Blogs Nov 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

Comments

1
I bet you $1 that not one single local government -- mayor, council, manager, whatever -- will have the balls to enforce a change in police policy like this.
2
Goldy, If police are charged with enforcing a legal order to evict demonstrators from a public park, and verbal persuasion does not work, how would you suggest they do it?

Would you feel any differently if the protesters where Tea Partiers instead of OWS?
3
Thank you Goldy. Will you run for mayor of Seattle please?
4
There is a bit of a difference. You can easily kill someone by kicking them in the face. Just a thought.
5
@2 use hands and hand cuffs. If the people use force to resist, then you escalate. You don't just unilaterally spray people.

And no, "locking arms" isn't force. If the police aren't trained how to separate two people that are locking arms without dousing them with chemicals or tasers, those cops are either poorly trained or inept.
6
@2: How about arresting the offender and charging them with obstruction of the police or failure to comply or something.

Something other than "kicking their ass."

If they can't do that, then what's the point of assaulting them at all?
7
@2 The police are going to have a difficult job if they want to "evict" a huge crowd from a public area. And well they should. Many hours of overtime $ will make the administration think twice. As for how, take a look at many other mass-arrest events that have happened over the last few weeks. The police treat each protester as an individual, and each gets his own zip-tie. It happens all the time, and it's the only method that most police manuals approve.
8
I hope they pepper spray you next, goldstein.
9
And shit like this is why I read the Times....
10
Occupy can be proud of the historic training opportunities they've given police forces large and small, rich and poor. All those heavy handed crowd control policies put in place after 9/11 are finally undergoing needed refinement. No matter how much or little long term benefit Occupy may do concerning any of the issues around which it originally organized, Occupiers will always have that to look back on and realize they did accomplish something.
11
@2, Since they aren't resisting you simply pick them up, two or three cops to a protester, and gently place them in the paddy wagon. I've been treated this way a few time by the DC cops.
12
They rob us and steal our homes and retirement and when we object the police we pay for assault us. "With liberty and justice for 1%"
13
@2: Well, they could arrest protesters, even not particularly cooperative ones, without beating or pepper spraying them, exactly as I documented on video the SPD doing here.

It may take some time and effort, but nobody gets hurt.
14
Call me old-fashioned but I thought pepper-spray was to break up UNRULY VIOLENT MOBS. Out of control mobs set to violence and/or property destruction (looters, etc).

This was obviously an example of a textbook sit-in. Just because the UC Davis cops are too fat and lazy to break out the cuff-ties and haul them into a paddy-wagon for arrest/trial is no excuse to use pepper-spray (which btw is supposed to be used at a distance of 15 feet minimum).

Any defense of Pike is absurd. You can kinda-sorta make the defense of the Seattle cops (the crowd was pushy, mobile, etc).....the UC Davis guy? I think only a true fascist could create an excuse for him.
15
Actually, applying pepper spray is not assault, it's battery. Assault happens when a vicitm is put in a state of fear of an imminent unwanted or harmful bodily contact. Battery is when the unwanted or harmful bodily contact actually happens, either from direct contact by the perpetrator or by some object or thing (in this case the pepper spray) touching the victim. Here the police officers likely battered the students with pepper spray. However, the cops also likely assaulted the students, becuase prior to the application of the spray, the students were likely placed in a state of fear of the iminent harmful contact. Regardless of the legalese, the cops were total douchebags and the casualness of the attack only makes it more odious.
16
You make a point. When in the hell did it become ok to use pepper spray as the go to crowd control tool?

@3 Whoa there buddy, lets not get crazy.
17
@2: Air strike.
18
What if the guard was an ancient alien from out biblical past!?

Eh? Eh!? ALIENS!!!
19
@8:

I hope they pepper spray you next, goldstein.


You hope I get pepper sprayed, not because I present any physical threat, or have broken any laws, civilly or otherwise, but simply because you'd like to see me punished for exercising my right to free speech with which you disagree.

I think that attitude explains a lot of the support we've seen for the use of pepper spray against protesters.
21
I'm sure it makes me a bad person that that headline made me start singing to myself "--can be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl's best friend..."
22
@20, oh yeah, non-violence is such kiddie bullshit.
23
"there are still some people defending as appropriate the use of pepper spray on peaceful protesters"

People will defend anything, especially if it pisses off "liberals". They'll sell out all their personal rights if it makes someone they loathe angry.
25
I think we should begin referring to pepper spray ONLY as "chemical weapon".

Chemical weapons are no joke, and shouldn't be blown off simply because there's a fruit in the name.

For example:
"You know that video of the campus cop casually using chemical weapons on UC Davis students?"
Sounds much different than:
"You know that video of the campus cop casually spraying UC Davis students in the face?"

And this is not over dramatizing anything, it is plainly stating the facts.
26
Arresting occupiers is much more expensive than pepper spray.
27
This shit won't change until there are civil lawsuits with stiff judgments against police departments and individual officers.

Sure can't count on the criminal system to hold anybody accountable.
28
While the pepper spray is too much force for non-violent protesters, it hardly equates to being kicked in the face. A kick in the face would probably fracture a person's nasal bones and orbits, as well as other long lasting physical trauma beyond bruises and scarring. (Perhaps death)

I would take being pepper sprayed any day over getting kicked in the face.
29
@21, that makes you a glamorous person, not a bad one.
30
#20: In this case "hurt" should have been some sore arms, creaky backs, etc from being cuffed and hauled to await trial for arrest. Pike's job was not to punish nonviolent demonstrators with violence it was to enforce tresspassing laws should UC-Davis choose to enforce them.

I have yet to see Operation Rescue peaceful sit-in (but illegal tresspassing) sit-ins in front of Abortion Clinic doors get point-blank tear-gassed.
31
Next time, instead of pepper spray, use a light sprinkling of marjoram. It adds a festive flavor to any holiday crowd!
33
@25: Fair enough, I'm happy to stop calling it "Pepper Spray" if we can stop referring to these people as "Peaceful Protesters."

There's nothing "peaceful" about obstructing pathways, trespassing, and disobeying lawful police orders. And "protester" implies there's some sort of political agenda behind these encampments, which might have been true a few weeks ago but certainly isn't anymore.

34
@27, NYC pays out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in police brutality cases. It's just a line item in the budget -- and it's cheaper than buying insurance against it.

Funnily enough, police departments that take a more rational community-based approach to policing pay out a lot less, and are also more effective against crime. Officer Pike's probably never been within a half-mile of a real crime, though, down there in Davis.
35
@28:

There is a substantial amount of documentation, including studies conducted by the U.S. Army, that show use of OC CAN be lethal under certain conditions, so yes, it is in point of fact equivalent to "a kick in the head".

@32:

Ah yes, the legendary "bowel disruptor"...
36
Hey! We're awesome persons! Thanks, Anthony, wherever you are this morning!
37
#33: By your definition then sit-ins at lunch counters during the Civil Rights Movement were not peaceful.

Even the most rabid, anti-Occupy, pro-police, "they are goal-lacking losers and hippies" should concede wrong-doing in the UC-Davis case--if no other! It was textbook peacful sit-in and Pike was textbook Fascist Pig using a chemical weapon out of anger and frustration NOT crowd control. Hollywood directors could not have coordinated it better.

I think one could defend the SPD in the 84-yr old woman pepper-spray snafu more than the Pike/seated civil disobediance instance.
38
The proper action against the peaceful protesters is arrest, not violence. Only courts may impose punitive penalties.
39
Interesting expansion of the Katehi story (UC - Davis chancellor who refuses to resign and has QUITE a history of suppression in education:

http://crookedtimber.org/2011/11/22/athe…

http://notthemajorityopinion.blogspot.co…

Worth the background reading (Greece >>>> California, same methodology...).

Oh yeah, about that Lt. Pike, (sympathy calls, I'm sure he can afford the cellphone minutes at $107,000 per year)

15309790184@message.alltel.com
15309790184@txt.att.net
15309790184@myboostmobile.com
15309790184@vmobl.com
40
@33 I'm not sure how you are defining "peaceful." I was under the impression that the opposite of a "peaceful" protest was a "violent." Thus, when African Americans walked in and sat down at the tables of "whites only" restaurants, they were engaged in peaceful protests (peaceful civil disobedience) despite the fact that they trespassing, disobeying lawful police orders, and obstructing business. For me, "non-peaceful" alternative would have been if the civil-rights activists had broken windows, assaulted patrons and staff, that kind of thing. However, it seems to me that by your definition, such could not be described as "peaceful;" one would have to find a different term, although I'm not sure what that would be.

Perhaps you could elaborate on what you consider to be a "peaceful" protest.
41
My brother served in the Coast Guard where he worked briefly as an armed boarding officer, going aboard foreign vessels originating from enemy states (e.g., Syria, Pakistan, etc) or carrying potentially dangerous cargo. He carried pepper spray and a gun. During their weapons training, every armed team member had to be hit full-on in the face with the pepper spray to understand 1) exactly what they were subjecting people to; and 2) to discover how debilitated one is after being sprayed in order to gauge any possible violent response. When we were discussing this incident at UC-Davis, he said that after this training, even in situations where he had cause to use it, he never sprayed anyone.

I'm betting none of these campus officers ever had any similar training. Someone in the school's administration should lose their job for sending a crew of dumbshit security guards to control the protests. Actually, several people should lose their jobs. This sort of thing is ridiculous and happens WAY too often.
42
@40 sadly, for a lot of people the current definition is "protesting in fenced off free-speech zones" with maximum compliance with authorities. Free speech zones and anything related are an absurdity that needs to be executed with fire. The entire point of a protest is to shake things up.
43
Maybe Goldy should bring his kid to the SCCC encampment and let them babysit while he goes shopping at mom & pop stores on the hill?
44
35, Care to provide a like a bit more reliable than Wiki? (Anyone can edit that.) How about a news report that definitively says a person died as a direct result of pepper spray exposure, and not something theoretical. I'm not saying it's impossible, but a kick to the face is by far more likely to kill, or do permanent damage to someone over pepper spray.
45
#40: Did you read my post? I'm referring to the UC-Davis seated, arms-linked protestors only.

Motive doesn't matter. I would be just as outraged if these were seated, nonviolent protestors blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic.

Bash Occupy as a whole all you want, but there is a huge difference between the anarchists in Oakland and seated students on a sidewalk. Lt Pike doesn't get to say "oh uh...yeah they got violent over in Oakland so that means I get to use pepper-spray TODAY".
46
The police officers used the least lethal force, which in this case was pepper spray. The comparison between pepper spray and a kick to the face are ridiculous. As far as I know, pepper spray has never caused long lasting effects unlike a kick to the face. And you can't pepper spray an officer for obvious reasons. Your argument just doesn't make any sense.
47
@40: Willfully breaking the law is "civil disobedience", not "peaceful protest".

The primary difference between your example - blacks entering white-only restaurants - and OWS is that the laws the black protesters violated were unjust laws that needed to be violated, whereas laws that prevent mobs of people from obstructing thoroughfares and camping wherever the fuck they want are, in my humble opinion, quite reasonable and worth enforcing.

For an example of peaceful protest, google Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
49
48, So you couldn't find anything to back up your claims? Virtually all politically biased websites, but from from the CBC, one of few actual news story links you provided.

there is no direct medical proof that the spray itself actually causes death.


Again, being pepper sprayed, as bad as it is, is in no way equatable to a kick in the face.
50
There's an easy solution. Open some large County owned facility, such as one used for public events, to the police and national gaurd for mass arrests of these filthy scum. Offer them the choice of an immediate fine with the condition that they don't break the law in the next 2 years in lieu of the criminal prosecution they so richly deserve. If they're caught blocking an intersection or bridge again, they go directly to jail and serve the suspended sentence.

The fines might help pay for the enormous waste of taxpayer money these idiots have incurred at least. Sure, it doesn't recompense the guy who missed his kids soccer game or anniversary dinner with his wife because a lot of dirty trash blocked streets or bridges, but hey, life ain't fair.

And if they resist in the slightest, break out the pepper spray, teargas, billy clubs and whatever else is needed to enforce the law.

Oh, yeah. 'Life ain't fair' is the lesson you folks never learned. I always forget, since most half intelligent folks figured it out at about 12.
51
is a kick to the face a legal police crowd control tactic? i agree, the police use of pepper spray at uc davis was unwarranted but the use in downtown seemed legal to me. the crowd, which outnumbered the police, was commanded to disperse (failure to disperse(RCW 9A.8A4.020)); they did not.

could the police have tried arresting all of them? yes, sure, but the police don't HAVE to arrest someone breaking the law. i've been pulled over for speeding before and instead of getting a ticket the cop let me off with a warning. if the police felt they could diffuse the situation last week in downtown without resorting to arrest, i.e. using a chemical agent they've been given legal permission to use, then that's well within their discretion. can that discretion sometimes be abused? again, yes, but that's not for you or i to decide but rather for the courts and our governing officials

if you really feel that using pepper spray is wrong ("...if current police procedures really do permit the use of pepper spray as a convenient means of crowd control, then these procedures need to be changed."), then follow your own advice and work to change the procedures. write your elected representatives. file a lawsuit. do something other than chasing your tail on a blog.
52
@50: Your recommendations would be a violation of due process and other fundamental rights.
53
@38

Oh? Try this next time you're stopped by the traffic cops. Refuse to show your license and insurance. Refuse to roll down the window. Refuse to speak to the officer at all. When the cop breaks the window and forces you out of the car, refuse to physically cooperate with your lawful arrest.

Then see how far your theory works in the real world. After you bail yourself out of jail, get the injuries checked out and replace your car window anyway.

See, the cops can use force on those who refuse to obey lawful police orders. Just like they can pepper spray senile 84 year old idiots who interfere with them in the performance of their duties. Just like they can use billy clubs on those who block public streets and parks for legitimate users.
54
@52

Uhh, no. It wouldn't.

I was recommending the mass use of a deferred sentencing approach to lawbreakers, which is standard practice and has withstood court challenges.

You have a fundamental right to petition for redress and peacably assemble, one which I would defend with my life if needed. You do not have the right to unlawfully assemble, block public access to public infrastructure and camp in public parks or universities.

Hope this helps.
55
@49, the links you seek are right there in the Wikipedia article.

http://www.aclu-sc.org/attach/p/Pepper_S…

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-06-18/n…

I can't believe people are still peddling the "you can't trust Wikipedia, anyone can edit it" line in 2011.
56
@47 So you are of the belief that "civil disobedience" and "peaceful protest" are mutually exclusive? Because I must admit that as far as I'm concern, they are separate categories which may overlap, although they don't have to. Which parts do you think cancel out each other?

And I am well aware that many people consider the civil rights activist were justified in their actions and the OWS protesters are not. However, that is a matter of whether or not they are justified in their actions, not what category their actions fall under. Neither civil disobedience nor peaceful protests always justified.
57
@33, 40, 45, 56:

The Ninth Circuit used the term "nonviolent" in describing protestors who were inappropriately pepper-sprayed in the "Headwaters" case:

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circui…
58
55, From your own link:

Javier Trejo's death was one of more than 60 nationwide during the past five years that authorities say might be linked to a chemical agent designed as a non-lethal way to subdue violent suspects


Not exactly conclusive now is it.
59
@57 How would one differentiate between "non-violent" and "peaceful?" I can see how one might, I suppose, if a person was shouting angrily but not engaging in any actual violence. But I can't say that I think there is a difference in the amount of violence should be dishing out to "non-violent" protestors as opposed to "peaceful" protestors, if one separated the two into different categories. Nor would I say that "non-violent" is inherently inferior to "peaceful."

It's an interesting thing to think about, though.
60
55, About Wiki, from their own site.

How you can contribute

Don't be afraid to edit – anyone can edit almost every page, and we are encouraged to be bold!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:I…
61
The defenders of the UC Davis police assaults would have defended the Kent State shootings by the National Guard in 1970.
62
@50 empathy: the defining missing factor between conservatives and everyone else.
63
Arguing about the terms nonviolent versus peaceful is probably splitting hairs, but...

From Dictionary.com

non·vi·o·lent   [non-vahy-uh-luhnt]
adjective
1. not violent; free of violence.
2. peacefully resistant, as in response to or protest against injustice, especially on moral or philosophical grounds.

peace·ful   [pees-fuhl]
adjective
1. characterized by peace; free from war, strife, commotion, violence, or disorder: a peaceful reign; a peaceful demonstration.
2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a state or time of peace.
3. peaceable; not argumentative, quarrelsome, or hostile: a peaceful disposition.
64
Hey SB!

I see you've broken into the 'nog early! Rock on, dude!!

65
61, Yes, because being shot dead is exactly like being pepper sprayed. I'm not for the use of pepper spray the way it's been done, but come on. A statement like that sounds a bit like a hysterical rant.
66
Hey Goldstein

Why is the recent near-fatal pack attack on openly-gay seattle salon owner Danny Vega being TOTALLY IGNORED by all you so-called "progressive advocacy journalists"?
67
@50

I have empathy for those looking for work, or struggling to pay off a college loan for a degree that didn't work out as lucratively as they might have wished. (Though I always naively thought universities were there to, you know, educate people. If you want a trade school it isn't as though they're hard to find.) I have empathy for those struggling to pay a mortgage they shouldn't have signed, but did. We all make mistakes.

I even understand the urge to find a scapegoat for your mistakes, if only in self justification. Wall Street, Republicans, BP or whatever make excellent scapegoats, since they are so vague as to be meaningless, but still provide some balm to wounded pride.

I have neither empathy nor understanding of those who stand on a bridge and block traffic while demanding some vague job they have neither skill nor aptitude to perform. I have no sympathy for those who, falsely using my name as justification by shouting 'we are the 99%,' block the 99% from going to work, conducting their business or getting home to spend time with their families. I have no sympathy for those who break the law then are shocked, shocked they tell you!!, when the cops attempt to stop them doing so.

Civil disobedience comes with a caveat. You have the moral and social obligation, so Thoreau tells us, to break the law if you find the law unjust. You have the corresponding obligation to accept the social and legal consequences if your fellow citizens disagree with your feelings on that.
68
@55, @60, I can't believe people in 2011 call Wikipedia "Wiki". That's like calling Encyclopædia Brittanica "Encyclopædia".
69
What we've learned today: If SeattleBlues is on your side of an argument, reconsider your position.
70
@50:

The very notion of you defending ANYTHING "with (your) life" just makes me laugh, and laugh, and laugh...
71
@49

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/74952…

"In this report, the ACLU of Southern California identifies 26 deaths among people who were pepper-sprayed by police officers in the period Jan. 1, 1993, through June 1, 1995. The fatality total suggests that one person dies after being pepper sprayed for about every 600 times the spray is used by police."
http://www.aclu-sc.org/attach/p/Pepper_S…

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20441…
72
@63 Are protests ever free from strife? Maybe? I don't know. Although i suppose we could go with the third definition and have a working "peaceful protest."
73
@59: Right - refusing to comply with lawful police orders in order to provoke arrest or other means of forcing compliance is, in my mind, not peaceful.
74
@73: So what you are suggesting is that any attempt to protest via noncompliance, no matter how peaceful, and no matter how unconscionable the target of the protest, can and should be met with state sponsored violence? If you protest, you should expect to be pepper sprayed, beaten or worse?

You'd make a good Baathist dictator.
75
Goldy, its not an assault, it would be battery on the officer and it was on the students. They have a nice little lawsuit there probably.
76
Definition of Occupy: To seize possession of and maintain control over by or as if by conquest.

Pepper spray is a reasonable response to occupation of public space. Fine by me, and most other adults that have a job
77
@74: No, I'm saying you can't simultaneously call yourself "peaceful" while willfully refusing to obey lawful orders from the police.

I'm 100% behind Rosa Parks for refusing to go to the back of the bus because I don't believe segregation laws are just. And if some kid gets arrested for refusing to put out a joint, I'll get behind him because I think marijuana prohibition is wrong.

As for the laws that Occupy has chosen to violate, like most people, I support those laws. We can certainly debate whether pepper spray and other methods are reasonable and appropriate methods of enforcement, but I'm not playing along with the suggestion that the upper-middle-class suburban white college students looking for drama and thrills at UC Davis were "peaceful" people who were arbitrarily victimized by an authoritarian "state".
78
@74

Nice try at being disengenous.

You know as well as anyone that the police tried non agressive means of getting these idiots to move. They spoke to them, warned them several times that refusal to move would result in pepper spray. These idiot childen were trespassing and warned to leave, and they didn't.

But hey, keep ignoring reality. It's the only card in your hand.
79
@69

Odd.

One of the reasons I read the Stranger is to check my assumptions. If I agree with anything the mental patients who write for the rag say, I know I must have made an error somewhere.

Have a nice Thanksgiving.
80
@65, Comparing the defenders of the UC Davis assault to the defenders of the Kent State Massacre is apt. Comparing the severity of the actions wasn't even brought up. The point that I made is that if you got in a time machine you'd find a bunch of people in 1970 defending the National Guard troops that killed those students. I bet the arguments would be similar too. Something or other about a mob, dirty hippies, maintaining order, failing to heed commands to disperse, etc.
The same thought process that rationalizes inflicting pain on others for sitting in place wouldn't have too hard a time rationalizing shooting into a crowd under the conditions of Kent State in 1970. You might not be comfortable realizing what side of history you would have come out on, but that doesn't make it any less true.
81
@79: This Thanksgiving I am grateful that you are not a member of my family.
I hope your turkey is under cooked, your gravy lumpy, your pie crust soggy, and your eggnog gives you salmonella.
xoxo
82
@ 73, getting arrested is a big part of passive resistence. The non-violence part comes in with the passive part, not with whether the laws they choose to break are ones you believe are just or unjust. (That's a matter of whether someone is practicing smart or dumb tactics, not violent or nonviolent ones.)
83
seandr, what are your thoughts on the UC Davis use of pepper spray?

Me, I think it was unconscionable. Reasonable people can disagree on its usage in other contexts, but these people were sitting quietly on the ground.
84
@78: Seattleblues, have you ever seen a use of force continuum chart? They look more or less like this and they're posted in police stations pretty much everywhere. They define appropriate police response based on a suspect's behavior.
Now, the one I posted is pretty standard. Notice that chemical agents are only suggested once a suspect become actively, rather than passively, resistant. An Occupier who sits and refuses to move can, based on this chart, be apprehended with controlled holds (e.g., firm grip on the shoulder) and pressure points if the officer deems it necessary. If the protester then proceeds to physically, actively, resist arrest, then (and ONLY then) is the officer generally within his rights to use pepper spray.
It doesn't matter whether the protesters were warned first or not; the police officers escalated the situation rather than defusing it. If an officer had threatened to shoot any Occupiers who didn't leave (remember, these are people who are sitting peacefully, passively resisting arrest) and than followed through on his threat, would his conduct still be acceptable?
I wonder if you have an answer for me, Seattleblues.
85
@83: I have mixed feelings.

I've personally witnessed the violent arrest of people who weren't seeking any trouble. I've had friends who were subject to the same, in one case because he made the mistake of being black in a small college town in upstate NY, and he made the same mistake in Boston. I've seen video of numerous similar instances online, including a Native American wood carver being summarily executed by a cop. Not only were these people violently assaulted, but (if they survived) they were left with expensive legal bills and a police record that they could never erase. And again, they were minding their own business, not seeking any trouble. That is my concept of police abuse. That kind of shit gets me enraged. Woe to the cop who tries to pull that kind of shit on me or my loved ones.

At UC Davis, in contrast, I see a bunch of college kids who grew up with far more advantages than I did actively seeking conflict with the police for reasons that are unclear to me. I didn't see anyone get their teeth kicked in or their jaw broken. I didn't see anyone have their employment prospects ruined by a bullshit felony on their record. I didn't see any innocent bystanders being dragged in because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The whole incident was pure theater, with no lasting consequences for anyone except the woebegone cop who's horseshit job required him to somehow get these entitled suburban shits off the sidewalk.

So, having considered this carefully, no, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this cheap melodrama.

As for whether pepper spray is an appropriate method for clearing a law-breaking mob, it's certainly better than rifles, fire-hoses, German Shepherds, and nightsticks. But sure, there's always room for improvement.
87
@80
Actually there are some differences between Kent State and UC Davis. UC Davis they were just sitting with linked arms. At Kent state they weren't being a peaceful as everyone seems to assume they were. At Kent the young guardsmen should have been issued the top of the line riot control equipment (tear gas and rubber bullets at that point in time) instead of solid, lethal, bullets to defend themselves. Regretfully those guardsmen were in fact assaulted and hit with bottles and rocks causing them to defend themselves with what they were issued. They are not the ones to be blamed in that case. Their superior officers on the other hands should have been drawn and quartered publicly for being so stupid as to issue live ammo to them. If they had used tear gas or rubber bullets (and yes those can be lethal if they hit wrong) they would have been totally in the right. But that is Kent State University not UC Davis.

At UC Davis they were NOT throwing rocks and bottles at the cops, they were just sitting there. Completely different scenarios.
88
80, As I've said repeatedly, I don't agree with the way pepper spray has been used, but comparing pepper spraying people to the Kent State Massacre is ridiculous, and an insult to the people who were killed and wounded on May 4, 1970. It's like comparing a fender bender to a fiery school bus crash. Lets see the side of history you come out on making such silly, hysterically emotional arguments.
89
@85 - the problem is that there are no obvious laws that deserve breaking in this case (as compared to the civil rights movement). because what is being protested is the fact that the wealthy and powerful in this country have rigged the laws so that they can LEGALLY make more and more money on the backs of the rest of the people.

and the people in power count on people like you to focus on the fact that somebody's legal right to unobstructed use of a sidewalk is being impinged.
90
Damnit, #89 and #84; I have important places to GO, in theory. You expect me to cross the GRASS of the quad, even though my taxes PAID for the pathway (well, not MY actual tax dollars, obviously)? Sparing the hypothetical fleet of obedient students the potential inconvenience of having to maneuver off the path trumps the "free speech" and "freedom to assemble" your comrades were trying to "exercise" at UC Davis. Venomlash, your gun analogy fails because force (spray, guns, whatever) is appropriate: linked arms present a threat even children understand. Red Rover? That game was SCARY, and when those campers hollered, "send Venomlash right over!" I'll bet you felt it in your guts. I'm sorry your unwashed friends can't find jobs, but in the meantime, they can charge their necessities (when they get rich, that 28.6% percent compound interest will be a cool breeze). Or those entitled iPod diddlers can tighten their belts, like I did. We're all sick of the whining: "I'd like to have this lump examined before it metastasizes!" "I don't want to lose my house because I broke my ankle!" "I want to survive the flu!" Maybe you crybabies could find jobs if you put down your PlayStation controllers long enough to earn decent degrees at the university. What will a thousand bucks a month in student loans mean to the "One Percenter" you're destined to be? Nothing but another cool breeze my friends. But if you do re-matriculate, remember to keep off the grass and move along.
91
88, As I've said repeatedly, I'm not comparing the two incidents in terms of severity or body count, but comparing the type of person who defends the force used against any dirty hippies in 1970 as being the same type of person who would defend the use of chemical agents today against kids sitting on the grass.
@87, Thank you for perfectly illustrating my earlier point by actually bypassing the time machine and defending the National Guardsmen who shot four kids dead after their group were running away. I assume you'd be okay with the cops gunning down the Labor Union marchers the day after some anarchists threw shit at the riot police since some of the people who were gunned down at Kent State were shot while walking to class: "Some of the students who were shot had been protesting against the American invasion of Cambodia, which President Richard Nixon announced in a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance."

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