I have to give the students at UC Davis a big round of applause. Not only did they show tremendous restraint and maturity in enduring that pepper spray assault, they skillfully organized the most effective possible response:
A pretty remarkable thing just happened. A press conference, scheduled for *4:00pm* between the UC Davis Chancellor and police with local press on campus, did not end in an hour, as planned. Instead, a mass of Occupy Davis students and sympathizers mobilized outside, demanding to have their voice heard. After some initial confusion, UC Chancellor Linda Katehi refused to leave the building, attempting to give the media the impression that the students were somehow holding her hostage.
A group of highly organized students formed a large gap for the chancellor to leave. They chanted “we are peaceful” and “just walk home,” but nothing changed for several hours. Eventually student representatives convinced the chancellor to leave after telling their fellow students to sit down and lock arms (around 7:00pm).
ME: Chancellor, do you still feel threatened by the students?
KATEHI: No. No.
Non-violent civil disobedience is very, very difficult and takes a great deal of time and commitment. But it's potent. It was organized by one of the pepper spray victims.