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College Students (And A 4-Year-Old) Pepper Sprayed Protesting Tuition Hike


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College Students (and a 4-Year-Old) Pepper Sprayed Protesting Tuition Hike

atlanticwire_232141.pngBy Dashiell Bennett | The Atlantic Wire – Wed, Apr 4, 2012

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A Board of Trustees meeting at Santa Monica City College turned chaotic on Tuesday night whenprotesting students were pepper sprayed, indoors, by police trying to control the unruly crowd. Among those caught in fracas was a four-year-old girl who was at the protest with her family and was hit in the face by the pepper spray.

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The college made national news recently when it announced a new tuition plan that would raise the prices of individual classes based on popularity, driving the cost of a class that would normally run around $46 a credit, to as much as $180 per credit per semester. That new plan was on the scheduled agenda for last night's public board meeting, prompting about 200 students to marched on the meeting. Unfortunately, the meeting was held in a room that only holds about 60 people, forcing most of the protesters into an overflow room. Those protesters then tried to force their way into the already crowded main room creating creating a wild scene in the narrow and crowded hallway outside. That's when campus police responded with the spray.

Roughly 30 people had to be treated for their injuries and two people had to be hospitalized. Twitter user Sarah Belknap was at the meeting and said she saw the young girl get sprayed in the face and that several people were nearly trampled in the chaos. Anyone whose ever been around pepper spray when it's use knows that it's generally something you never want to spray indoors, as there is no where for the noxious fumes to disperse. Several students also complained of rough treatment by the baton-wielding police.

The entire incident is a scene reminiscent of the spraying of seated students at an Occupy Wall Street protest at UC-Davis last year. In fact, it's almost hard to imagine a scene like this even happening were it not for the big rise in student activism and the revolution in organizing tactics that have come out of the Occupy movement. The students have clearly learned a lesson from that, but it doesn't seem like the authorities have.

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First and foremost, my issue is with a four year old being present at a protest that was inevitably going to be handled by law enforcement. What kind of a parent brings their children to a protest about college tuition hikes in the first place?? A negligent one, an irresponsible one but now the story will be all about those nasty coppers pepper spraying a four year old. Cue all the anti-cop babble. :rolleyes:

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It's amazing how tough you become once your well protected behind a badge and a weapon. Tough enough to attack a four year old and a group of college demonstrators.......and cops wonder why people don't want to cooperate with them, why people call them pigs, and why younger generations are becoming more and more rebellious towards law enforcement.

These people are not heroes, they are criminals with a gang mentality. They may have some good, honest individuals working within the police, however the system itself and the politics surrounding police and actual police work makes them as much of a burden on society as they are a service.

The RCMP, in the past 10 years, have done so many illegal and inexcusable things that I no longer have any support for them. They instigate, terrorize and beat on innocent civilians like a group of thugs. They constantly harass the public and go well beyond their legal rights in terms of things like, but definitely not limited to searches of persons and property. This same group has several of their own officers, dress up as "Black Block" and instigate thousands of dollars worth of damage during the Olympic and G8/G20 protests. Anyone remember when helmets first became 'the law' for cyclists? Handfuls of reports of police brutality towards cyclists, many of the officers were found in the wrong in those cases.

Racist Criminal Manic Pathetic

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It's amazing how tough you become once your well protected behind a badge and a weapon. Tough enough to attack a four year old and a group of college demonstrators.......and cops wonder why people don't want to cooperate with them, why people call them pigs, and why younger generations are becoming more and more rebellious towards law enforcement.

These people are not heroes, they are criminals with a gang mentality. They may have some good, honest individuals working within the police, however the system itself and the politics surrounding police and actual police work makes them as much of a burden on society as they are a service.

The RCMP, in the past 10 years, have done so many illegal and inexcusable things that I no longer have any support for them. They instigate, terrorize and beat on innocent civilians like a group of thugs. They constantly harass the public and go well beyond their legal rights in terms of things like, but definitely not limited to searches of persons and property. This same group has several of their own officers, dress up as "Black Block" and instigate thousands of dollars worth of damage during the Olympic and G8/G20 protests. Anyone remember when helmets first became 'the law' for cyclists? Handfuls of reports of police brutality towards cyclists, many of the officers were found in the wrong in those cases.

Racist Criminal Manic Pathetic

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They're protesting rate hikes, but they should be protesting their government (both state of California and their federal government) subsidizing/guaranteeing loans which in effect is creating higher tuition costs to offset the insane amount of people in college, most of which are busy earning useless degrees (if not dropping out) and getting into debt for no reason.

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First and foremost, my issue is with a four year old being present at a protest that was inevitably going to be handled by law enforcement. What kind of a parent brings their children to a protest about college tuition hikes in the first place?? A negligent one, an irresponsible one but now the story will be all about those nasty coppers pepper spraying a four year old. Cue all the anti-cop babble. :rolleyes:

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Supposedly, the police in this country, (USA) are supposed to be responsible enough to act in a manner as to not overreact, but time and again, they don't, especially when it comes to people's right to peacefully protest. If you think the cops here are very responsible, I would hate to hear your defense of the police who handled the Trayvon Martin case.

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First and foremost, my issue is with a four year old being present at a protest that was inevitably going to be handled by law enforcement. What kind of a parent brings their children to a protest about college tuition hikes in the first place??  A negligent one, an irresponsible one but now the story will be all about those nasty coppers pepper spraying a four year old. Cue all the anti-cop babble. :rolleyes:

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so you got all these old profs, or young "professionals" that have been in the field who all want 100k plus a year....how the hell are you gonna pay them?

plus all the admin and support staff....geeze the way people judge schools theese days, the landscaping contracts must be 150k a year plus....who the hell is gonna pay for this??

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To the people who complain about cops in situations. Have you seen some of the idiots and 'peaceful' protestors they have to deal with in situations like this?

It's one thing to protest something, it's another to get in a cops face and start cussing him out and yelling in his face like he has anything to do with the issue at hand. I fully agree that sometimes cops have gone way too far in an order to 'restore the peace', but I wish people would see just why exactly it resorts to that at times.

And, as someome pointed out, why the hell was a four year old present at a protest anyway? All it takes is a grumpy police officer, or a stupid protestor to make things escalate.

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It's amazing how tough you become once your well protected behind a badge and a weapon mob. Tough enough to attack a four year old and a group of college demonstrators.cops.

These people are not heroes, they are criminals with a gang mentality. They may have some good, honest individuals working within the mob, however the system itself and the politics surrounding policeprotests and actual police workprotesting makes them as much of a burden on society as they are a service.

The RCMP Protests, in the past 10 years, have done so many illegal and inexcusable things that I no longer have any support for them. They instigate, terrorize and beat on innocent civilians like a group of thugs. They constantly harass the public and go well beyond their legal rights

Racist Criminal Manic Pathetic

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