The above video of the UC Davis protests has been making its way around the internet. It is incredibly troubling in its depiction of police brutality against non-violent college-aged protesters. Brian Stelter at the NYTimes has a solid overall summary of the impact of this video in the media, and the current situation at UC Davis. James Fallows’ words at The Atlantic ring true to me:
Let’s stipulate that there are legitimate questions of how to balance the rights of peaceful protest against other people’s rights to go about their normal lives, and the rights of institutions to have some control over their property and public spaces. Without knowing the whole background, I’ll even assume for purposes of argument that the UC Davis authorities had legitimate reason to clear protestors from an area of campus — and that if protestors wanted to stage a civil-disobedience resistance to that effort, they should have been prepared for the consequence of civil disobedience, which is arrest.
I can’t see any legitimate basis for police action like what is shown here.
Finally, be sure to read Alexis Madrigal’s analysis, as well as Digby’s piece on the historical antecedents.