But the action by about one thousand UC Davis students tonight, at a central building on campus called “Surge III,” takes the cake as the most stunning activism I’ve been fortunate enough to witness.
After the outrage of the Friday pepper spray attack by UC Davis police, who were acting on orders from the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, a press conference was called this afternoon. I listened to the call, and heard Katehi claim that she was acting in the best “health” interests of the students. I heard her dismiss the calls by faculty for her resignation as “blog” talk. But then I witnessed the students amassing outside the press conference, demanding a voice in the matter.
What transpired was awe-inspiring. I wrote up an account and you can read it here. I just posted a new extended video, of a young man who was among the kids affected by pepper spray on Friday, and it shows him leading the 1,000-strong Davis students in an incredibly disciplined, surprisingly restrained, collective shaming of the chancellor as she walked to her car. There was no intimidation or ‘hostage taking,’ as I understand some in the Sacramento media are portraying it — not to be cliche, but it was pure nonviolent people power.
For a look at my coverage of the UC Davis pepper spraying scandal:
— Breaking Video: UC Davis Chancellor Emerges From Press Conf, Tells Me She Didn’t Feel Threatened
— Exclusive: Pepper Sprayed Davis Undergrad Speaks Out, Says Chancellor Ignored Her, Hasn’t Reached Out At All
— Audio: UC Davis Chancellor Katehi Dismisses Faculty Calls For Resignation
— Police: Use Of Pepper Spray On Unarmed Youth: ‘Compliance Tool … Fairly Standard Procedure’
Thank you for checking out my blog (and thank you Brad DeLong, AmericaBlog, Greg Mitchell, BoingBoing and Reddit for my first major links). I just started it last night and it’s been fun to update it for its first day in existence. I’ll be adding some posts about my new writing at The Nation, my old writing at ThinkProgress, and some of the projects I will be taking on in the coming weeks and months.