The pepper spraying of students at the University of California at Davis has given new meaning to work of OWS supporters. As a society we have moved from people shouting, banging on drums to police swinging into action in order to quell these activities. In so doing, the police enhance the power of protesters and compel institutions to raise questions concerning their personal values. University of California head, Mark Yudoft, responded with fury to the sight of campus police pepper spraying students. “Free speech is part of the DNA of this university and non-violent protest is central to our history. It is a value we must protect with vigilance.”
The campus head of security, Annette Spicuzza has been placed on administrative leave. In one sense the spraying has served a purpose for student protesters because it forced police to make the mistake of using violence. The essence of what Martin Luther King espoused is by acting non-violent I provoke forces of power to act with violence,and in the end society will support those who refuse to be violent.
Students have won.