On Monday, an estimated 5,000 students, faculty and community members gathered on the UC Davis Quad for a rally in response to Friday’s protests. The gathering was a powerful representation of the thousands of people who stand in solidarity with the protesters, and we are proud of the UC Davis community for making their voices heard.
Those who attended the assembly exemplified the peaceful intentions of last week’s Mrak Hall and Quad occupations. Onlookers stood respectfully on the grass, cheered for every speaker and sat down while Chancellor Katehi spoke. By participating in a large-scale rally in such a courteous manner, the protesters demonstrated that they have used, and will continue to use, non-violent tactics, making the police officers’ brutal pepper-spraying on Friday seem even more unnecessary.
The decision-making processes used at the assembly, which allowed participants to split into committees and vote democratically, are similarly commendable. While the UC Board of Regents and UC Davis administration may not seek student opinions on issues, students themselves have shown that they are able to consider and incorporate a wide range of thoughts into their decisions.
This is UC Davis. We are not police brutality. We are not hate crimes. We are a campus of passionate individuals who stand up for justice.
We also thank the many rally attendees who visited from other universities, such as UC Berkeley and UCLA. The outpouring of support from people who are not part of the Davis community serves as a reminder to the university that outrage over Friday’s events extends beyond Davis and therefore cannot be ignored.
In order for UC Davis to improve as a university, students must continue to participate in events that allow them not only to be heard, but to be seen around the country and around the world. As demonstrations continue, we encourage everyone to remain informed and active in protecting their rights on campus.