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Tuesday, 06 December 2011


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The 45 Best Pictures are Stunning! Whoever selected them, did a very good job. There are no weak images there! Great Hard Core Slices of Life! There are so many wonderful photographers working today!

Wow 60's flashback. What were these folks doing that deserved pepper spray? Bothers me much when the police become militia instead of peacekeepers.


That cop ought to have his schmekel cut off.

I saw a more complete video today, which really helped me see the bigger picture of this protest.


I try to avoid politics here, but if you spend a little time researching video from about 15 minutes before this photo was taken, you'll see the police went a loooong way to try to avoid this. Not defending this, but the students received many warnings prior to being pepper sprayed. It changed my opinion from what I saw on the nightly news reports. Spin is alive and well.

#25 wins the best photo award IMO.

The UCD pepper spray outrages me as well... it is interesting to note that there were a number of college police instigated escalations all at the same time.

The picture above completely outrages me.

Me too. Pepper spray should be used as a last resort as self defence. There is absolutely no excuse to use it on people just sitting down doing nothing even if they refuse to move.

I totally concur with your outrage Mike. Aren't the cops smart enough to realise they are also a part of the 99%?

Is that Legal in the US?

That's incredible, had it been done in Ireland the person holding the pepper spray would be going to jail.

Before you become too outraged you should take into consideration that the students were breaking the law, they were informed that they were breaking the law, they were asked to move, and they were told that if they did not move then pepper spray would be employed. The first amendment does not give the right to break the law. If they broke the law then they have to live with the consequences. If they do not like the law then they should pursue channels to change the law. This sense of entitlement that is sweeping the country will be the ruin of the country if it is not held in check.

A powerful visual representation of the adage "power corrupts". The excuse that the police, armed and in full riot gear, felt threatened by students sitting down in a circle around them and chanting is ludicrous.

It IS outrageous to think that peaceful assembly should be deemed by AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION to require this level of painful and excessive force. I cannot imagine the context, given the mass of arms-crossed police behind the students, that would have necessitated this, vice simply physically moving them--if there was a serious reason for even that. The university should be ashamed. The power of photography remains intact and necessary.

Every time I see the Pike Pepper Spray I am enraged, embarrassed and totally proud of the protestors who sat there and endured. They did not allow themselves to be provoked into a violent response.

Also, this photo is a shining example of the best part of citizen photojournalism. As with so much of the Occupy stories, the only people covering them are dedicated bloggers and photographers outside of the mainstream press. Until, of course, something like this happens and they sweep in after the horses have left the barn.

Some really remarkable shots. Hard to believe all that was this year.

The caption: eat your veggies!

(The picture above completely outrages me.)


@ Mike: "The picture above completely outrages me"

Me too. Unfortunately British police sometimes act in a similar way, not that the pepper sprayer above is a real policeman. You may remember this photo http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2009/feb/23/don-mcphee-miner-strike-photography by Don Mcphee. The policemen do not have shoulder numbers; they cannot be easily identified later. this practise continues.

Pardon my politics. This scene could have been photographed during the time when Ronald Regan was governor of California. He maintained a hard line against demonstrations on public university campuses. It is Ironic that it occurred under the current Governorship of Jerry Brown. The man who replaced Regan all those years ago. Life is a wheel.

I wonder if the line of cops in the background are standing there thinking "This will be all over YouTube in 5 minutes"? I see at least six people with cameras in the near background, and infer one just behind the point from which this photo was taken, and no doubt there are more.

"(The picture above completely outrages me.)"

As it should. Ghandi would be pissed off. The whole episode was an exhibition of cold, calculated, and unnecessary sadism.

At least Lt. Pike has become one of the best internet memes of 2011...

I remember this one but more I would remember is the picture of Jobs on the latest official biography. Pic 21 in this series did not do the justice to the great lost.

Well, Mike I don't see any way to send you an images here, but on my Facebook account I posted an image of this incident paired with the National Guard shooting students at Kent State when I was in grad school. Sure they use less lethal weapons, but the repressive aim is the same. The USA is getting in sadder and sadder shape.

I saw it on television. Felt bad about it for more than an hour. Unarmed people treated like vermin by a man in a uniform. Here in Europe we (or our parents or grandparents) have seen rather too much of that. And since this is America, it reminded me of the Kent State massacre of 1970 as well. The horror. What uniforms, orders and labeling (of the victims) can enable people to do to other people.
Later, I was impressed by the very dignified protest against this action: a similar row of young people silently sitting crosslegged, just like the earlier spray victims, alongside the way the University chancellor had to walk to the pulpit, where she would explain how this had gotten out of hand and that it had never been her intention.

An amazing sequence of photos. Thanks for the link, Mike.

Not just from a newsie perspective: from a narrow, US-centric perspective as well.

Tahrir square? Oh yes, the Facebook picture.

Afghanistan? High-five, USA!

Featuring also: the famine victim of the year, righteous middle-class people suffering mildly from police intervention, and excessive pop star successfully completing her career in tragedy.

News really can be the lowest form of critical engagement with the world sometimes.

"(The picture above completely outrages me.) Why?"

Here's why. Read it carefully, Jeff.


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