The national focus of the Occupy activities has suddenly become the University of California at Davis, showing the massive power (once again) of YouTube to capture relatively unfiltered events and disseminate them to great effect.
First, campus police at UC Davis used pepper spray Friday on students who were refusing to leave a protest on the campus quad, but who remained seated peacefully while sprayed. This shorter version was posted by the official Associated Students organization at Davis. Clips from various sources have been viewed more than two million times on YouTube alone, and widely covered by news media.
By today that that wouldn't even be the most powerful video from Davis this weekend. Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi held a press conference Saturday and said she wants an investigation into the use of force. The UC police at Davis have defended the decision to use pepper spray, saying officers were encircled, but the officers were placed on administrative leave on Sunday.
Outside the press conference, hundreds of student protesters chanted that she should resign (a call picked by Occupy supporters on the web, and by the Davis faculty association.) Katehi delayed leaving after the media gathering for about two hours, and when she did come out, the protesters watched her walk slowly past in total silence. You can even hear her footsteps. There are no campus police in evidence in what people on the web are calling her walk of shame.
Katehi says she will address the campus on Monday.