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.
The 10 hours and 35 minutes of video footage shot by the NYPD during the raid of Zuccotti Park that was released by Anonymous on Monday gives a more expansive view of what happened on the morning of November 15, 2011, albeit in a more sanitized form. Much of the footage, which also includes clips from the Duarte Square action and the re-opening of the park the following evening, is heavily edited, especially scenes that include arrests. Still, some of it is informative and contradicts the statements or positions made by city officials defending the raid, most notably, that Occupy's Library was dismantled and destroyed by Brookfield employees, and that reports of press harassment and arrests were part of a "myth."
The first four minutes of this footage shows protester Ted Hall giving a monologue as police in riot gear watch, but the remaining time shows police notifying Occupy's medical tent that they must leave. An officer tells the doctor on duty that he must leave, but that EMS will take care of his patients. The doctor declines, and refuses to leave his two patients. A long standoff ensues, as several officers believe that one of the protesters stole a scalpel. A nurse ensures them that they haven't. That nurse, "Nurse Jane," wrote about the experience here. She describes the medical tent as "the most amazing clinic I've ever worked in!"
Eventually, the tent is ripped by police knives, and everyone is forced out. Nurse Jane is seen speaking with another officer, explaining to him her concerns (11:40 mark), and notes that it doesn't help that there is a man filming her. "That would be me," the TARU officer from behind the camera replies.
The Gothamist has downloaded the footage into seven videos (including the one above) and breaks down each into note worthy events, you can view them all here.
Non-violent students at UC Davis protesting tuition hikes in November 2011 were sprayed with pepper-spray by campus police.
Everybody is now talking about the student debt crisis, but nothing is being done about it. Thanks in large part to the great public amplifier of the Occupy movement, this year’s presidential contenders have been forced to embrace student loan reform as a talking point in their respective campaigns. But the debt relief being pushed by the Obama administration is a token gesture, aimed at getting some traction on the youth vote–especially the more disillusioned or alienated student constituencies. Recent bills introduced in Congress–Student Loan Forgiveness Act (H.R. 4170) and the Private Student Bankruptcy Fairness Act (H.R. 2028)–have zero chance of passing in anything like their current form. Practically speaking, no reform program of any substance is on the legislative horizon, least of all one that would regulate the predatory lending practices of Wall Street banks.
The truth is that student debt relief is too important to be left to elected officials. They are chronically dependent on the financial backing of the lending industry, and are structurally incapable of addressing this crisis, let alone resolving it. As a result, reform initiatives such as Student Loan Justice and Forgive Student Debt (to Stimulate the Economy) that have been aimed at petitioning lawmakers have very little to show for all their hard effort. The recent federal modifications in payment schedules are micro-cosmetic compared to the sea-change that is required to free debtors of their intolerable burdens and rescue higher education from its increasing use as a profit engine for financiers, asset speculators, and real estate developers. The pathway to this outcome does not lie in futile pleas for economic reform, but through a political movement, driven by self-empowerment and direct action on the part of debtors.
The Occupy Student Debt Campaign was launched at Zuccotti Park in November 2011 with the goal of building a student debt abolition movement. Our campaign is based on principles for which we believe there is widespread support:
1) Free public education, through federal coverage of tuition fees.
2) Zero-interest student loans, so that no one can profit from them.
3) Fiscal transparency at all universities, public as well as private.
4) The elimination of current student debt, through a single act of relief.
These are interlocking principles, and should not stand on their own. Imagine a world in which lawmakers were to respond positively to the current calls for debt “forgiveness” (an unfortunate term that implies the debtor has sinned). Such a measure would offer much-needed relief, but it would still disadvantage future debtors if it were not complemented by remedies that brought to an end the practice of compelling students to privately fund higher education by going into debt bondage. So, too, a singular focus on reducing interest rates (even to zero) is more likely to encourage colleges to increase their fees than to open up equitable access to education.
Action meant to raise awareness of out-of-control student debt and prompt nationwide protest
NEW YORK - Relentless tuition hikes, even at public institutions, have contributed to an astonishing student debt burden of more than $1 trillion. Inspired by student movements over the last month in Canada, Mexico, Chile, and across the world, education activists in cities around the U.S. have been organizing rallies and marches to raise awareness about the education crisis in this country. All in the Red, a New York-based activist collective, is declaring this Friday, June 22 to be the “Night of the Living Debt.” At 7 p.m. in Washington Square Park, performance artists/activists Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping will exorcise the demons of student debt, after which costumed zombies will march with pots and pans in hand through the streets of Manhattan, kicking off a summer of nationwide actions.
All in the Red emerged as a series of marches expressing our solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of students striking in Quebec against tuition hikes. Lack of affordable education and suffocating debt are even more glaring in the United States, and similar displays of protest and outrage are becoming increasingly common. All in the Red calls for a nationwide network to spread awareness and organize around the issue of student debt through direct action, political theatre, and spreading the visual imagery of the red square, which has come to symbolize this struggle worldwide.
Along with our colleagues in Occupy Wall Street, student activist organizations, and other public interest groups, we are concerned in particular with the pernicious relationship between education and debt. The predicament is compounded, both by seeming disregard from the government for the welfare of student debtors, despite overwhelming public support for student debt relief -- a petition to forgive student loans recently reached one million signatures -- and also by the predatory practices of financial services firms. We can no longer allow the shackles of debt bondage to be a source of shame. The student debt crisis must be placed at the center of our conversation about the public good.
On the “Night of the Living Debt,” Friday evening, June 22, we will rise from the grave of debt and join the struggle to end the ties that bind our education to a decadent financial system. We will call for a nationwide conversation about how we can transcend an obsolete system that enriches a few by mortgaging the futures of the many.
Thirteen students attending six Cal State University campuses have announced that they will begin a hunger strike on Wednesday, and citing the failure of traditional routes to result in any dialogue to address their concerns about tuition and other issues.
Members of Students for Quality Education said Friday that the hunger strike will begin Wednesday and involve 13 students at the Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Bernardino campuses.
In addition to a five-year tuition freeze and administrative pay cuts, students are calling for more free speech rights on campus and the elimination of housing and car allowances for the system’s 23 campus presidents.
Speaking during a telephone news conference, several of the students said they decided on the fast after Chancellor Charles Reed and Board of Trustees Chairman A. Robert Linscheid failed to meet with them or adequately respond to their concerns.
“We’ve tried pretty much everything, and they just ignore us,” said Donnie Bessom, 27, a student at Cal State Long Beach. “We’ve talked to state legislators, written petitions, mobilized people on campus. The next step for us is in the tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience. They keep raising salaries and have those other luxuries, and we thought the symbolic nature of a hunger strike was appropriate to the crisis.”
Massive unrest is sweeping Quebec in Canada where 15,000 students have taken the streets. On Earth Day, they were joined by more than 300,000 protesters. A short film by Alex Pritz produced for the McGill Daily.
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.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, suffered a serious eye injury when shrapnel became lodged in his eye from flash-bang grenades fired by police at students during a protest over tuition fee hikes.
As many as 1,000 marched to the Loto-Quebec building on Wednesday, March 7th to protest college tuition hikes in Montreal. After students blocked the entrance to the building, that's when the police broke out the "non-lethal" weapons.
The video above seems to be a compilation of the events of that day, including later in the evening when students who were angry about the events earlier in the day returned and reportedly began smashing windows, spraying graffiti and overturning trash cans which was responded to with even more violent force from the police.
Montreal police will investigate after a 22-year-old man said his eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during Wednesday’s student protest over tuition fee hikes.
Francis Grenier, a student at Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, told CBC News from his hospital bed that he doesn't know if he'll regain vision in his right eye.
He underwent surgery overnight for a detached retina.
On Thursday, students, faculty and staff gathered at the US Santa Cruz campus entrance for an Occupy Education day protest against state budget cuts, and the increasing tuition costs in response to those cuts.Students blocked the main entrance, to permit only "pedestrians, bicyclists, emergency vehicles and those serving the disabled."
With campus administration's compassion and understanding for the student's concerns, both sides made keeping the protest peaceful a priority, and for the most part, it was.
Campus officials said there were no arrests or serious injuries, though at least one student hurt her head and knee when a vehicle attempted to drive through a blockade of demonstrators at the main entrance, an incident witnessed by a Sentinel reporter and the top campus official monitoring events, Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway.
Police said the Ford Mustang made contact with three other students as it rolled through the crowd, revving its engine a couple of times before plowing into the students. The Sentinel observed the car coming to a stop only after students jumped on the hood, banged on the windows and threw a hot-pink paint ball on the windshield.
Protesters were angry when the police released the driver pending an investigation and began shouting various crimes they felt he should be charged with, including attempted murder. The driver spoke with the Sentinel:
“You don't want to stop in the middle of the mob,” Biggs (the driver) said. “I told them, ‘You need to move and what you're doing isn't peaceful.'”
As a fourth-generation resident of Santa Cruz, he said he has grown tired of years of campus protests.
“All I've ever seen protesters do is cause havoc,” he said, calling them “terrorists” and adding, “They just want to be radical.”
He said closing down the campus made no sense because “People are just trying to go through their day, get to their jobs. They are taking away everyone else's freedom at that point.”
If plowing through a crowd of pedestrians isn't a "radical" reaction to being inconvenienced, I don't know what is.
Watch protesters disrupt UC Regents meeting with mic-checks where tuition hikes were planned to be discussed, per local news report. Students from UC Riverside, protesting today's Board of Regents meeting, were confronted by riot police later in the afternoon, with multiple reports via livestream indicating they were fired upon with rubber bullets and/or other projectiles.
Board chair Sherry Lansing told the students she was frustrated by their actions.
"If your sole intention is to disrupt the meeting, you have succeeded," she told the students. "If your intention, which I hope, is to have constructive dialogue ... you are welcome, and we wanted you to stay, but if you continue to chant, we can't do the business. We can't explore any of the options that you're talking about.
Outside the meeting, hundreds surrounded the Highlander Union Building, holding signs, beating drums and chanting.
The students inside the meeting eventually left, and officials say there were two arrests. The meeting resumed after about a 45-minute delay, but what was supposed to be an open meeting was closed to the public.
"We feel it's going good because we shut the meeting down like we wanted to. We want them to listen to us and open some dialogue," said Wesley Porter of the California Teachers Association. "They want to sit in board rooms and closed doors ... that's a problem for us."
UPDATE: NEW VIDEO OF STUDENT-POLICE CLASH:
This video has been posted from the scene at UC Riverside which shows much of the confrontation.
I can see at least two students who were fired upon by riot police, one who had to be carried to safety while other students try to tend to him. It seems likely that it was rubber bullets, but I can't be certain from the video.
Livestream of big protest outside University of California Regents meeting, major conflict. While things remained peaceful in the early afternoon, after the board members were escorted off campus, student amassed to continue their protest and were confronted by riot police – reportedly a mix of campus police and officers from the municipality – and were forced to disperse using projectiles that injured several protesters, according to livestream witnesses.