Sunday, November 20, 2011

Observations from the Edge 11.20

Since the OWS protests began two months ago I have have looked at more photos and watched more videos than I care to remember. Over the past few days I have seen two videos I may never forget. Both are short and simple videos probably taken with a phone or personal cam yet both are stunning in their content Both are haunting in their own way.

In the first video Kayvan Sabehgi, a former marine who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, confronts riot police the night of Occupy Oakland's general strike and was recorded by artist and photographer Neil Rivas. "It was uncalled for. There were no curse words. He was telling them he was a war vet, a resident of Oakland, a business owner," Rivas said of the confrontation. Sabeehgi was beaten to the ground and suffered a ruptured spleen. In a way it is reminiscent of the Tienanmen Square tank man photo except in that confrontation the tank turned, it didn't drive over the man. As somebody commented on one of my flickr photos, these are the men hired to preserve and protect, the only question is who. This video just totally disgusts me.


In the second video UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi leaves a meeting and walks through an utterly silent crowd of students. The meeting and press conference that followed were relating to the Friday incident in which seated students protesting in support of Occupy Berkley were pepper sprayed by UC Davis campus police, specifically Lt. John Pike, who said they felt surrounded and feared for their safety. Chancellor Katehi initially refused to leave the building and told the media she was being held hostage. The group of students formed a large gap and chanted “just go home” but for hours she refused to leave the building. The students only convinced Katehi to leave when they sat down and silently linked arms. This video was shot by Lee Fang, an investigative reporter and blogger.


As I said before, welcome to George Orwell's America.