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Occupy demonstrations have been a somewhat peaceful trend. However, students protesting at the University of California, Davis were doused with pepper spray by campus officers. According to Linda Katehi, UC Davis’ chancellor, Thursday night, the protestors were asked to leave the Quad area. This space, central to the campus, would be closed over the weekend.
“Driven by our concern for the safety and health of the students involved in the protest, as well as other students on our campus, I made the decision not to allow encampments on the Quad during the weekend, when the general campus facilities are locked and the university staff is not widely available to provide support,” Katehi said in her letter.
However, many of the protestors did not leave the area. By afternoon, campus police had arrived. In order to disperse the students gathered on the Quad, police used pepper spray, said the letter. Since the events on Friday, Katehi has assigned a “task force” of faculty, students and staff to “review the events and provide to me a thorough report within 90 days,” said the letter.
Two campus police officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement released by Katehi. The names of the two individuals have not been released. “Through this letter, I express my sadness for the events of past Friday and my commitment to redouble our efforts to improve our campus and the environment for our students,” as Katehi ended the note.
As the New York Times reported, students were able to broadcast the events of the protests through Internet sites. Students shared pictures over social media sites and videos over sites such as YouTube.
Some of the sites feature documents for visitors to sign to show their support of the protestors. Believers in the cause could also donate money and tents, according to the New York Times article. Occupy protests began on New York City’s Wall Street in September. The group stressed the “99 percent,” a reference to the growing gap between the rich and poor in the country.
Since then, many other branches of Occupy protests have sprung up along the nation, even inspiring some countries and cities within them to model similar protests. Occupy initiatives have also been in England, Chile and Jordan, among many other countries.
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