Certainly in the Sixties, it would not be unusual to see faculty risking their positions, tenure, etc., to side with students but that kind of radical expression has not been seen very often since. We’re now watching faculty members lay their jobs on the line to side with the Davis protesters who were pepper-sprayed.
Besides being a moral victory, this may also result in the production of a well-reasoned and compelling literature in support of the Occupy Movement from what has in the past been called “the intelligentsia.” All of this came about, in my view, because the protesters were peaceful and thereby won sympathy.
Here is the statement that accompanies a petition started by the UC faculty in support of the students. Thanks to Marilyn.
Statement of UC Faculty in support of peaceful students
This week, we have seen excessive force used against non-violent protesters at UC Berkeley, UCLA, CSU Long Beach, and UC Davis. Student, faculty and staff protesters have been pepper-sprayed directly in the eyes and mouth, beaten and shoved by batons, dragged by the arms while handcuffed, and submitted to other forms of excessive force. Protesters have been hospitalized because of injuries inflicted during these incidents. The violence was unprovoked, disproportional and excessive.
We are outraged by the excessive and unnecessary force used against peaceful protests.
We are outraged that the administrations of UC campuses are using police brutality to suppress dissent, free speech and peaceful assembly.
We demand that the Chancellors of the University of California cease using police violence to repress non-violent political protests. We hold them responsible for the violence and believe it can only result in an escalation of outrage that holds the potential for even more violence.
Police brutality damages the University’s public image, and, more importantly, it damages the climate for free expression at UC. We condemn the assault on the legacy of free speech at the University of California.
We call for greater attention to the substantive issues that motivate the protests regarding the privatization of education. With massive cuts in state funding and rising tuition costs across the community college system, the Cal State network, K-12, and the University of California, public education is undergoing a severe divestment. Student debt has reached unprecedented levels as bank profits swell. We decry the growing privatization and tuition increases that have been the frequent — and only — responses of the UC Board of Regents.
The Board of the Council of UC Faculty Associations