The Power of Silence – Occupy UC Davis

By Mickey Friedman
November 20, 2011

Red Crow’s Bill Shein has written and spoken often of the power of nonviolent protest. The students at University of California, Davis have offered a new and inspirational example.

Take a moment to review recent events at UC Davis.

In the spirit of suppression that has swept the nation, in decision after decision to use police power to disrupt largely non-violent citizen occupations, the Chancellor of UC Davis inexplicably invited police to break up a peaceful demonstration of students expressing support for other occupations, including UC Berkeley.

Here’s the horrifying video of what is clearly out-of-control police:


And from another angle:


UC Davis Assistant Professor Nathan Brown from the Department of English reminds us of what is best about of American universities:

Here is a portion of his letter to the Chancellor:

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Read the entire letter here:

And now, to those who wonder whether the Occupy Movement will be successful, we say watch this.


Perhaps without even knowing about the student demonstrators of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee – the brave SNCC students who fifty years ago occupied the segregated lunch counters of the south – they are recreating today’s version of the movement.



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