|Photo by Louise Macabitas|
Or at least you were told you had those rights.
Sometimes getting them respected is a little trickier.
On Friday, November 18, 2011, campus police at UC Davis University in California, openly and blatantly blasted a row of peaceful protesters with copious amounts of pepper spray. This video depicts the event, with the crowd of onlookers chanting "shame on you" to the guilty officers. The scene continues, showing the officers trying to forcibly remove the protesters, most of whom bravely stood (OK, sat) their ground. I greatly admire their determination to have their voices heard, and refusal to be bullied.
The Chancellor of the university has ordered an investigation, following demands for her resignation. She refuses to step down, stating she did nothing wrong and did not violate campus policies. I wonder what her role was in this situation? If none, then no, she should not be forced to resign, but the officers involved should definitely be terminated. If she gave the order, I hope she is arrested. Or perhaps she and the officers should be sprayed as well. Wikipidia describes the effects of pepper spray as follows:
"Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent. It causes immediate closing of the eyes, difficulty breathing, runny nose, and coughing. The duration of its effects depends on the strength of the spray but the average full effect lasts around thirty to forty-five minutes, with diminished effects lasting for hours."
The video shows the spray to have been quite strong, some of the protesters having been taken to the hospital for treatment. The officers stated that they felt their safety was in danger. Really? At what point? When everyone sat down? There are no words.
I recently wrote an article on Broowaha entitled "Stepping out of the Box", which discussed our complacency with the state of our countries, and how I wish we'd all stand up to make change happen. I've also hinted at some point that I felt like the change that was required to turn our countries around would cause a civil war.
EVERYONE knows it's a free country. EVERYONE'S heard the "dream" story.
Well, the dream is being gobbled up by the big businesses that control the government.
And if you try to protest against it, you will be brutalized.
PS: Much of my information came from a CNN article, check it out if you're looking for more details.