source: Interview with a pepper-sprayed UC Davis student at BoingBoing.
Is this a turning point?