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We are the 99 percent

Santa Monica Students Attacked By Campus Police

Posted 10 years ago on April 4, 2012, 12:08 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Yesterday, hundreds of students from Santa Monica College gathered outside a Board of Trustees meeting to disrupt planned tuition increases and preferential treatment for students who are able to pay more at their school. During the demonstration, around 30 students were pepper sprayed by campus police forces. Students say there was no warning for this unprovoked attack. Even though no one was arrested and there were no reports of violent behavior on the part of the peaceful protesters, two people were taken to a hospital after one officer indiscriminately sprayed into the crowd. Officials at the college are ¨investigating¨ the incident.



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[-] 4 points by brochomsky (208) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

I don't think shouting things like "shame on you" or anything antagonistic like that is a good tactic anymore. Even though these police actions are pretty shameful.

[-] 0 points by TruthRightsFreedom (259) 10 years ago

Have we ever seen a good tactic from occupy? No.

All the tactics implimented are used by police to justify such attacks.

The notion that complaining can be effective is soooooooooo erroneous. Only unity under the US constitution for an Article V convention can have an effect. OWS would rather see us slaves than use logical, legal strategy to create lawful and peaceful revolution.

[-] 3 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 10 years ago

What rug will this investigation be swept under?

[-] 3 points by Pandemic (6) 10 years ago

I'm not trying to fan flames, just to understand your movement. When did people stop looking at the prosperous and want to be prosperous too? When did they start looking at the prosperous and saying "You Owe Me"? Someone mentioned the American Revolution. That was fought so that individuals could prosper. They didn't want anything handed to them. When I look at OWS I see a lot of people with $500 phones that want their service for free. People who mistreat their bodies in any way they want but want their health insurance for free. The only way that the internet could be free is if it was government run. Ask China how that is working out for them. I welcome comments because I am not trying to be combative. Just trying to satisfy curiosity.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 10 years ago

Not everybody pursues their goals by wanting to be like someone else. Perhaps this is the direction you've chosen in life, or perhaps you are prosperous and want people to envy you. Most people just want to live their own lives and pursue their own goals, and aren't too concerned about envying others.

But its become harder and harder for people to attain even reasonable goals, because a parasitical oligarchy continues to suck more and more opportunity out of the system. This has been going on for a long time, in many different countries during different historical periods. Its time to put a stop to it, once and for ever.

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 10 years ago

It has occurred to me that if free land bases were available to every American that needs or wants them that people would not need to work at wage jobs but could grow their own food supply, build modest housing and complete necessary work to maintain these basics within 3 hours per person per day. Then they could spend the rest of their time educating each other for free without the distraction of corporate jobs for money to get those things at a very much higher cost.

This data is important to the solution; The United States of America has a land mass of 3,717,813 square miles; the US government holds and controls around 30% of that land and buys more each year. That is equivalent to 1,115,344 square miles and is equal to the combined land masses of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, New Zealand, Ireland, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, and Bermuda. There are no shortage of resources in this country, there is only hoarding of resources to create the appearance of scarcity. We must get use of American land to be the birthright of every American. That will create security, stability and viability in the population.

[-] 2 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 10 years ago

I appreciate your question and will do my best to answer in a way that connects the student dissent with the ideals of the larger movement.

Many people still believe the lie of the American Dream. In this country, more and more power and money are being centralized into the hands of very few, while the rest of us work our entire lives as wage slaves to try and maintain a standard of living. Here's a little bullet-point logic:

-California collects the most revenue of any state. By a lot.

-The (public) state university system is underfunded by the representatives in the California state government.

University spending: $3.04 billion per year 2001 = .2% of 2001 state GDP

$2 billion per year 2012 = .09% of 2012 state GDP

-Tuition has quadrupled in the last 10 years, and they plan to increase it by at least another 40% over the next 4 years.

-Californians pay taxes, and in exchange they expect a certain standard of services. Their elected officials have chosen to undermine their wishes to have affordable public education, as expressed by an amendment to the California state constitution passed by voters in 1988 that specifically mandates that educational funding grow each year with the economy and the number of students. Lawmakers suspended that requirement in 2011 and 2012, instead choosing to let universities fund themselves through bond sales and tuition hikes.

-The result of this is that even though the California state educational system has historically been one of the 'great equalizers', where anybody who was willing to work hard and get the same degree as the son of their Congressman, enrollment is now limited to the privileged few that can afford it.

-This November, the governor will ask the voters of California to approve several increases in fees and taxation to get the state another $7 billion in annual revenue, paid for by all the citizens.

When a system is paid for by 100% of the population, but the only ones who reap the benefits are the wealthiest 1%, that is an Occupy problem.

When the government specifically disregards the will of it's citizens while taxing them to death, that is an Occupy problem.

The people of the state of California aren't looking at the prosperous and saying "You Owe Me". They are looking at their elected officials who manage the HUGE budget that is garnered from the taxes of ALL Californians and saying that they want their representatives to do their jobs. These people have paid for the university system, time and time again. They voted in an amendment mandating educational funding. Their voices aren't heard by their elected representatives or the governing bodies of the university system.

They aren't just protesting a tuition hike. They are protesting a fairness deficit.

Is it clearer now?

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 10 years ago

The Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

In truth there has been only a pretence of equality since this whole game called "America" began. Native Americans were not equal and were genocided and enslaved and their lands were stolen by us, women were not equal and were allowed no say in what happened in their government, blacks were not equal but were stolen from their families and made to work for free on the lands of rich white men that made the rules. Landless folks were not permitted to vote or have a voice in government. The edict that "all men are created equal" has been a farce from the beginning and we see the legacy of that today through the culmination of centuries of enforcement of the reality that the poor are never equal and have no rights to the land and the resources that they need to survive. Only when it is the birthright of every American to a fair share of the land and resources they need to be self sustaining will we have a nation of equal and truly free men and women.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 10 years ago

For one thing, the movement is very diverse, so I speak only for myself and not as a representative. I'm a huge fan of FDR's proposed Second Bill of Rights. It's basically the right of every human to be able to make a living. http://youtu.be/3EZ5bx9AyI4

I have a "brick phone" that doesn't work half the time. I have a four-year degree, because I was the one lucky bastard who scored a full ride scholarship. I work hard and care about my students. I eat my fruits and vegetables- though if they're picked off the vine too early in Argentina or pumped full of chemicals it may not matter much in the end. I pay for my health insurance and break even every month, literally watching the zero line the last week before my paycheck. I often have to borrow money from my sibling and pay them back.

I'm not a lazy person, and yet still I cannot "make it." I have no room in my life for dreams, like wanting to travel to other countries or save for a future that might include a family. I only have room in my life for survival. I just don't get it, so that's why I'm here.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 10 years ago

Its a terrible thing if a teacher cannot make it in our society. Have you ever watched Youtube videos about the educational system in Finland? If not, just go to Youtube and search for "Finland education". You'll hear a remarkable story and may get some ideas about how things could be done better here in America.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 10 years ago

Thanks. I will look into this for sure.

[-] 3 points by Karieland (4) 10 years ago

Having read the comments, I feel the need to suggest that perhaps reading the Constitution again might be a good idea. We have the right to peacefully protest. This apparently means different things to different people. If we continue to "protest" by sitting quietly in a room and allowing the process to happen, what have we gained? If we can protest without being physically violent and interrupt the process, we are thereby, not allowing it to continue to impose further negative policies to impact the lives of Americans.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 10 years ago

I agree. Thank you for saying this.

[-] 0 points by TruthSeekerCA (2) 10 years ago

I think it depends what you mean by "peaceful" protest. If you listen to accounts by students and attendees from the event, you'd hear it was not about being peaceful at all. It was creating a disruption and for some people about provoking the police into an altercation.

If you have ever been to a rally where the crowd surges forward? It can be pretty scary. And at the end of the day you are talking about a $108 class now costing $540. I don't know about you but $2700 a semester sounds like a really good deal to me regardless of the pay hike.

[-] 2 points by AllOverIt (100) 10 years ago

You seem to be ignoring the "protest" part of the phrase peaceful protest. If a bunch of people show up and say nothing to express their displeasure then the folks holding the event might well think they are there to support the actions being taken.

[-] 2 points by jimevanhoe1 (55) 10 years ago

As Wall Street steals our futures, we lose the ability to progress as an individual, family or a Country. Failed leadership from Obama & Congress. Romney and Obama in the pockets of Wall Street for millions of dollars, millions. Obama never convicted one criminal from Wall Street for the largest securities fraud in World History, Wall Street con men like Goldman-Sachs, AIG and the ratings companies stole Trillions world wide. Romney says he won't tell who his backers are, yet we all know there former executives from Lehman Bros. and the Cult of Mormons. Time to send them packing, time to demand they all step down from power. Time to fight, they use weapons we use the biggest weapon, US, we are the 99% the majority we have the numbers, millions and millions, Baby Boomers to Young Adults, millions who have no job 20 million, and 20 million high school and college kids who can't find jobs after school to support themselves, they may never be able to reach their goals......SO LETS MARCH, a March on Washington DC and close it down for good. With 10 million marchers covering DC rotating in and out of DC until they all Step Down. Close Washington Down for Good!

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 10 years ago

I believe it is equally important to create a new culture in place of the old one. This government will wither like a neglected potted plant if we stop feeding it what it needs to survive. What is important is to stabilize the 99% people and ensure a base of support that provides shelter, food and health care as the very minimum. We should be creating free, self sustaining eco villages throughout the country whereever we can make them; in cities, in suburbs, in the country. Get people to give unused land to support this. Create local food supplies everywhere. If people can't access food they can be bought by the corporations and the government with handouts of wage slavery and food stamps or war jobs.

[-] 2 points by Key71 (4) 10 years ago

I'm not even going to pick on certain events or actions by differing parties to say what I need. I'm a 53yo man in the US for whom things are still pretty good, and I believe they are getting better. Journeyman Electrician, Journey Carpenter, Former US Marine 4yr Honarble. I'm Liberal on some ideas, Conservative on others, and on most, I either disregard or take close to heart for consideration. In the case of Occupy, seem stuck doing both. In favor of US Capitalism, it's worked unbeleivably for me so far; but I'm a middle-aged combat-era-Veteran for whom society+education have bestowed these benefits. I've earned all this shit myself, but I do worry at times about those who just can't pull it off. In favor of Occupy, I don't know what you believe in, but I'm here to say, "This country & world has gone Bat-Shit Crazy for money over anything... anything... Anything. That disturbs me. I wish I could say anger, but like some people, waking up takes time. Many of you protesting may wonder why a Marine or Police Officer would even care for you out there; and let me say; Waking up takes time. Waking up takes time, whether it 10 seconds or a decade or two. Will we wake up in time?

[-] 1 points by AllOverIt (100) 10 years ago

We started using 20% more resources than the earth can regenerate back in the late 1990s. The world has added nearly 1 billion more people since then. Americans use 12.5 units of resources in a world where the average available units are 2.5, yet we are only 5% of the population. We must rethink how we live and move to a viable paradigm or like yeast in a bottle of sugar water we will consume everything in sight and then die in our own waste. The question seems to be how do we get the comfortable to be uncomfortable enough to be willing to help shift the paradigm? Thus, the Occupy movement.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

free education

[-] 2 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 10 years ago

I respect that the vice-chair of the university opened the meeting by assuring that she wanted to make sure that the students were safe.

I find it very troubling that AGAIN the only people who have been hurt are victims of police brutality. It seems like the obvious way to keep students safe on campus would be to remove the 'crowd control' weapons from campus police forces. It has become painfully obvious that the campus police enjoy hurting peaceful protesters and do it capriciously, as if for their own personal amusement.

I will be watching this investigation to find out how sincere the board of trustees is in their desire to protect the students. I worry that if university administrations and city governments do nothing to stem the tide of unilateral police violence, people will have no choice but to respond with violence. When peaceful protests are met with unreasonable displays of force, you're a lot more likely to run out of peace before you run out of protest.

[-] 2 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

"if university administrations and city governments do nothing to stem the tide of unilateral police violence, people will have no choice but to respond with violence. When peaceful protests are met with unreasonable displays of force, you're a lot more likely to run out of peace before you run out of protest."

Got that right Hippie.


[-] 1 points by jimevanhoe1 (55) 10 years ago

LA LA we love LA,

To save LA, California and the Nation, we need to start registering millions of new Voters and those that have given up......some 4 million can be registered before the General Election, which is in 7 months, but we must start NOW.

IT is time to throw the bums out, ALL of them, Democrats and the GOP. Their failures warrant expulsion We are where we are today, because of their failure to lead correctly, through honest government, not their own self greed or Wall Street's.

It is time to move on breaking up the Monopolies of Walmart, Exxon, Microsoft, GE, Boeing, Halliburton, Intel, P&G, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and especially Goldman-Sachs. Their deliberate greed has destroyed this Country under the leaders they put in to power:

The Bush failures Sr Bush...Recession 1988,89,89,90,91 - real estate collapse JR Bush..Depression 2008,09,10,11,12 - real estate collapse "Like Father Like Son" and they backed Obama and he has proven to be incompetent even when He, Pelosi and Reid had total control of the Presidency, the House and Senate, their failures will be their history and our death, unless we remove ALL of them and break up the Monopolies.

We have to do this Ourselves, so get your friends and those you meet to VOTE, Register TO VOTE NOW............we only have 7 months to go.

Throw out the GOP & the Democrats...throw out the failure.


[-] 1 points by jimevanhoe1 (55) 10 years ago

Close Washington Down.........99% we are the majority

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 10 years ago

WTF is going on in California? What's worse, these aren't even real cops, they're fucking rent-a-cops.

[-] 1 points by sdg (2) 10 years ago

I go to this school. The police who work there have always been friendly and respectful of personal rights. The crowd that was sprayed was not only pushing and verbally berating the officers, but had them backed into a corner as well. The only reason the cop maced the crowd was because the crowd actually knocked him off of his feet and were trying to force themselves into the room.

This article is terribly misleading, and as an actual student who is involved in these events I would beg that people become further informed on this issue, and I would be happy to help.

[-] -2 points by po6059 (72) 10 years ago

ows and msm has no interest in the truth,...........it doesn't fit their template or agenda.

[-] 1 points by Bighead1883 (285) 10 years ago

The felon has to be prosecuted for multiple assaults using an offensive weapon.Bring it on,once these types of charges are commenced this activity will curtail.Police won`t charge them?,do it via the civil court.There must be enough OWS lawyers to get this one up and running.

[-] 1 points by publiclobbyist (10) 10 years ago

How soon we forget that we'd be eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper if we had not expressed our ire in the only way that could have been effective against the redcoats. Tuition increases know no bounds, and you can bet that when the money's not coming out of their pockets, officials will see to it that their standard of living is maintained. More power to students everywhere--no sweet-talking will ever lower the disparity.

The official was to blame for the situation because of her choice of a small room--chosen, probably in an attempt to limit dissenting views.



[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 10 years ago

I wonder how many of these cops who so easily pull the trigger on pepper spray have been sprayed themselves? Do they know how it feels? Have they felt that kind of pain? Or are they desensitized to the horrors that they are perpetrating?

I think that any elected official who wishes to use these "crowd suppression" weapons should receive training where they are subjected to the weapons. Make them feel the pain, and they'll think twice about the consequences of their actions.

[-] 3 points by Pandemic (6) 10 years ago

every cop has to be pepper sprayed during traing.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

Pandemic is right as far as I know. That means they damned well know they are inflicting real pain and some serious risk to health as well. They don't act as though they are human when they do this sort of thing.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 10 years ago

I stand corrected. Still, its a damn shame that for some of these people they become less-than-human once they don those blue shirts.

[-] 1 points by ShubeLMorgan2 (1088) from New York, NY 10 years ago

IMHO it's not only the most aggressive ones. It's their buddies too who stand there and don't protect the rights of the people. Accomplices.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 10 years ago

The chair of the meeting said that the students were not interested in listening at all. She said they spoke for 4 hours and couldn't be heard at all. Also, are you saying that provided there is warning, that pepper spraying is OK? You know that is a disengenuous statement. If there was a warning, then you'd be saying there wasn't a second warning. There were reports that the crowd was becoming unruly and a couple of officers were being cornered inside the meeting room by more students coming in. A lot of angry people inside a closed environment is very dangerous. Why is it that the only people that supposedly have a duty to act in a responsible way and "protect" others are the officers? Why is there not a duty on the part of students to act responsibly and try and have a civil dialogue. Because they're mad? Everyone's mad. I'm mad my son didn't get enough playing time in his basketball game last night. Am I going to go scream and protest at the coach's house? No. I'm going to tell my son he needs to make the distinction in his talent obvious to the coach. Bottom line is, there is a procedure for protesting, making inquiries, requesting a meeting, follow up, etc. There is no reason why that room needed to be invaded by these students.


[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 10 years ago

Let me see if I got this right - the reason for them to gather outside a Board of Trustees meeting is to "disrupt" planned tuition increases and preferential treatment for students who are able to pay more at their school.

And let me see if I have this correct - No one was arrested and no reports of violent behavior on the part of the "peaceful protesters".

What you posted doesn't make any sense - disrupting a meeting and being peaceful in doing this.

How is "disrupting" a meeting "peaceful"? It isn't and it's stuipid to think that it is peaceful when in fact people are interfering with people doing a job.

[-] -3 points by biggoldenstatefan (-2) 10 years ago

someone need to go to the police officers home and pepper spray their wife and kids in the face, can someone from Anonymous hack the Santa Monica police dept database and get their home address or where their kids go to school and go to their kids school and mace them in the face. as well as don't believe all of this talk of "public safety concerns " that is just more disinformation in order for law enforcement to try and cover their tracks and actions in the long run!

[-] 2 points by proudofOKC (361) 10 years ago

This must remain peaceful, despite everything that has happened. We cannot give the government an excuse to use live rounds on protesters- killing us!

We cannot escalate the situation with violence or people will die. We must continue the movement with solidarity, unity, and nonviolence.