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Home  >  Topics  >  Less Lethal

April 16, 2012

Op: UC Davis pepper spray report fails to address 'know-it-all students'

Lacks a plain recommendation to educate students about the difference between free speech and civil disobedience

By Debra J. Saunders
The San Francisco Chronicle

You have to really work at it to get arrested at a University of California campus protest. University administrators look at protest as part of the education process - and they frequently issue memos stating how much they agree with left-wing causes. Administrators don't want campus police to arrest students - especially students who attend demonstrations against state cuts to higher education.

Thus students have had to ramp up dissident behavior if they want to be handcuffed and detained. Campus activists have begun to follow Occupy Wall Street's lead and set up tents to create illegal encampments. When campus police threatened to take away the tents, protesters have engaged in what some police departments call "active resistance" - such as linking arms to prevent police from doing their jobs.

On Nov. 18, several demonstrators won a great victory for their cause. In flagrant violation of campus rules, they set up tents in the UC Davis quad. Police were sent to disperse the encampment. As officers began to arrest protesters, students surrounded police as they chanted, "If you let them go, we will let you leave." They linked arms and eventually goaded two campus cops to use pepper spray.

Full story: Op: UC Davis pepper spray report fails to address 'know-it-all students'

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