State Police or Police State?
By Michael G. Winston
Executive Vice President and Chief Leadership Officer
6mpn5b4 View the video link to see if it does not beg the question; are we watching a Police State? Are we seeing a repeat of aggression now against our children and grandchildren. Have we learned nothing over the past forty years? While I am not a fan of all Occupy Wall Street tactics, I was shocked to see the flagrant police misconduct in trying to suppress a peaceful demonstration of college students at University of California, Davis. These are our youth, exercising their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. In a college town, on the campus, where they belong. Students brutalized, in a sacred place where we trust they will be completely safe.
The United States Constitution explicitly provides for ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ Brutality, intimidation and excessive use of force is an outrageous violation of civil liberties.
Note segments of the article:
“The videos show the students seated on the ground as a UC Davis police officer brandishes a red canister of pepper spray, showing it off for the crowd before dousing the seated students in a heavy, thick mist.”
“At one point, one of the riot cops ambles over to the seated line and asks one of the students a question. The student replies, “We’re sitting here.”
“The police officer then returns to his position with the other officers. He also turns his back on the seated students, as does at least one other officer. They show no fear that the students might turn violent or threatening. The first cop talks on his radio for a while.”
“Roughly a minute later, the officer can be seen shaking the pepper spray canister as the gathered students start shouting, “Don’t shoot your children!”
“As the officer began spraying the group of students, onlookers screamed, “Don’t do it! Don’t you do it!” ”
This police action deeply worries me. This looks like police brutality and excessive use of force. What’s next…the National Guard? I fear we could experience another Kent State type massacre. This would again be a tragic situation. I was a freshman, going to Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) when the Kent State killings occurred. The National Guard came on our campus as well. They raided our bucolic, Midwestern friendly campus. It looked like a war zone with tear glass canisters flying everywhere.
I have a vivid recollection of the scene. Wearing gas masks, the National Guard used tear gas to exert control over the growing crowds. After some time with a lot of maneuvering the Guardsmen turned in unison and took aim upon the student population. A frightening memory. Their behavior was so egregious that the school was ordered shut. It never reopened to finish the year. We had to evacuate the campus quickly. My freshman year was shortened by several weeks. Graduating students were denied a formal graduation.
Over the past three years, tens of trillions of dollars have been sucked out of the global economy. Few have been held accountable. After witnessing the economic genocide perpetrated upon an unsuspecting public, who can blame our youth for demonstrating. The University administration and police actions are reprehensible. We who have not forgotten Kent State will not allow it to happen again on our watch. Therefore, Whistlewatch.org, a California, not for profit, public benefit corporation, calls for an investigation to learn who gave the order to pepper spray young people at UC Davis.