Yesterday I posted a "this is a feminist issue because..." on Police Brutality against UCDavis students . Here's a follow-up about how the students organized and engaged in a powerful collective act of non-violent resistance to the administration's (mainly Chancellor Katehi's) decision to call in the police and use pepper-spray and other violent tactics. Here's a video of their action:
And here's a description/discussion of the action from an anonymous letter (posted here):
And something remarkable happened at Davis tonight. I've been watching the live streams and following the blogs since late this afternoon. It was a very important moment.
Chancellor Katehi was preparing to give a news conference to take another crack at spinning this story and controlling the growing, viral character it has acquired.UC Davis students showed up in large numbers to this conference, and were kept out of the small building (Surge 2, for those who know the campus) for lack of press passes (ha ha). They surrounded the building and their numbers grew over several hours to over 1000 student protesters. Reports came that Chancellor Katehi was afraid to leave and go through the student protesters, or even that she was being kept from leaving, as if it were a hostage situation. Cops were *not* summoned, however -- or at least they were kept back. UC Davis appears to have learned at least a tactical lesson already.Through patient OWS style organizing, worked out over dozens of mic checks, they arranged to clear a wide path, determined that they would be silent and respectful when she came out, and sent word that they were not keeping her hostage in the building, just there to call for her resignation. Hours went by as the situation got more and more tense, but the students showed remarkable discipline and organization as their numbers kept growing. Finally, they negotiated with Chancellor Katehi's people and she left the building to walk to her taxpayer-paid $70,000
Lexus SUV[buick] with one aide. The students maintained *absolute, total order and silence* -- really, not a word -- and stood aside, except for the couple of journalists asking her questions on the livestream feed. It was eerie and powerful and Chancellor Pepper Spray was clearly feeling the shame of a thousands of eyes on her around the nation (the livestreams were overloaded as they were joined by students across California and then the nation).
What questions does this raise for you about feminist organizing and resistance against/in/with the academy? About the limits and possibilities of feminist education in the University?