Occupy Berkeley

by Henry on November 14, 2011

If you’re not reading “Aaron Bady”:http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/the-grass-is-closed-what-i-have-learned-about-power-from-the-police-chancellor-birgeneau-and-occupy-cal/ on this, you need to be.

bq. This was a very modest lesson in how power works. On Wednesday, several thousand UC Berkeley students learned a much bigger lesson, but in many ways it was exactly the same lesson: the rule is what the people with the force to enforce it say it is. And it becomes the rule when you either obey it, or when they use their force to make you obey it.

bq. …The person on the left is a colleague of mine, and I’ve seen his swollen hand and watched him limp and talked to him about what happened. I saw how physically shaken up he was, several hours after being beaten, and I went with a friend to get an Ace bandage for his hand. On the right, you can see someone I know who acquired several cracked ribs. I could go on. Or this video, in which you see the police yanking the director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities to the ground by her hair, applying choke-holds with batons, and punching people in the face.

“Jesse Kornbluh”:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-kornbluth/the-police-riot-at-berkel_b_1091208.html?ref=college&ir=College adds that police broke the ribs of a 70 year old poet at the demonstration. Aaron “suggests that people contact Berkeley’s Chancellor Birgeneau”:http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/sunday-reading-24/ at

Email: chancellor@berkeley.edu
Phone: (510) 642-7464
Fax: (510) 643-5499
200 California Hall, MC#1500
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500

“to suggest to him that this angers you and that he shouldn’t do it again, or perhaps that he should resign, yesterday.” I’m of the ‘he should resign, yesterday’ school myself. At the very best he is an _ex post_ apologist for the brutality of the riot police he called in, and he is plausibly directly culpable for it. If anyone knows the email addresses for the board of trustees (who I am guessing are politically appointed, but still), or other pressure points, feel free to provide them in comments, and I will modify the main post accordingly.

{ 65 comments }

1

Don Dresser 11.14.11 at 6:08 pm

The University of California is governed by the Board of Regents. Basic info about the board is at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/welcome.html – and there is an indication that email goes to the regents collectively at regentsoffice@ucop.edu . Other contact information (for the individual regents) can be found at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/contact.html

2

Aaron 11.14.11 at 6:13 pm

Thanks for the kind works, and for putting this out there. Some clarifications, though; the poet whose ribs were broken was Geoffrey O’Brien, who, along with Celeste Langan, were the two members of the English department to physically put themselves between out of control riot cops and their students from the very beginning. Celeste was arrested, but rather than watch the video of her being thrown to the ground by her hair, I’d recommend reading her eloquent account here. An extract:

As to why I was there: as a tenured professor (and tenure can be defined as a right granted to occupy a position on campus without threat of eviction for expressing dissent) I wanted to express my concern about the double threat posed to the ideal of liberal education by the rising cost of tuition and, more generally, the burden of debt. On the one hand, as many have pointed out, rising costs limit access. On the other hand, the debt students incur as they pursue a liberal arts education also poses a threat to free inquiry, that central value of democratic society. Students are so concerned about their economic futures that they sometimes feel constrained in their choice of courses and majors, too anxious about acquiring the proper credentials for employment to explore areas of intellectual inquiry that might interest them but don’t appear to have an instrumental value. When I was teaching Walden last month, I couldn’t help but notice how incisively Thoreau diagnoses the effect of “insolvency” on the capacity to think and live freely; the time people spend reading and thinking, he suggests, is increasingly regarded as time “stolen” and “borrowed” from wage-earning.

I note the same narrowly pragmatic thinking in the haste with which the police acted and Chancellor Birgeneau’s justification for his decision to authorize the police action: “We simply cannot afford to spend our precious resources and, in particular, student tuition, on costly and avoidable expenses associated with violence or vandalism.” No one wishes to “waste” resources in this climate. Yet if one follows this logic one can see the looming threat: lawful assembly, peaceful dissent, and free inquiry—even so-called “breadth requirements”–can all entail some cost. They interfere with “getting and spending.” Dissent, like free inquiry, is sometimes inefficient. Dissent doesn’t always have a “deliverable.” But it takes time to determine a just answer to “What is to be done?’.

Bob Hass was also definitely out there, but later in the day, and I haven’t heard that he got more than pushed with a baton (iow, if he was seriously injured, I haven’t heard that, and my friend who wrote the letter that Kornbluh was quoting from didn’t say that). Which is not to say that the sight of a policeman shoving a great poet like him doesn’t fill my belly with rage, or suggest some rather cutting things about what the university truly values in practice.

3

Aaron 11.14.11 at 6:14 pm

Shoot, the paragraph starting with “I note the same narrowly pragmatic” should also be part of the block quote; that’s Celeste’s words, not mine.

4

Aaron 11.14.11 at 6:51 pm

Also, the regents are appointed by the California governor for 12 year terms, so any Californians that felt like taking it up with Sacramento would be a welcome thing. One of the thing that gets persistently and perniciously mystified in conversations about the UC is the extent to which Sacramento and the UC Regents are one and the same (in fact, the governor is himself an ex officio regent, along with six other state officials). The regents and administration like to pretend that they are on our side and negotiate with Sacramento, but this is poppycock; the regents are appointed by the governor and have nothing in particular to do with the university itself.

5

bert 11.14.11 at 6:56 pm

You might try theodor.adorno@frankfurt_1969.com
Not making light, you understand. This looks nasty.

6

Critical 11.14.11 at 7:02 pm

Wouldn’t Celeste have been more effective by offering to cut her salary in half, to combat “the double threat posed to the ideal of liberal education by the rising cost of tuition and, more generally, the burden of debt”?

7

Pete 11.14.11 at 7:06 pm

So, escalate or capitulate?

8

Pascal Leduc 11.14.11 at 7:06 pm

If linking arms is not a non violent form of civil disobedience then what is?

9

Rich Puchalsky 11.14.11 at 7:17 pm

The small-town Occupy branch that I’m in lost our encampment a few weeks ago. We’re back now, on the grounds of a church. Resistance doesn’t end when an encampment does. It doesn’t have to be either “escalate or capitulate”.

Is contacting the Chancellor really going to do anything? I’m not holding out for an impossible radicalism, or anything like that — but is shaking up the hierarchy of the college really what people want to happen in response to this? Can we reach a little bit higher or broader without doing nothing?

10

William Timberman 11.14.11 at 7:38 pm

A certain Santayana quote seems appropriate here, or something from a French wag about the more things change. Forty- four years ago in exactly the same place, at almost exactly the same time of year, exactly the same things were happening to some of my friends. (I was in the right wrong place on the line, and so got off scot-free.)

This morning, in a medical waiting room, I left off reading Dean Baker’s latest on my iDevice, picked up a copy of the New Yorker from last May, and started leafing through the cartoons. One depicted a malefactor of great wealth behind a large desk, saying to one of his underlings: Those who ignore history are entitled to repeat it.

Yup.

11

Malaclypse 11.14.11 at 8:56 pm

Wouldn’t Celeste have been more effective by offering to cut her salary in half, to combat “the double threat posed to the ideal of liberal education by the rising cost of tuition and, more generally, the burden of debt”?

Yes, because carving out that small amount would undoubtedly solve the problems of high tuition, the larger California budget woes, and, indeed, would contribute greatly to the work of the Congressional Supercommittee.

12

mpowell 11.14.11 at 9:25 pm


Wouldn’t Celeste have been more effective by offering to cut her salary in half, to combat “the double threat posed to the ideal of liberal education by the rising cost of tuition and, more generally, the burden of debt”?

No. This has been the latest edition of simple answers to simple questions…

13

Bill Benzon 11.14.11 at 9:45 pm

“Something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear . . .”

And then they sang about “. . . four dead in Ohio.”

14

bob mcmanus 11.14.11 at 10:06 pm

13: “Find the cost of freedom…”

The only thing I find shocking is the surprise and outrage. I guess we are still in the Children’s Crusade.

Students are the sausage.
Faculty is the grinder
Administration is turning the wheel.
TNC is the customer.

15

James 11.14.11 at 10:11 pm

Go home people. I love how they have such nice Apple phones. You are not the 99%. Moreover, I love how they are receiving the baton directly. Perhaps white privilege will hip them to what real struggle looks like.

16

bob mcmanus 11.14.11 at 10:15 pm

Better

Digby links to Rick Perlstein…and Mario Savio

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all…”

Occupying parks?

17

William Timberman 11.14.11 at 10:28 pm

Forty years from now, maybe the Democratic Party will blame those who participated in the Zuccotti Park occupation for electing Newt Gingrich. Maybe. Then again, given the fact that the bloom is off the consumerist rose for so many more people now than it was then, maybe there won’t be so much left to be smug about forty years from now.

18

G. McThornbody 11.14.11 at 10:49 pm

The new job opportunities here inspire me to rewrite my resume. I’ll be a shoo-in for any Berkeley police position available. So easy, yet so essential!

Objective: To protect the peace, gain 40 pounds, and dress in riot gear.
Skills: Pulling women’s hair, punching the elderly, hitting students in the gut with batons.
Education: Associates degree in Grass and Stick Closing Studies with an emphasis on deconstruction. (Not the French kind).
Honors: Certificate in Supply Side Solutions for Un-Settling Student Sit-ins.
Salary Requirements: 40k, plus a huge public pension. I hear those things are huge. Huge!

References: H. Cain gives me 10/10 on the Pizzameat Manliness Scale.

Hired.

19

Frowner 11.14.11 at 11:23 pm

Wouldn’t Celeste have been more effective by offering to cut her salary in half, to combat “the double threat posed to the ideal of liberal education by the rising cost of tuition and, more generally, the burden of debt”?

This would be just taking in each others’ washing – something working people are already doing when we house each other rent-free (as I have done for laid-off friends) or share food or other resources, or accept furlough days and wage freezes to save jobs. People making ordinary wages – and tenured professors in the humanities make nice but basically ordinary wages – should not be expected to fix the crisis by redistributing our limited resources among ourselves, like the passengers on a lifeboat, while the system itself goes unquestioned and unchanged.

20

leederick 11.14.11 at 11:29 pm

I think there’s something really interesting in the way health and safety concerns are being deployed to justify the use of riot police. It seems to be to be a very recent strategy and is being used all over the place, even though on the face of it the argument makes absolutely no sense.

21

cian 11.14.11 at 11:37 pm

Forty years from now, maybe the Democratic Party will blame those who participated in the Zuccotti Park occupation for electing Newt Gingrich. Maybe.

In 40 years there will be no Democratic party.

22

straightwood 11.14.11 at 11:39 pm

Such brutal police action shows that the powers that be are very afraid. These episodes are like pouring gasoline on the fires of dissent. Change is coming, and the more it is resisted, the more unpleasant its consequences will be.

23

James 11.14.11 at 11:50 pm

The consequences will be dire only for those who keep this up. When it gets cold folks will get ready for Black Friday, stuff themselves full of turkey, and get under their snuggie. The “revolution” will go up in smoke.

24

BillCinSD 11.14.11 at 11:51 pm

“We simply cannot afford to spend our precious resources and, in particular, student tuition, on costly and avoidable expenses associated with violence or vandalism.”

So we are going to spend some of our precious resources on violence on avoidable expenses used against our students and faculty

25

Barry 11.14.11 at 11:55 pm

bob mcmanus 11.14.11 at 10:15 pm

” Occupying parks?”

Just in case you haven’t noticed, bob, the authorities do seem to be worried by this.

26

Lemuel Pitkin 11.14.11 at 11:55 pm

Forty years from now, maybe the Democratic Party will blame those who participated in the Zuccotti Park

Forty years from now, people will remember this as the early days of a better nation.

27

William Timberman 11.15.11 at 12:46 am

Forty years from now, people will remember this as the early days of a better nation.

I hope so, I truly do, and I’m grateful to the current generation for putting the possibility back on the agenda again, and giving all us geezers a second bite at the apple. I really didn’t want to go the way Neruda did, with only the laughing of jackals and hyenas to accompany him.

28

Salient 11.15.11 at 1:47 am

It is reasonable to demand that Margo Bennett step down from the post of UC police captain immediately. I suppose everyone has already seen this quote a hundred times:

“The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence,” UC police Capt. Margo Bennett said.

A person making this statement is either ill-informed or engaging in dishonesty.

It turns out the normal Citizen Complaint process for UC police misconduct does not apply to captains. In fact, it is Margo Bennett who supervises the Citizen Complaint process. As this implies that Bennett is among the UCPD uniquely professionally responsible for having familiarity with what legally constitutes a violent act warranting an escalated police response, she may reasonably held liable for her on-record misrepresentation of the truth.

While Bennett is likewise uniquely self-insulated from a formal investigation of misconduct, the potential symbolic effectiveness of mailing in completed Citizen Complaint forms from across the country, politely expressing a formal complaint with the conduct of the very officer who will personally receive and read every complaint so submitted, is perhaps worth some consideration.

By some astonishing quirk of serendipity, there is even a check box for “Dishonesty.”

29

rhino 11.15.11 at 3:12 am

“James 11.14.11 at 11:50 pm
The consequences will be dire only for those who keep this up. When it gets cold folks will get ready for Black Friday, stuff themselves full of turkey, and get under their snuggie. The “revolution” will go up in smoke.”

Yes James, I’m sure you’re right about that. After all history is filled with instances where dedicated resistance movements simply evaporate due to cold weather. Instances like Valley Forge, Stalingrad, The Spanish resistance to napoleon.

That’s the thing about dedicated revolutionaries: They will stand up to water cannon and bullets, but not to chilly toesies.

Have you no shame?

30

straightwood 11.15.11 at 3:28 am

With luck, the backlash against heavy-handed repression of OWS will bring an end to the anti-terrorism obsession that has turned Americans into a frightened herd of scanned and frisked cattle. Attempts to brand OWS as a species of domestic terrorism will show the danger of acquiescence to totalitarian thinking. The wind of freedom is blowing. May it sweep away the accumulated evils of the American national security state.

31

jpe 11.15.11 at 3:50 am

The article is faintly ridiculous. I don’t see why the good professor can’t wrap his head around the fact that different purposes: some are for kids, some are for the business of the state, some are for leisure.

32

Gene O'Grady 11.15.11 at 4:05 am

I wish that we hadn’t spent so much of the last forty years on the idiotic assumption that the poor returning Viet Nam troops were spat on by hippies (beyond ridiculous) and focused more on the violence done to the protestors by war supporters and police (very rarely by actual people from the military as best I know). At my own elite college one of the frats organized a raid on a group of Quakers passing out leaflets and one of them proudly punched out an 81 year old woman. For which the discipline was minimal.

Those of you still in academia it is enormously important that the people behind this from Margo Bennett up through Birgenau not win the day, or this kind of stuff will still be routine in forty years.

33

js. 11.15.11 at 6:28 am

The Aaron Bady article makes all the points that need to be made really, but watching those videos: what exactly are those arrests for? It’s pure example and the instillation of fear. Beyond shameful.

Also, @James, I do sincerely hope you’re getting paid for this.

34

Bruce Wilder 11.15.11 at 7:42 am

John Choon Yoo works where?

35

roger 11.15.11 at 9:40 am

I hope such vids sweep the web. This was coming, as we all knew. The American elite for whom Mcarthur cleared the Hooverville in D.C. in 1931 is more powerful than ever, of course. But the web provides an excellent counter-force.

36

J. Otto Pohl 11.15.11 at 9:48 am

I just want to say that such things no longer happen in Ghana since military rule ended. Far better to be in a third world country becoming a first world country than be in a first world country becoming a third world country. I don’t care which way I go as long as it is up.

37

Andrew F. 11.15.11 at 10:41 am

There are definitely grounds here for an investigation into possible excessive force violations. But the video shot on the ground is too lacking in context – for me anyway – to support a demand for anyone’s resignation. For those who were actually there, and don’t have to rely on these videos, the matter may be much clearer, of course. An investigation will presumably be forthcoming, yes?

Incidentally, Occupy Wall Street in NYC was cleared this morning, though protesters will be allowed to return (sans tents, tarps, and such) after the park is cleaned. Reportedly the eviction followed a demonstration yesterday by local residents and businesses opposed to the continuing occupation.

38

cian 11.15.11 at 10:49 am

Right Andrew, because putting a peaceful resistor in a chokehold, or repeatedly punching one, is just totally reasonable so long as the context is right. We need to have an investigation to make sure that the kid being punched wasn’t an Al-Quaeda operative.

You’re a piece of work aren’t you.

39

Chris Williams 11.15.11 at 11:01 am

Last night I was writing about how Berkeley Police chief August Vollmer became a professor of police administration at UC in 1929, when he was #1 Progressive police chief. I don’t think that he’ll be turning in his grave about these events: the police professionalisation movement was as much about handing the state a weapon to defend its power as it was about fighting crime and minimising corruption, and he was a big fan of the Guardia Civil. But it’s probably worth remembering that UC has been institutionally linked with US policing for a long time now, that it pioneered these links, and that it may have done so initially in a spirit of optimism.

Vollmer _would_ have had a lot to say about those paunches on the cops, though. None of it good.

40

Watson Ladd 11.15.11 at 11:27 am

Andrew, when a mutiny occurs on a ship the commander is inevitably court-martialed. Why? Because the occurrence of mutiny is a sign that something has gone horribly wrong. Likewise when enforcing the rules governing a park requires sending in the riot police and the violence on the video, something has gone very wrong. The regularization of the most extreme tactics of policing is a deeply troubling development.

41

Walt 11.15.11 at 11:44 am

The context you’re missing is that the kid in the video is actually Magneto.

42

Henri Vieuxtemps 11.15.11 at 1:09 pm

No, the kid is not Magneto. But the bastard did refuse to choose between Coke and Pepsi.

43

kidneystones 11.15.11 at 2:02 pm

The 1% are being treated just like regular folks. Horrors. Try gripping your steering wheel in your car when ordered to get out of your car and present your driver’s license. Refuse to leave a restaurant or bar when ordered to do so by the police. Ask any prisoner in any of California’s many prisons what happens when she or he refuses to comply with a lawful demand.

If the riot police wished to inflict real damage or harm, I suspect most people understand that we’d be looking at footage of something very different. The cops here are doing the job society asks them to do and doing so, for the most part, with commendable restraint.

The striking contrast between the confrontational tactics of the occupy folks and those in the tea party is probably lost on the partisans. The fact is that the tea party accomplished more by behaving like adults and then rallying for political change. The elitists here are winning their protest cred, at least among their own. Good for them.

The whole world is yawning.

44

Rich Puchalsky 11.15.11 at 2:05 pm

Occupy Wall Street was evicted last night. I see that Andrew mentioned it above, but Andrew is a shameful person.

We could use help of various kinds. As I wrote above, I think that we should put the blame for repression at a bit higher level than some university official, who like all of them is just functioning as a mouthpiece. But whatever people want to do…

45

bert 11.15.11 at 2:12 pm

I guess people are just waking up to what’s happened in Zucotti Park.

The other day I heard a documentary about the protests at Greenham Common, a US airbase in Britain. One woman was reminiscing about the 18 years she spent camping outside. She stayed in her tent, protesting, even after the original cause of the protest – nuclear missiles belonging to the USAF – was removed. Apparently someone had put together a legal claim that the site was common land and that the Ministry of Defence should be evicted, so she stayed put.
It made me think about the politics of the occupy protests. Since there was no plausible chance that the protesters would be willing to decamp en masse, the incentive for the powers-that-be to offer concessions was correspondingly small. The protests had accomplished a huge amount in placing previously neglected issues on the agenda. But, arguably, diminishing returns had already begun to set in. The opinion polls showed that the message had resonated with a majority of the public, but the attention deficit media had moved on from reporting the message. A long stalemate was on the cards, with individual incidents likely to be seized upon in the service of an anti-OWS backlash.

It may not seem like it this morning, but the authorities moving in puts the protests in a good place. There’s a certain narrative clarity to it. A monopoly of violence has been used to shut down legitimate and widely-shared grievances.
New tactics can be deployed to press home the advantage.
There’ll be plenty of ideas, I’m sure.
It seems to me that if cynicism prompted by previous disappointments can be overcome, electoral politics does offer something in the current climate. Outside the bubble, where equivalency between the established parties is the rule, the utter degeneracy of today’s GOP would seem to offer a fat target.

So, there is a bright side to look on.

46

Barry 11.15.11 at 2:17 pm

Aaron: “I note the same narrowly pragmatic thinking in the haste with which the police acted and Chancellor Birgeneau’s justification for his decision to authorize the police action: “We simply cannot afford to spend our precious resources and, in particular, student tuition, on costly and avoidable expenses associated with violence or vandalism.” No one wishes to “waste” resources in this climate. Yet if one follows this logic one can see the looming threat: lawful assembly, peaceful dissent, and free inquiry—even so-called “breadth requirements”—can all entail some cost. They interfere with “getting and spending.” Dissent, like free inquiry, is sometimes inefficient. Dissent doesn’t always have a “deliverable.” But it takes time to determine a just answer to “What is to be done?’.”

IIRC, Berkeley is also spending large sums on an expansion of their major sports, with the promise that revenues from those sports will pay for the facilities (e.g., a new stadium). So we know the guy’s lying.

And in general, when somebody does something that they’d like to do anyway, and justifies it with reducing ‘waste’, they’re lying until proven innocent.

47

Bruce Wilder 11.15.11 at 4:08 pm

bert @ 45: “So, there is a bright side to look on.”

Yeah, Joe Paterno is out.

48

bert 11.15.11 at 4:57 pm

Of work or the closet?

49

bert 11.15.11 at 5:41 pm

Right at this moment, Man Boy Love does seem to be edging out Destroying the World Economy in the outrage stakes.

50

straightwood 11.15.11 at 6:15 pm

The fact is that the tea party accomplished more by behaving like adults and then rallying for political change.

Rubbish. The “accomplishment” of the Tea Party was to provide a populist facade for the application of billionaire funding to push the Republicans farther to the right. If OWS had the Koch Brothers behind it, Mayor Bloomberg would have been forced to resign by now.

51

james 11.15.11 at 6:28 pm

Sorry rhino, but kids running around with Apple phones, cameras, and the latest hipster gear are not ripe for a revolution. when the holidays hit and the cold makes it’s way in these weekend revolutionaries will fold up shop. furthermore, the intellectuals (academics mostly) here will move on to talk about Rawls or Habermas or the latest scandal with a dash of cleverness thrown in to spice things up. let’s not kid ourselves here people.

52

cian 11.15.11 at 6:37 pm

Okay, so we’ve learned from kidneystones that fascists are yawning, and from James that the guy in his Mom’s basement doesn’t approve either. Thank god that all got cleared up.

53

JM 11.15.11 at 10:33 pm

The fact is – meaningless, privileging rhetoric
that the tea party – credulous reference to astroturf
accomplished more – no metric, false analogy
by behaving like adults – empirically false statement
and then rallying for political change – misconstrues elite retrenchment

F

54

kidneystones 11.15.11 at 11:11 pm

Actually, I can’t claim credit for the observation or the quip, which has now become a cliche. Variations include the whole world is laughing. Of course, the whole world isn’t laughing. A discussion of current events with European colleagues found very little interest or sympathy in occupyfail. For them, the upcoming Spanish elections are of far greater interest. Occupyfail serves as a fig-leaf for O supporting liberals as they explain away regime change in Libya and endemic unemployment over the last three years. Private college students and their instructors erect a working class identity they can show their 1% percent peers. The occupy movement does provide disheartened Lefties with a sense of relevancy and in that sense alone occupy this can claim some success.

As for the Koch brothers nonsense, does anyone really believe that any two individuals hold so much sway in any society? Astonishing.

55

cian 11.16.11 at 10:43 am

As for the Koch brothers nonsense, does anyone really believe that any two individuals hold so much sway in any society?

Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Ceasar. Nope, you’re probably right.

I hereby ammend my description above to be “stupid fascist”. We are still waiting apparently for the views of the “averagely intelligent” fascist community. I, for one, am on tenterhooks.

56

Andrew F. 11.16.11 at 11:06 am

Watson @40: Hey, if in fact excessive force was used, and there was complicity or a command failure on the part of higher ranking officers and officials, I’ll donate money to help call for their resignation. But, I’m very wary of judging an event based on a short, tightly focused video when I lack context and lack statements from all sides involved. There’s enough on that video to make excessive force a significant possibility, and I’ll be interested to see how the facts develop.

57

cian 11.16.11 at 1:03 pm

But, I’m very wary of judging an event based on a short, tightly focused video when I lack context and lack statements from all sides involved.

Its funny how that works really isn’t it Andrew. Alleged police brutality – and oh no, we shouldn’t judge.

Alleged misconduct by liberals, hell even a rumour of it, and you’re the first one in throwing accusations.

Oh, you’re a piece of work alright.

58

Mimi Ward 11.16.11 at 5:42 pm

A must see is Stephen Colbert’s take on the linking of arms, including a clip from “T Wizard of Oz”, showing Dorothy and company violently skipping down the yellow brick road.

59

Western Dave 11.16.11 at 8:34 pm

I wrote:

Like many others across the education spectrum, I watched in horror and fascination, the videos of campus police violence posted across the web over the last few days. Universities are still bastions of learning first, I supposed, and corporate development offices second. I recognize that economic times are hard and that all colleges and universities are struggling as public funding declines. However, I thought Berkeley once learned a lesson about the importance of keeping the educational mission and the intellectual and political freedom that implies as the top priority during a previous Free Speech Movement. Apparently, I was wrong. Unless there is a major change of course in policy and action in the coming weeks, I shall have to have advise my students (all of whom would be paying full Out of State tuition) against attending Berkeley.

60

Andrew F. 11.16.11 at 9:33 pm

Cian, I have no idea what you’re talking about – so we have that in common at least. But yeah, I like to make sure I have all the facts straight before I ask for someone’s resignation.

61

cian 11.16.11 at 9:35 pm

Simple Andrew. In the past when dealing with liberals you’ve never paused to judge. Now we’re dealing with people on your side…suddenly, you want to wait.

Probably a coincidence.

62

Watson Ladd 11.16.11 at 9:39 pm

Andrew, any investigation will be compromised unless there is political pressure to have it done right. Here in Chicago the police have never been punished by the internal review board, even when they’ve shot a total of 42 people this year last I checked.

63

Fosco 11.17.11 at 6:33 am

I’m sure there’s a reason, and I hope someone will point it out to me, but: why aren’t Occupy protesters better prepared for the police? There’s been enough police action at this point that it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re coming and they’re going to hurt people. Would it be bad for protesters to put on a helmet or pads or something? Why aren’t more protesters armored or at least better dressed for a beating?

64

Andrew F. 11.17.11 at 12:56 pm

Cian, I think our common ignorance continues. What liberals have I “never paused to judge”?

Watson, I’m fully in favor of a thorough investigation and with bringing political pressure to bear to accomplish that.

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cian 11.17.11 at 2:08 pm

Why Andrew, there are many excellent examples of this in the other thread on the occupation. You never once stopped to get context, or get comments from both sides, before jumping in to judge. You just assumed the police and the authorities had done the right thing, despite not having bothered to carry out even basic research.

Is it possible that you’re unaware of how bigoted you are? How sweet.

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