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Davis, California

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Protesters face off with UC Davis campus police

Student protesters just faced off with UC Davis campus police on the Quad. At approximately 3:30 p.m., police officers marched to the protesters. After protesters refused to leave, police arrested at 10 individuals, nine of which were students. Officers also pepper-sprayed students in the face who were sitting down and linking arms.
Over 200 protesters were on the Quad during the police action. The police left the Quad around 5 p.m. and protesters dispersed.

– Hannah Strumwasser 

Editor’s Note: As of 8:24 a.m. on Nov. 19, this article has been updated to reflect new information.


  1. What everyone is seeming to forget is that in the past protests have turned violent at some point or another. While I do not agree with the pepper spraying of students, they were warned and asked to take their tents down, not that they had to leave just to take some tents down. The police showed up dressed as they did expecting the worse, especially with the death of a fellow Yolo county officer on their minds. Not all protesters were members of our UC Davis community. As a female undergraduate student I should not have to be worried that while I am on campus riots could break out or have to fear that protesters could get carried away and have to fear for my safety. The police were doing their job, and did so in a way to protect their own safety, and that of the students who were not protesting. The way that they left the quad showed that they feared the protesters. The University does need to do a better job with money, and how it is distributed and spent. Buildings are privately funded, and donated to the student body. In these troubled times we need to understand that it is not solely the Universities fault but also the state government. So instead of sitting on the quad maybe you should go get your education so you can get into those positions and really make a change. That’s how its going to happen, not with tents on a quad.

    • Which ‘past protests’ are you referring to? Protests at UC Davis, or protests at any point in human history?

      If the police had only pepper-sprayed those protesters who were not ‘members of (the) UC Davis community, would you have approved?

      Why would the police ‘expect the worst’? What does the unrelated death of an officer from a different jurisdiction have to do with a student protest?

      Would it be acceptable for male undergrads to worry about the potential for campus riots?

      Have you considered taking up distance learning as an alternative? Are you so scared of your campus and your fellow students that you are willing to sacrifice everyone’s civil rights for your own comfort? Do you think it is realistic to get through life cocooned from all potential danger?

      Does the job of the police include breaking their own rules?

      How precisely does the pepper-spraying of immobile, peaceful protestors protect ‘students who were not protesting’?

      Perhaps the police did leave the quad fearing the protestors. Could that be due to the fact that they realized they had used excessive force, and were fearing retribution? Did any students in the video then commit violent acts of retribution? Who displayed more restraint: the police or the protestors?

      • Protests in general. And if you read my comment more carefully you would see that I said I did not approve of them pepper-spraying. It is unfortunate that they took that action. Police officers are trained to prepare and expect the worse in any situation so that they can be safe and try to have some control over the situation. They do go through rigorous training,they are not just handed guns and pepper spray. I never said that the death of a Yolo county police officer had anything to do with the protesters, but the death of a fellow brother in blue would weigh heavily on their minds and be present when entering any situation and make them more on edge. A officer entered a situation that had less potential of having a fatal outcome and yet there is a family mourning. Any situation can become out of control (Occupy Oakland), especially with a large, easily riled group of protesters who could have weapons despite saying they are peaceful.
        I think that female students have a lot more to worry about than male students do. Yes anyone on campus can be concerned with their safety. I should not have to take up distance education, I came to a UC to pay and get a good education. Which is whats happening. But I also expect to feel safe on campus and not have my classes interrupted because some people are pissed off. You dont need to camp out in the quad. Obviously that does not accomplish much other than UCD having to put together a task force which costs more money. They dont have the right to pitch tents in the middle of the quad, otherwise they would have been left alone. And yes if not getting raped or beaten or robbed then I would like to live a cocoon. I shouldn’t have to be afraid to be on campus at night or off hours. One of the many reasons I am grateful for campus police. I also never said that pepper-spraying them protected students who were not protesting.
        I dont think thats the reason the cops were fearful of the protesters. Both parties could have used a lot more force, but didnt. So instead of sitting on the quad maybe you should go get your education so you can get into those positions and really make a change. That’s how its going to happen, not with tents on a quad. Standing around bitching and chanting is not going to accomplish much, seen in the many weeks of the 99% who are still sitting around while the 1% is still driving a porsche and going to work everyday. Be the change you want to see by actually doing something then being swept up in the emotions of a crowd. You want the chancellor and the government to change how things are done then go to school, get a degree and then go get that job and make the changes. Its not going to just happen because you shout about it.

        • I completely agree with you, minus the part about female students having permission to be more worried. I am a male student, and walking by the sites of protest, I have felt extremely uncomfortable and nervous for my safety, considering I do not agree with their message. There is this sense of “if you aren’t with us, then you are against us” floating around the protests, and I will not allow protestors to make me feel unsafe considering that I do not mind paying an increased tuition.

        • Ah, sweet innocence of youth.

          You will soon learn that ‘playing by the rules’ will get you nowhere in life–unless, of course, you’re planning on becoming a Republicrat politician or a banker, in which case it’s all good!

          So nothing is worth protesting? For example, peacefully protesting the round-up and incarceration in concentration camps of a particular ethnic group would warrant a good squirt of the ol’ pepper-spray if it inconvenienced your day on campus? Remember, that happened to Japanese-Americans in WWII…and we are approaching a point in history where something similar could easily happen again. (Different ethnic group this time, of course.)

          When it does happen, will you still be happily and obliviously skipping your way to class?

    • heard a great quote today:

      It’s also a warning when a terrorist says “I’m going to blow up a building.”
      That doesn’t mean it is justified. In a civilized society, we don’t accept thuggery as a means of getting one’s way. There was a thug loose on campus, publicly brandishing a weapon and then using it on people who were clearly defenseless. You and others wish to defend it by saying he gave warning, but I am not aware of any situation in which giving a warning justifies thuggery. If you believe that it does and you wish to allow it to continue, you will find it used against you one day, and you will realize how wrong you are.
      You and I are both mere citizens, and I don’t see why you won’t stand up for fellow mere citizens when they are attacked.

  2. I don’t think “Face off” is the right title for this article. It should be something like “Protesters savagely beaten by UC Davis campus police.”

    The Chancellor and these officers should be ashamed of themselves and resign before the public’s reaction forces them to be fired.

  3. To students at UC Davis: in case anyone hasn’t thought of this yet, here’s your ready made chant for the next few weeks:

    “Hey, hey, L.P.K., how many kids did you pepper spray?”

  4. I don’t know what’s more outrageous: the systematic pepper spraying of those peacefully protesting students or the fatuous comments by the chancellor defending it. She gets an F for sheer sophistry.
    Full disclosure: I’m not an Aggie, but my late uncle, Everett Carter, was vice chancellor many years ago. I know he would he appalled and ashamed.

  5. Props to the photograher—great photo. Why does construction continue on multi-million dollar projects at UCs across the state—including a ridiculous project this month that stuck a HOUSE into the side of the Engineering Bldg at UCSD?–Common sense says it’s not time to build new buildings while tuition is forcing students out of school. There is massive waste and mismanagement in the UC budget–the solution to every problem is not raising tuition, they can cut construction, eliminate programs, reduce administration. BUT The place to protest tuition hikes is with the Regents, in the Capitol, at the Governor’s office and in the legislature. Also, students should be protesting against faculty groups and unions–we don’t see the professors waiving their pay raises or giving up any benefits to keep tuition low. Disrupting classes at UC Davis accomplishes nothing; it harms other students by denying them the education they are also paying too much for. FOCUS and direct your protest effectively at the causes of the problem.

    • the spike in tuition is to build such buildings as the “house.” The UC is posing the tuition rise on itself in favor of its investors…the budget situation of CA. is only a guise.

      • Really? I heard the spike in tuition was for the students like myself who get no financial aid to pay more money to this campus to allow for an increase in the number of students who can come to school here for free.

    • The new buildings on campus actually come from private donations. If someone chooses to donate a few million to the university, they can ONLY use that money for what the donor specifies and if they say they want the university to build a new building, they will do that with that money.


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