Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Professors, pigs, and pepper

Let's step back a minute and think about what happened last Friday on the UC Davis campus. A political appointee, from a Republican president no less, authorized an excessive use of force to clear protesting students off a piece of land they had paid to be on. Then after the students were brutalized by an out of control police thug, the bureaucrat, the Chancellor of the university, says that the spraying of students who were exercising their right to free speech has produced a 'chilling effect.'

Then Saturday night this same bureaucrat refused to come out of a building she was in because students surrounded it. Finally they coaxed her out and the students stared her down. She nervously claimed that she didn't fear the students but her eyes and body language said different. Now to cap it off the bureaucrat, who by the way makes nearly half a million dollars a year in her position, has turned a deaf ear to calls for her resignation. She says the university needs her to stay so she can initiate the healing process, which is like saying that a rapist needs to be allowed to finish raping so that the victim can get over being raped.

Let's be clear about one thing, the students who got sprayed broke no laws. Some have said that the video which shows how brutally they got sprayed didn't show everything, it didn't show how the students were shouting "Fuck the police!" and linking arms after they were told to clear out. No matter what Fox Noise, the powers that be, Newt 'Triple Divorce' Gingrich, or your local yokel policeman says, shouting "Fuck the police!" and linking arms is not against the law. Some claim that the students refused to obey the police and that's why they got pepper sprayed, but when you think about it, you don't have to obey the police. If you're not breaking the law, then you can't be disobeying a police request, because they can't ask you to stop doing something that's legal.

Let's be clear about another thing, that bureaucrat who was in charge and who finally took responsibility for this mess has got to go if she hasn't already. She doesn't have the best interests of the students or her university at heart, if she did she'd have worked to find a non violent way to end that situation. And this woman is a huge part of the problem today in that she's out to make that university a revenue stream for the higher education system of California, not a place of learning. She's a bean counter who wants to make money, not educate. Her salary is far too high as well, if she was serious about wanting to help her university heal and move forward, she'd give back two thirds of her salary so poor and working class kids could use that money for tuition.

The campus cops were out of line in all of this but they were 'led' by a corporate minded bureaucrat who had only the bottom line in her mind when she decided to have her students brutalized. When we let the 'free market' run our public colleges, this is the type of shit we can expect. Capitalism screws over those who have no capital and when it seeks to own public universities and public spaces, it screws over the people who use those institutions.

Last Friday was a shameful day for UC Davis, for free speech, and for dissent worldwide because other countries will use the example the cops here set and they'll run rough shod over demonstrators and protesters every chance they get.

No comments: