Sunday, November 20, 2011
UPDATE 2: I talked with one of my friends in Davis and obtained a little more information about this protest. Upon learning of Katehi's press conference, students went to the media center and disrupted it from outside with noisy chants, requiring her to cut it off early. She then, as noted by the Bee, waited inside the center for more than two hours in the forlorn expectation that she might be able to leave without confronting them.
UPDATE 1: The original YouTube video of the pepper spray incident posted here early Friday evening has been accessed over 745,000 times, with in excess of 15,000 comments. The one that I subsequently posted has been accessed over 55,000 times.
As reported by the Sacramento Bee, Katehi walked through the silent student gauntlet after waiting for two hours in a media room in the misguided hope that she could avoid the assembled students:
Upon her departure, the students celebrated:
After an afternoon press conference, Katehi said she had no intention of resigning and holed up in a media room for more than two hours while hundreds of students gathered outside, some carrying signs calling for her to resign.
At 6:50 p.m. Katehi left the building, walking to an awaiting SUV through lines of students that stretched two to three blocks. There was no exchange of words between her and the students, and the scene got very quiet as she passed.
One gets the impression that the protest was spontaneous, one spread almost entirely by word of mouth through social media. Someone on campus encountered the media presence, asked what was up, and upon learning that Katehi was going to have a press conference, spread the word. It is possible that someone inside the campus administration leaked the information. In any event, the protest was an extraordinary achievement, an inversion of the power relations of the campus, as Katehi slowly walked helplessly passed along a seemingly endless of line of students, with many of them videotaping her humiliation for posterity. Every step along the way must have been agonizing. But there is no question that she deserved it. She initially defended the actions of the UC Davis Police Department without reservation, and only changed course after an explosion of public outrage. Hopefully, she'll be gone in the next few days.