I'm not sure how many of you have seen this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhPdH3wE0_Y&feature=share but it is not the one you saw on mainstream news and shared around the social networking sites.
It is a 15 minute long version of what happened before The Pepper Spray Incident and I think you should watch it. It's very interesting to say the least.
[Edit: If you cannot or do not wish to view the video at this time, it shows the police force giving verbal warning of their intent to remove the tents if the people did not do it themselves about 4 times. It shows students chanting at the police and refusing to leave, even one girl walking straight up to them with her camera phone. Then it shows that after the tents were removed and the officers had arrested a few students who tried to interfere, the crowd becomes more vocal and then moves around the officers, refusing to leave until their friends are let go. The crowd surrounds the officers on all sides, with a wide row of students blocking their path. The officers eventually give face to face verbal warning to each student sitting across the path, explaining that pepper will be deployed if they do not let them pass. The crowd remains, with one or two in particular leading all sorts of chants like 'You do not shoot students'. After the police pull out their big pepper spray cannisters and spent a great deal of time shaking them to show the kids they will use them if they don't leave, the chant turns to 'You do not shoot children'. Blah blah. Then another group of officers comes up behind, complete with a police cruiser within a few feet of the group, but they still do not move. The officers attempt to make the crowd move and release their surrounded (aka captive) officers but they do not - and then FINALLY, after alllllllllllll that, the officers use the pepper spray and everyone starts screaming and crying. Oh please. Boo hoo.]
I can't say that the police were still in their rights to use pepper spray on those misguided young sheeple, but I can tell you this - If I found out my son was risking his life by being somewhere like this, I would kick his a$$ to Kansas and back and he would wish he had to deal with pepper spray instead. If I found out that he was willingly participating in an event that literally encircled a group of armed police officers over something as ridiculous as a protest against Wall Street, I would feed him pepper spray for breakfast every day for a month.
All it would have taken is ONE idiot in that crowd to suddenly decide to throw something at the police. Or get dangerous and throw a molotov, or charge them pretending to have (or actually have) a weapon, or something else frightening, and it would have been freaking insane chaos and death. But no, the students trusted that everyone in their large group was just peaceful and innocent. Luckily they were kinda right. They really took a chance that day and I hope that their parents see their faces on this video and kick their butts to Kansas and back too.
I would like to know who was leading these kids. You hear one or two male voices very loudly leading the student group in their chanting. Who is it? I wish his lovely face was on camera a few times. I did see one guy that appears near the beginning, while the police are still trying to clear the tent area, holding out the peace sign... but then later on shouting to entice the crowd to move up to the police by shouting COME ON and gesturing with his arms until they finally advanced. Maybe he was one of the leaders. Who knows. But whoever it was doesnt really matter in the end - I think this video shows how so many humans are easily led. A leader walks along and they follow just because he seems strong and is loud. They are no different than cattle and it's a shame. How could one or two young men lead a group that large? Why do they have so much influence? I can only hope that some of those students went home that day with a sh*t stain in their skivvies and re-think what they do in the future. Should they allow themselves to be put in a situation like that again? I hope some of them realize how stupid it was. You don't block in a group of armed men and demand release of their 'prisoners'. That is just plain stupid. If one of my friends was arrested wrongly, I could expect that if I pitched a fit, I would be arrested right alongside her. I certainly would not be calling all my other friends to come and surround the police lol. It's outrageous. But look how many did it! It was like they were brainwashed.
The first video that aired of this incident of course says that the students were engaged in a peaceful protest and just simply sitting in the park to voice their opinions when police pepper sprayed them for not leaving. But in fact, the students fully surrounded the squad and refused to let them leave until their friends who were arrested were set free. Um. That's a different kind of story all-together, is it not? In this video, you can see the students moving swiftly in an arc to close a circle around the police, but before that you can hear the voice(s) telling the crowd that they were going to support their friends. Those kids chanted the words back without even knowing what 'support our friends' would mean - and then they did it! Idiots! Cattle! They are so lucky that one person in that group didn't come unhinged and do something ridiculous. It makes me sick to my stomach. Someone like the dude that shot the Arizona congresswoman, for example. Can you imagine? Ugh.
But I should not pontificate over something that did not occur, it just worries me that so many people cannot think for themselves and need someone else to show them the way, even if it's the WRONG way. And why have I seen no mention on mainstream news regarding how long this event dragged on for before the police finally tried to disperse the crowd so they could leave. What if they had not pepper sprayed those students? How long should the police have stood there surrounded? How long would the students have sat there blocking them in? What if it went on all day, all night, all the next day - no one can guess how long that crowd would have stayed there. Would that fall under Unlawful Confinement? Interference with an Arrest? Could the police have trusted that the crowd would eventually get bored and wander away? They made a decision and did it. With ample warning. Watch how long the officers shake the pepper spray bottles before finally using them. Watch how many times the officer talks to each student in that front line to warn them of what will happen. They claim they were protesting in peace and had the basic right to do so - but were they not infringing on the rights of others by surrounding a group of people (who happened to be armed officers) and refusing to let them go??