Sunday, November 20, 2011


Whatever you may think of the Occupy protests--that they're an inconvenience with no clear goals, an unnecessary traffic jam, or a new social movement expressing justifiable anger over an inequitable economic system--you've got to be amazed by this video from UC Davis. It starts with riot police viciously pepper-spraying peaceful, seated protesters who posed no threat to anyone. That's not the part of the video that will amaze you. In fact, that's fairly commonplace in these days of quelling insurrections. The amazing thing is that these peaceful protesters shame the cops away.

After the usual chaos, in which students were handcuffed and arrested, a few tried something new. The remaining students encircled the police and shouted "Shame on you!" They didn't strike back (which the police understand, and would deal with swiftly and severely) and they didn't exactly turn the other cheek. They "mic-checked" the cops. "Mic-checking" is when one lone voice leads a chant and the crowd repeats, a simple method of communication practiced in these Occupy protests. The lone voice of reason starts it out:

Voice: "Mic check."
Crowd: "Mic check!"

Voice: "We are willing..."
Crowd: "We are willing..."

Voice: "To give you a brief moment..."
Crowd: "To give you a brief moment..."

Voice: "Of peace..."
Crowd: "Of peace..."

Voice: "In order to take your weapons..."
Crowd: "In order to take your weapons..."

Voice: "And your friends..."
Crowd: "And your friends..."

Voice: "And go."
Crowd: "And go."

Please watch the video till the end. Something's happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there. Telling me I've got to beware. I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody looks what's going 'round.

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