“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peterloo Revisited

Repetition keeps happening, I suppose, until we learn. So the violence of the police against the protesters here at UC Davis yesterday is doubly unsurprising to me:

1) In general, California police (and UC Police in particular) are hysterical.

2) They've done this before (during the 09–10 strikes, when they sent in SWAT teams to Mrak, the administration hall here.

There's going to be a large rally here on Monday in the main quad in support of the attacked students. Mass nonviolent resistance is something I've always advocated, and of course Percy Shelley wrote the manual on it: “Rise like lions after slumber...”

Personally I have terrible trouble justifying to myself the existence of campus police. I never had them when I was a kid at Oxford. Disciplinary matters were handled quite successfully by members of one's college. It certainly reduced the tension. Some of us are advocating for a “sanctuary campus” type of a movement in the wake of all this.

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