If you have been watching the news (or just viral videos) you have likely seen UC Davis police Lt. John Pike spraying peaceful protesters on the UC Davis campus with pepper spray intended to subdue violent criminals (an MK-9 stream canister was used). In the age of video via cell phone we have multiple angles on his action, and now we have a creative reaction: a Pepper Spraying Cop tumblr.
WaPo provides some context. And the Atlantic makes a good point that Lt. John Pike is just carrying out a policy of police departments around the country that use violent means to deal with non-violent dissent.
On a side note, the New Yorker has an interesting article on the origin of Occupy Wall Street through the efforts of Kalle Lasn and Micah White of Adbusters (click the link to see the Visual Art Library’s holdings). To see the blog post that started it:
On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.
From the NYer:
Neither can recall who first had the idea of trying to take over lower Manhattan. In early June, Adbusters sent an e-mail to subscribers stating that “America needs its own Tahrir.” The next day, White wrote to Lasn that he was “very excited about the Occupy Wall Street meme. . . . I think we should make this happen.” He proposed three possible Web sites: OccupyWallStreet.org, AcampadaWallStreet.org, and TakeWallStreet.org.
“No. 1 is best,” Lasn replied, on June 9th. That evening, he registered OccupyWallStreet.org.
The Nation has a useful QandA on the origin of the movement and how it functions.