Dear Chancellor Katehi,
My name is Erin White and I live in Melbourne, Australia.
There is a short sentence at the top of the website I am writing this letter to you on. It reads “Please share your thoughts with UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi”. Ms Katehi, I don’t write to you today to share my thoughts with you, even though I have many of them.
I write to you today to seek YOUR thoughts on what happened this week to students at the University of California, Davis. As I understand it, the students had set up a tent village in the quad at the university of which you are the Chancellor, in peaceful solidarity with their brothers and sisters at UC Berkeley who were beaten by police last week.
There are plenty of videos on YouTube and photographs circulating on the internet that show what happened next, after you ordered police to break up the occupation, so I won’t go into too much detail. It is sufficient to say that after you ordered police onto campus, the students decided to peacefully resist any police action. They were sitting down, arms linked, when police Lieutenant John Pike deployed pepper spray into their faces at point blank range. When the students didn’t break their formation, they were dragged away, held down, and had their mouths held open while police deployed pepper spray straight down their throats.
Is this what you stand for, as Chancellor of a public education facility? That the students in your care, when enacting their First Amendment rights, should be so viciously struck down by the very people employed to care for and protect them, both in body and mind? D
The Occupy Everywhere movement means what it says when it says “The whole world is watching”. I, and many other people in Melbourne, Australia have seen what happened at UC Davis this week, and I am sure people in many other remote cities across this planet have seen it too.
Is this standard practice when students on your campus are doing something that annoys you? As a Chancellor of one of the finest public universities in the United States, you are supposed to be contributing to the shaping and supporting of young minds, not quelling healthy, peaceful dissent with brutal force.
Your valued thoughts are hereby sought.
If you wish to find out what happened, you can do so here: http://inagist.com/KagroX/137792072513105920/
If you wish to contact Chancellor Katehi yourself, you can do so here: http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/contact.php