Here’s the sordid back-story: Linda Katehi was born in Athens in 1954 and got her undergraduate degree at the famous Athens Polytechnic. She just happened to be the right age to be a student at the Polytechnic university on the very day, November 17, 1973, when the junta sent in tanks and soldiers to crush her fellow pro-democracy students. It was only after democracy was restored in 1974–and Greek university campuses were turned into police-free “asylum zones”–that Linda Katehi eventually moved to the USA, earning her PhD at UCLA.
Earlier this year, Linda Katehi served on an “International Committee On Higher Education In Greece,” along with a handful of American, European and Asian academics. The ostensible goal was to “reform” Greece’s university system. The real problem, from the real powers behind the scenes (banksters and the EU), was how to get Greece under control as the austerity-screws tightened. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that squeezing more money from Greece’s beleaguered citizens would mean clamping down on Greece’s democracy and doing something about those pesky Greek university students. And that meant taking away the universities’ “amnesty” protection, in place for nearly four decades, so that no one, nowhere, would be safe from police truncheons, gas, or bullets.
Thanks to the EU, bankers, and UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi, university freedom for Greece’s students has taken a huge, dark step backwards.
Here you can read a translation of the report co-authored by UC Davis’ Linda Katehi–the report which brought about the end of Greece’s “university asylum” law.What’s particularly disturbing is that Linda Katehi was the only Greek on that commission. Presumably that would give her a certain amount of extra sway–both because of her inside knowledge, and because of her moral authority among the other non-Greek committee members. And yet, Linda Katehi signed off on a report that provided the rationale for repealing Greece’s long-standing “university asylum” law. She basically helped undo the very heart and soul of Greece’s pro-democracy uprising against the junta.
Goddamn Banksy, that was quick
UC DAVIS PROTEST 11 18 (by otextor)
Had not seen this video before. Starts earlier than others I had seen - as the police first approach through when they leave.
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.
A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for *4:00pm* between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage. A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).
The students sit in total silence as she leaves.
There seems to be some confusion regarding appropriate and inappropriate use of weapons on non-violent protestors. Let’s clear up three things.
Non-violence is not the same as non-forceful or legal. A protester sitting in a sidewalk in violation of the law and in direct contravention of a police order is not a violent protester. A protest blocking a sidewalk or building may be a forceful protest, but is still not a violent protest.
Non-lethal weapons are still weapons. They’re designed to hurt people. One of the serious dangers with a rise of non-lethal weapons is that they are used punitively or with an intent to compel compliance with non-emergency orders. Where a cop might hesitate to shoot a row of students sitting on a sidewalk showing no apparent signs of aggression, apparently the same hesitation does not apply to casually spraying them with pepper spray. Use of weapons is violence.
Using violence to clear a non-violent protest in a non-emergency situation is an absurd abuse of force. I don’t mind the police showing up to clear a protest that is deliberately obstructing people from exercising their rights to get where they need to be. I don’t mind them wearing riot gear when they’re obviously concerned about a riot. I don’t even mind them showing up with over-whelming force. That’s another good way to avoid a riot. But look at what happened. You’ve got a police officer spraying pepper spray on a group of students who are just sitting on a sidewalk. There was no emergency need to clear that sidewalk. Anybody could simply have walked around the protestors. If the protestors had refused to move after appropriate warning was given, the police simply could have recorded the protests, issued citations, and pressed trespassing charges. It’s not difficult to identify who is in the pictures—and we have an entire judicial process we could clog with protestors … if it were important enough to bother with. This isn’t a riot. These are students sitting on a sidewalk. Nobody needs to get hurt.
I have plenty of sarcastic things to say about Occupy Wall Street. I’m old. I’m cranky. I want them off my lawn. But this is beyond the pale. There should be a full investigation. Officers should be disciplined, dismissed, and likely charged with assault. I want some very specific answers on what happened there and why. Why violently disperse a protest rather than, say, walk around it?
And I think U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi will probably need to step down.
Shortly before 4 p.m., about 35 officers from UC Davis and other UC campuses as well as the city of Davis responded to the protest, said Annette Spicuzza, UC Davis police chief. They were wearing protective gear and some held batons.
The protest initially involved about 50 students, Spicuzza said, but swelled to about 200 as the confrontation with police escalated.
She said officers were forced to use pepper spray when students surrounded them. They used a sweeping motion on the group, per procedure, to avoid injury, she said.
The students were informed repeatedly ahead of time that if they didn’t move, force would be used, she said.
“There was no way out of that circle,” Spicuzza said. “They were cutting the officers off from their support. It’s a very volatile situation.”
Really, lady? This is the hill you want to die on?
They were surrounded? I know you think this will protect you but there are pictures, there is video, I dare you to look at that and tell me that the police were acting defensively in any way, shape, or form.
Annette Spicuzza must have her timeline messed up. The officers were not surrounded when they decided to pepper spray a group of non-violent sitting students. It was after that that the students came together to stand their ground and rather gently forced the police back by simply walking towards them slowly and in mass - chanting at first “Our University” and then, after promising a moment of peace and that they would not follow, “You Can Go.”
UC Davis police officer pepper sprays sitting students because, well, just because.
Think that’s %$#ing horrible? The video’s worse.
Via John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:
I’m sorry, this has gone too far. This has happened in police department after police department, and it has gone too far. Our police look like the goons in Russia and China. Please watch this video and send it to everyone you know. This has gone too far.
WTF, law enforcement? Enough! This reminds me of what 19th-century American financier Jay Gould said that after hiring strike breakers: ”I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.” This is what rich people think of you, that’s who you’re protecting.
It doesn’t matter how much money you get to turn on your own, it will always be thirty pieces of silver.
Also? Reality check:
UPDATE: The officer who pepper-sprayed UC Davis students is Lt. John Pike. Give his PD a call. 530-752-1727 (via: occupyallstreets)
Chancellor’s office (530) 752-2065
The officer who pulled out the pepper spray was Lieutenant John Pike: (530) 752-3989 firstname.lastname@example.org