Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

UC Davis Protester Admits to Purposely Provoking Confrontation

Elli Pearson, University of California, Davis sophomore studying sustainable agriculture/food systems and one of the protesters pepper sprayed by UCD Campus Police, came clean to "Democracy Now!" According to The Right Scoop, Pearson essentially said the student action blocking the retreat of the police was intentional and purposeful. As pointed out in a previous post, "The function of a civil resistance is to provoke response and we will continue to provoke..."

trscoop1 You Tube
Well we were protesting together and the riot cops came at us and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. And then at one point they were – we had encircled them and they were trying to leave and they were trying to clear a path. And so we sat down, linked arms and said that if they wanted to clear the path they would have to go through us. But we were on the ground, you know, heads down and all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself and put my head down. And the next thing I know we were pepper-sprayed.
Amy Goodman, the Democracy Now! talking head, asked Pearson,
Did the police say, "We’re about to pepper-spray you"?
In answer, Elli Pearson lied and contradicted the very tape Democracy Now! opened the segment with that clearly shows the police in front of the sit-downers, while tape in my previous post show police in front and behind the sit-downer line and that protesters were warned many times from the time police arrived on The Quad to moments before the spraying; if any student was not aware of the warnings, it was because they were shouting over the police so as not to hear and later claim police gave no warning. It's an old tactic akin to sticking fingers in your ears and loudly intoning, 'la-la-la-la-la-I can't hear you!'
I believe they told maybe one student, or like had some dialogue, but certainly not everyone could hear. It wasn’t like an announcement that was made. And we weren’t aware that we were going to be—I wasn’t aware I was going to be pepper-sprayed until people told me to protect myself. And then I have friends who were pepper-sprayed who said they did not know that that was happening and that that was coming. And we were actually expected—we were expecting to be shot in the back with something, because they were behind us. And we really had no idea what was going to happen.
Because I am nothing if not fair, the entire Democracy Now! interview and transcript can be seen and read here. I would point out that in the Democracy Now! blurb explaining the story just after the video, most probably the only part of the story most folks will read, makes absolutely no mention of Pearson admitting they had surrounded the police, nor saying the cops would have to go through the protesters to get out.
h/t Althouse

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walking Through Doors Causes Forgetfulness

Flash mob shoplifting is somewhat popular in many cities across the US. Last Saturday night, a 7-Eleven in Silver Spring, MD was hit by at least 70 people, mostly teenagers, who apparently had attended a nearby birthday party and stopped into the 7-Eleven for snacks and drinks. Police said not all of the teens stole goods, but have identified about 20 kids. Another flash mob in August, hit a 7-Eleven in Germantown taking items without paying.

View more videos at:

Some plead poverty, others say they did it for the thrill, others claim the shop owner was mean and had it coming. Now they have a new scientific excuse - walking through doors can cause people to forget.

We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor
Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.

“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”
Don't think only criminals catch all the breaks. Just today, I bought a 16-20 pound Thanksgiving turkey valued at $22.23 and the computer charged the special price of only $5.99 even though my total purchase did not meet the required break point of $25. Not as good a deal as shoplifting, but it was good enough for me. I guess the Safeway computer had walked through a door recently.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Great UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident

"The function of a civil resistance is to provoke response and we will continue to provoke until they respond or change the law. They are not in control; we are." - Gandhi, the movie, 1982.

On Friday Nov. 18, University of California, Davis Campus Police, on orders from the campus president, moved in to break-up the Occupy camp site on The Quad. This followed the eviction of protesters from Mrak Hall on the 16th. In a General Assembly, Occupy voted to reconvene on The Quad within 24 hours of the eviction. While setting-up at their new digs, Campus Police warned they were violating campus regulations which would be enforced. UCD Aggie TV's Ani Ucar reports -

The pepper spraying incident has gone viral so that is the only thing people around the world know of the incident. Police brutality on peaceful demonstrators is the last thing the world sees and hears. But that's not what happened.

Part 1, in we learn: The altercation with campus police was intended as indicated by the bearded guy at :13 when he declared that "this will reflect poorly on every person from the administration that watches this happen"; that Campus Police officially warned the students and assorted they were in violation of California Penal Code 409 and to disperse three times before any action was taken; that 3 persons accosted Campus Police and were arrested long before any pepper spray was deployed.

Part 2, in which we learn: Protesters invite other students to come join the throng and surround the Campus Police; again protesters ignore another order to disperse while shouting, "Set them free" and "Whose university? Our university!" [note: UC Davis belongs to California to which student's pay money for the privilege of attending and can be revoked]; the officer-in-charge individually warns the arm-locked protesters on the walkway they will be subject to forced removal if they do not disperse and several people of the first group leaves the walkway and others take their place while the others chant "Cop off campus!" apparently ignorant these cops are the Campus Police Dept., the campus their job site; the OIC again warns the students at 12:44, the exchange ended in a bit of laughter.

Part 3, in which we learn: The protesters use the human megaphone to say, "I propose that you talk to us [ garbled and unclear] off the quad" ; again Campus Police warn the protesters they will be shot with pepper spray; sideline protesters tell the arm-locked to cover themselves knowing they are about to be sprayed with pepper.

4th Video, in which we learn the students were asked up close and personal if they knew they were about to pepper sprayed to which the protester cheerfully agreed, "Okay, just making sure, just making sure, you're shooting us for sitting here ... no, that's fine, that's fine. You're shooting me for..."; the sitting protesters cover "your eyes, cover your nose protect yourselves"; Campus Police make one last attempt to physically remove them, but meet resistance and further taunts of "Shame on you!" and a crazy woman wailing and screaming, "These are children!"

The students were warned they were in violation of California Penal Code 409. What it is and what it says:
California Penal Code Section 409:
Every person remaining present at the place of any riot, rout, or unlawful assembly, after the same has been lawfully warned to disperse, except public officers and persons assisting them in attempting to disperse the same, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
What is it that is llegal? How are riot, rout, or unlawful assembly defined?
California Penal Code Section 406:
Whenever two or more persons, assembled and acting together, make any attempt or advance toward the commission of an act which would be a riot if actually committed, such assembly is a rout.
California Penal Code Section 407:
Whenever two or more persons assemble together to do an unlawful act, or do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous, or tumultuous manner, such assembly is an unlawful assembly.
California Penal Code Section 408:
Every person who participates in any rout or unlawful assembly is guilty of a misdemeanor.
What happens to the official who does not respond?
California Penal Code Section 410
If a magistrate or officer, having notice of an unlawful or riotous assembly, mentioned in this Chapter, neglects to proceed to the place of assembly, or as near thereto as he can with safety, and to exercise the authority with which he is invested for suppressing the same and arresting the offenders, he is guilty of a misdemeanor.
The protesters got their provoked response. Whether the aftermath of public opinion is in their favor is still debatable; I have seen it go either way over the last half century, but I know it was just this kind of incident that turned public opinion to favor the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the anti-Vietnam War demonstrators in the early 1970s. Authorities are in a Catch-22 in these situations; if they don't respond, the demonstrators escalate until non-response is no longer possible while any response is immediately forced into violence by the demonstrators who then cry police brutality, claim peaceful assembly and that is the last thing the public sees and hears.

Update: UCD student Elli Perason admits to Democracy Now! on tape that protesters deliberately provoked police.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.