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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 07:38 AM
Original message
POWERFUL- Letter From UC DAVIS Professor Demanding Chancellor's Resignation After "Police Brutality"
Edited on Sat Nov-19-11 08:11 AM by kpete
POWERFUL Open Letter From UC DAVIS Professor Demanding Resignation After "Police Brutality"

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Posted on November 19, 2011 by crank
18 November 2011

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesdaya rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.


You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey OBrien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same waylinking arms and holding their groundpolice also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students. You write, while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis.

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to a safe and inviting space for all our students or a safe, welcoming environment at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating a safe and inviting space? Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to a safe, welcoming environment?

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedienceincluding the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our Principles of Community and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Program in Critical Theory
University of California at Davis
http://bicyclebarricade.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/open-l... /
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piratefish08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Kick
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
3. Another example
of the tremendous courage we are seeing in the OWS movement. This is why we are unstoppable.
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. Congrats for taking a stand
but he might find himself unemployed (he's untenured).
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. That's a risk he's willing to take. I say, more power to him on
calling out a travesty of justice. Those police should be charged with assault and battery..and the chancellor should be charged with assault and battery also for encouraging the aggression.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
32. Somewhat dangerous for an untenured faculty member
Most of us are wary of speaking up in meetings, much less sending a letter to a chancellor.

Good for him.
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. Just check on Facebook and found this about Katehi

Students For Truth: Investigation or Resignation at UC Davis!


Basic Info


Name:
Students For Truth: Investigation or Resignation at UC Davis!
Category:
Student Groups - Political Groups
Description:
Sign the petition! http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/katehi /


Linda Katehi, incoming Chancellor of UC Davis, has been linked to the corruption of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. At UIUC, the children of the rich and well connected were granted admission to the school as favors to parents and friends, ahead of other students who earned their rightful place.

Linda Katehi has claimed from the outset that she was not involved in this "Category I" admissions system, a discretionary privileging of the the rich and well connected over poor, unconnected students. However, recent revelations show direct links between a well connected, wealthy Greek family and Linda Katehi (fyi, she's Greek too) afterwhich she forwarded an email to her direct subordinates saying as much.

From the California Chronicle: "Despite early declaring she knew nothing about the universitys secret admissions system for well-connected students, the Tribune has detailed how Katehi currently the University of Illinois provost helped facilitate admissions for a student she referred to as "the daughter of a fairly prominent Greek family in Chicago."

From the Davis Vanguard: "She passed an email through giving full name and title to the individual making a special request. She argues that she "took no action made no effort to alter, influence or interfere with the admissions decision of this applicant" and yet at the same time she referred to an influential by name and title. Her claim, "that was how" she "knew him."

We do not need, nor do we want, a Chancellor who sees fit to be complicit, or at the very least complacent, with corruption that seeks to further disempower working and lower class students, students of color, and students who are not well connected.

Keep the California Public University System FOR ALL THE PEOPLE!!!

Say No to Chancellor Katehi until UC President Mark Yudof agrees to a full investigation rather than stubbornly defending Katehi despite the mounting evidence.

---------------------------------------
Sign the petition! http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/katehi /
---------------------------------------
Privacy Type:
Open: All content is public.

Contact Info


Email:
UCDStudentsForTruth@gmail.com
Location:
One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA


https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=120656829223


I'll only comment that shuffling around people among positions of leadership would not be unheard of.
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Danascot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
7. From UC Davis Chancellor Katehi's blog:
"UC Davis has a long tradition of promoting community, particularly our Principles of Community. We are a campus known for its civility and our commitment to respect, equality and freedom of expression runs deep."

http://blogs.ucdavis.edu/common-sense/2011/10/26/the-ci ... /
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
8. You know, that's really a piss-poor letter considering that the writer is a college professor.
It looks to me like it was written by a not particularly well-written high schooler. I'm serious, its that poor. And its a matter of simple poor writing - not the subject matter - which makes its publication a particularly egregious offense; it reflects poorly on the school.

And now for the howlers: He does not support his assertions and ascribes powers to the subject of the letter that they (she) simply do not possess. And there is the language. Its misuse is atrocities. Its as if the fellow might have known what he wanted to say and then searched for days to find just the word which would least convey that thought. If it has been put out here first I would have called it drivel, but being in a sense an internal matter to the University I think its more accurately described as grounds for dismissal. I sure wouldn't want anyone to be in the English Department of a college I was going to who couldn't write any better than that.

Oh, and didn't the self-serving aspects of the letter bother you a little bit? The writer sure does seem to hold himself in great esteem, he tells us himself: Paragraph 1: "I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs.". Well, maybe his is the sort of person the University needs and maybe not. I'd certainly say not.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. You have a point there.
I thought it was a bit odd that he starts out by introducing himself in such flowing terms.
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frustrated_lefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'm not sure I agree with that analysis.
The letter appeals to the gut, and, I would argue, effectively expresses outrage. The outrage is justified. If its sole purpose is to draw attention to the basis for that outrage, or to inspire similar outrage within the reader, it does what it was designed to do. The point to communication is to convey your intent, not prove your intelligence. Sometimes that intent is base and raw, and lofty language provides a poor tool for its expression.

I'm honestly on the fence about it. The letter does read as though it could simply be a poorly conceived rant by an excitable young guy in the heat of passion. But, it would probably have come off as pompous, presumptuous, and quite possibly ineffective, were the letter written as a cold, logical indictment.
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emcguffie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Your grammar is far from perfect.
I think the letter is beautiful. You, on the other hand, do not seem to know the difference between simple constructions such as "its" for possessive, and "it's" as a verb, the contraction of "it is," which is what I think you mean in a couple of instances in your post. "Its that poor." "Its as if..." Incorrect. And you are writing about the writer's misuse of language. That's a little bit ironic, don't you think?

"And there is the language. Its misuse is atrocities. Its as if the fellow might have known what he wanted to say..." Hmm, I think maybe your misuse of language is "atrocious." Is that what you were trying to say? And I remarked earlier about your misuse of "Its" right there in that sentence.

Granted, those are petty corrections, but it's quite funny all the same that you seem to think you are in a position to criticize someone else's use of language, which seems to be much more competent than yours.

Again, with the "its": "if it has been put out here first I would have called it drivel, but being in a sense an internal matter to the University I think its more accurately described as grounds for dismissal. I sure wouldn't want anyone to be in the English Department of a college I was going to who couldn't write any better than that."



Your English isn't so good, you know?
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tcaudilllg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Grammar nazis always kill themselves on their own grammar.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. hmm...
Drunk or on drugs...that's the only explanation I can think of for someone using inexcusably poor grammar to belittle a well-written and powerful missive.

I hope the students continue their activism, and I hope they advocate for a new Chancellor.
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TacoD Donating Member (62 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Actually...
I'm sure you are correct that ThomWV is on all sorts of drugs right now.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Yes,
and that's still no justification for a poorly written, indefensible screed.

Perhaps he should wait until his brain chemistry is back to normal before he condescends to post detractions such as that herein above.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Oh, and,
he'll remain on my ignore list, because this isn't the first time he's posted something idefensibly divisive.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. he's recovering from extremely dangerous surgery.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Okay...
I realize that you have assumed that I don't know that about ThomWV. However, I am fully aware that he is recovering from the removal of a huge, life-threatening tumor.

Despite that, his negative and judgmental comments about Professor Brown's well-written and courageous letter to Chancellor Katehi are ugly and condescending. Furthermore, I find it ironic that his screed is poorly written.

I hope ThomWV recovers fully from his surgery. I am confident that he will continue to post on DU. BUT, I will not be privy to his posts, as is my right as a member of the DU community.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. I'm physically ill at the thought that this can happen in my America....
... everyone from the dogcatcher to the President needs to condemn this.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Wow! How very "elite" of you. Where have you stuck YOUR neck out today?
Who peed in your cheerios today?

I agree 100% with what he said. The man just put his job on the line in the middle of a jobless economy. I'm willing to cut him some slack for whatever shortcomings he might have while he puts his livelihood, and therefore possibly his life, on the line. I'd say he is exactly the type of person THIS COUNTRY NEEDS at this point in time.

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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. Thank you! Glad someone called poster on this.
:thumbsup:
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. Blech...
...straight to ignore.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
29. does what it's supposed to do
It appears some people don't understand the psychology behind the letter. He identifies himself first because he is untenured. Being untenured and speaking up as he did is the economic equivalent of sitting on the front lines of the pepper spray.

After introducing himself, he gets right to the point. When I read the letter, it had the effect of three shots to the forehead of the chancellor:

Bam

Bam

Bam.


Pretty good for a nonviolent protester. We fight with words, not pepper spray and batons.

Thank you to emcguffie for noting the irony.





Cher

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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
12. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!
Video here if you haven't seen it yet: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

:kick:
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R n/t
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libertypirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. Frostbite is the cause of the chemical burns. /nt
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horseshoecrab Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R! n/t
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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
21. Well said, Dr. Brown.
Thank-you for speaking out.
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zentrum Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
23. This video exposes the ugly truth of what we are facing
During the Viet Nam war my mother was a secretary to the head of Student Affairs at New York University. When the government came to the school to demand the private information of male students so they could be tracked for drafting, this prick administrator turned over the names, addresses and contact information of students.

My mother exposed him and was fired.

The administration of many Universities has long been a protector of the powerful and corporate elite.

Professor Brown is a true teacher and mentor.


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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
27. Cheering 100+ Recommendations!
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unionworks Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
30. bottom line
Many cops see any resistance to any authority, no matter how peaceful, as a challenge to their own authority and an affront to their authoritarian ego. They commit these acts of savagery because they know they can get away with it, until the day comes when the courts start upholding the rights of American citizens again.
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
33. K&R
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