An otherwise peaceful day of protest was marred by a spate of violence at a Seattle May Day protest. Protesters dressed in "Black-Bloc" clothing smashed windows on Capitol Hill, bottles were thrown at police officers who in turn used pepper spray, and blast balls -- a small firework-like device that creates a flash and a modest dose of pepper spray when they would not disperse.
A total of 11 adults and two juveniles were arrested for assault or property damage.
Under the settlement, UC agreed to pay $30,000 to each of the 21 plaintiffs, $100,000 to be split among 15 other individuals and $250,000 for their attorneys.
The Nov. 18, 2011, incident prompted national outrage, angry campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.
Images of a police officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The settlement also calls for the University of California to set aside $100,000 to pay other individuals who can prove they were arrested or pepper-sprayed during the protest of tuition hikes and police brutality. The university would also give the ACLU up to $20,000 for its work reviewing free speech and protest policies at UC Davis.
In the wake of Occupy Broadway's success and the failure of "The Big Bank" musical initiative comes the screaming-to-go-viral "Occupy West Side Story." Though perhaps less ambitious than its predecessors, this hilarious clip takes aim at NYPD Deputy Inspector Edward J. WInski (who replaced the infamous Tony Baloney) by overdubbing a classic scene from the 1961 film with new lyrics. The result is an entertaining and powerful expression of why occupiers are in the streets, how the economy collapsed, and the sad ironies surrounding the police brutality that the movement has suffered (and, it could be said, benefitted from as well). As one stanza states, "Gee, Officer Winski, please put down your mace/Your checks are paid by citizens you punch in the face/Your pension’s been stolen, and nobody cares/Deep down inside we know you’re scared."
"Consistent with privacy guidelines established in state law and university policy, I can confirm that John Pike's employment with the university ended on July 31, 2012," Shiller said. "I'm unable to comment further."
Pike, 39, declined to comment when reached by The Bee as he was sitting in a meeting on campus where he said he was being terminated.
Pike's 2010 salary was listed as $110,243.12. He has been on paid leave since the debacle unfolded last year, sparking worldwide outrage, numerous investigations and calls for the resignation of UC Davis leaders.
A police shooting that left a man dead led to a near-riot Saturday as angry witnesses threw bottles at officers who responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds.
The man was shot around 4 p.m. in front of an apartment complex on the 600 block of North Anna Drive following a foot chase, Anaheim Sgt. Bob Dunn said. He died three hours later at a hospital.
Said Susan Lopez, “I had my baby with me. My baby! The dog scratched me and then grabbed me.” She added, “They shot at me while I was holding a baby!” Another woman yelled, “They just shot at us, they shot at a little kid, too.”
According to police, two patrol officers observed three male suspects in an alley.
Police said the suspects tried to flee on foot when a chase ensued.
Four people claimed that police offered to buy their cell phone video.
Members of Occupy Los Angeles say that recent efforts to clean the "skid row" area of the city are actually a ploy to eventually rid the area of its homeless population, so that a powerful group of lobbyists can begin efforts to help their clients realize plans to redevelop the area into profitable businesses.The CCA is a business group that lobbies city and state government to grease the wheels for development in downtown LA. They represent local businesses, as well as large corporations, such as Chevron, Walmart, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Bank of America .
Police say that any property not placed in the city provided storage facility during the cleaning operations must be mobile, and kept moving all day long, until the one of the Injunctions kicks in at 9pm and people are allowed to sleep. At 6am, they must begin moving around again until the night. You can hear police explain in the video above "You cannot return to where you were, and you cannot stay where you are now." Come 9pm, the homeless have to find a new spot to sleep for the night because they are not allowed to return to the "cleaned" areas, and then each day the process begins again.
Occupy Los Angeles, LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, and Occupy Skid Row have all kept a presence in the area to protest the efforts of CCA, with Occupy LA reporting over this past weekend. From Occupy LA's website:
First thoughts written last night: ”4 Arrests in Midnight LAPD Raid on CCA Siege – Occupy Los Angeles – three of my best friends and roommates, and an unknown 4th man ARRESTED. Charges unknown. Police orchestrated tactical raid with 25+ cops, pepper spray out and batons were swinging. Captain Frank (at a compañera’s trial yesterday) pointed at her and said, “Don’t I know you?”. Another police officer told a fifth occupier that “You’re getting arrested tomorrow.”
I couldn’t move, trapped inside a tent and seeing silhouettes of gum-chewing cops, fidgety and in war-mode. LAPD’s true colors emerging.
You want to talk targeted kidnappings and terror? Cops were laughing as they pushed and hit us. Laughing as they sent 3 snatch squads and took my friends in the dead of night.”
We’re traumatized and enraged. Three of my roommates were snatched by LAPD last night. Bails are $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000…. they’ve been some of the most visible organizers with the siege on the Central City Association (1%’s lobby here in Los Angeles) for nearly a month. They have all been harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and arrested by the LAPD before. They have all been occupying for months and are inspiring in their defiance and rejection of the oppressive status quo.
The arrests began over alleged chalk drawings, despite the 9th circuit court decision of Mackinney vs. Neilson that states, “No chalk would damage a sidewalk.”
Since May 29, occupiers and homeless advocates have camped out each night in front of the CCA’s offices in downtown, as part of an ongoing “siege” protest that was originally only meant to last seven days. The action was coordinated by Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Skid Row and the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
Obviously, occupiers, who would prefer government to be free of corporate influences, are ideologically opposed to the lobby group. In fact, one could say the CCA is Occupy LA’s local archenemy.
Heather Meyer, an occupier who has been camping out in front of the CCA, said the lobby is “behind everything that is oppressive.” She cites as an example the groups opposition to the recently passed “Responsible Banking” ordinance, which requires banks doing business with the city to turn over information on loans and foreclosure activity and making it readily available to the public.
“They are the lobbyists for the one percent,” she said. “They are the epitome of money in politics.”
The CCA has done more than support bankers to irritate occupiers. The CCA also successfully opposed community efforts to block the construction of a Walmart in Chinatown. They helped kill a city ordinance that would have required hotels to keep their employees 90 days after a change of hotel ownership, according to their website.
As further evidence of the power the lobbyists at CCA wield, the report cites CCA announcing their intentions earlier this year to further lobby for more police resources for the skid row area. The LAPD soon after announcing 40 more officers being sent in to patrol despite there only being a “minor uptick in reported crime” in a neighborhood that “still reports some of the lowest crime levels in the city,” according to the Downtown News.
To explain the decision to respond so strongly to a minor uptick in crime, the LAPD stated:
In recent months, the department has been fielding more complaints from residents and businesses about aggressive panhandling and people sleeping on the sidewalk during the day, he said.
“We are having an increase in quality of life issues and we don’t want to lose any ground that we’ve gained in that area,” Perez said. “We want to stop the problem before it explodes. We’re just being proactive in our analysis and response to the area and understanding it.”
Interestingly enough, it sounds as if the increase in complaints began around the time CCA announced it would begin lobbying for more police...
If you continue to read the Downtown News article, it really does a great job of making skid row sound bad. I've seen it, it's a depressing and disturbing area that seems like you've crossed some great divide into an undeveloped nation. So many people with nowhere else to call home. Then it finishes with a quote from CCA's CEO:
“There hasn’t been an area in the entire county of Los Angeles that has not benefited from making Downtown come alive,” said Schatz. “When people are sleeping on the streets… it affects our ability to continue to attract investment and continue to make this Downtown thrive.”
As I read that quote, it didn't sound to me as if what happens to the people of skid row was a priority, or even a concern at all.
I'll keep you posted on any updates on the situation.
[Caution: Most if not all of the videos in this post contain strong adult language that may not be suitable for work.]
Occupy Seattle attacked and pepper sprayed by the Police
May 1st: Occupy Seattle protestors were at the city's Terminal 18 port when, according to many witnesses, the cops formed a line with horses and bikes and started hitting the crowd to push us them off of the road. One of the cops took out his canister of pepper spray and started spraying people.
May Day Mayhem in Seattle
Anarchists damaged the old federal courthouse in Seattle near Sixth Avenue and Madison Street.
Occupy San Francisco, May 1st 2012
Filmed outside 1 Montgomery Street at Market Street.
San Francisco PD push protesters into street, later drive motorcycles through group without warning.
Filmed on May 1st, 2012 at Occupy San Francisco's General Strike.
Annette M. Spicuzza, the embattled UC Davis police chief who came under fire in last week's report on what led to the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident on campus, has decided to retire, according to an email statement received by The Bee today.
"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this.
"As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."
Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike, who pepper-sprayed UC Davis students participating in a non-violent protest on campus have both been on paid leave while internal affairs conducted an investigation of the incident.
Last week, a task force issued a report blaming the incident on poor planning, communication and decision-making at all levels of the school's administration.
The report was especially critical of Chief Spicuzza, Lt. Pike and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.
Santa Monica police were called in to secure the perimeter of the building. College President Chui Tsang said the small boardroom wasn't able to accommodate all of the students who wanted to speak and that an adjacent room had been provided for the overflow.
"We expected some students, but we didn't expect that big of a crowd with such enthusiasm," Tsang said.
When the meeting resumed, most of the students were allowed to address trustees from an adjoining room. Many urged the board to find other solutions to maintain access.
"This is a Band-Aid on a gushing wound and will not be a sustainable solution," said Parker Jean, 19, a political science major.
Board Chair Margaret Quinones-Perez announced at the end of the comment period that the college would pay medical bills for any students who suffered injuries during the disturbance.
Capt. Judah Mitchell of the Santa Monica Fire Department told NBC News that up to 30 people had been sprayed, five of whom sought treatment for the effects of the spray and were transported to nearby hospitals.
Priscillia Omon, 21, claimed a police officer fired the spray into the mouths and eyes of people standing arm's length away, NBC Los Angeles reported. She said a family, including a 4 year old, were in the crowd when the officer used the pepper spray.
"They were trying to silence our voices by not allowing students access to this supposedly open forum," Omon told the station.
However, Mitchell said a mother and young child were not among those treated for the effects of pepper spray.