As Occupy-loving media continue to express outrage over protesters getting pepper-sprayed by campus police officers at the University of California at Davis last week, a surprising admission by one of the attendees was uncovered in an interview Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman did Monday.
One of the pepper-sprayed students told Goodman, "We had encircled them [campus police], and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
AMY GOODMAN, DEMOCRACY NOW!: To talk more about what happened at UC Davis, we go to Sacramento, California, to talk to Elli Pearson, one of the students pepper-sprayed Friday. She’s a sophomore at UC Davis studying sustainable agriculture and food systems.
We’re also joined from Berkeley by Nathan Brown, assistant professor of English at UC Davis. He wrote an open letter calling for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi following the pepper-spraying incident Friday.
Before we turn to our guests, let me just play a short clip, which shows Elli Pearson being pepper-sprayed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTERS: Don’t shoot students! Don’t shoot students! Don’t shoot students! Don’t shoot students!
The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!
Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Elli Pearson. Elli, describe exactly what happened on Friday.
ELLI PEARSON: Well, we were protesting together, and the riot cops came at us, and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. And at one point, they were—we had encircled them, and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us. But we were on the ground, you know, heads down. And all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself, and put my head down. And the next thing I know, I was pepper-sprayed.
AMY GOODMAN: You were in the white jacket?
ELLI PEARSON: Yes, I was.
AMY GOODMAN: And what did the pepper-spraying feel like?
ELLI PEARSON: Well, I couldn’t see anything. And so, if I—you know, I felt like pepper spray go over my body, and then I started choking on the fumes. And I lifted my head at one point, and one of the protesters had come to kind of protect our huddle of people, and he just told me to keep my head down. And then, from that point on, all I could hear was screaming around me and people being jostled.
That warrants repeating: "We had encircled them, and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us."
This presents quite a different picture from what most media outlets have been depicting concerning this matter.
As NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell wrote Tuesday, "The Occupying Rabble needed a boost, and got it with the story of campus police pepper-spraying protesters at the University of California-Davis. It was a remarkable jump-start for every left-wing journalist looking to regain his mojo for championing the protesters against 'The Man.'”
Indeed, but not necessarily armed with the facts.
Consider that this wasn't just an innocent bystander describing what really happened at UC Davis. This was an actual protester that had been pepper-sprayed admitting to Goodman that she and her cohorts had surrounded police officers in a circle preventing their departure.
Hardly the equivalent of Rodney King's beating as crazed libtalker Ed Schultz claimed Wednesday.
Which confirms what the Business and Media Institute's Dan Gainor wrote Monday:
What none of the anti-police crowd will admit is that quisling politicians have placed officers in an impossible situation. They have asked ordinary police forces to face down a movement that openly advocates for a revolution...But police must face them once more - knowing their every action will be videotaped and photographed by dozens or even hundreds of Occupiers.
And then these videotapes will be used by sympathetic media members to point the finger of blame at those trying to keep the peace.
Wouldn't it be nice if they actually did some investigating to determine what really happened rather than shooting first and asking questions later?
Or would that be too much like journalism for press members on a mission?
(H/T Adam Baldwin)
*****Update: The following video clearly shows police officers encircled by protesters informing them that they will be removed by force if they don't disperse.