The crowd at first sat hand in hand closely together, chanting along a walkway of the school until campus police felt that this became a danger and disruption to the rest of the UC Davis campus. Armed policemen warned the group by displaying pepper spray cans before spraying the demonstrators.
While some protesters at Davis stress that their movement isn't the same as the Occupy Wall Street movement because they are focusing on other issues, their uproar came at a significant time for Occupiers across the U.S. This protest brought back uncertainty among law enforcement about how much force police should use to control protesters.
Students expected thousands of newly informed supporters to show up for a planned rally and general assembly on Monday, Nov. 21, during which they called for the resignations of the school's Chancellor and the UC Davis police chief. If Chancellor Linda Katehi declined, students planned to force the issue at an upcoming meeting of the UC regents. "Students are much more engaged right now than we've ever seen," said Nick Perrone, a graduate student and union organizer who is part of the movement at Davis.
Members of the crowd gathered at the scene screaming and crying out in response to the officers actions; chanting, "Shame on you," at the officers while fellow protesters were led away. The officers returned minutes later with helmets on and batons drawn to clear the rest of the crowd.
Of the several hundred people gathered, ten students were arrested and nine students affected by the pepper spray were treated at the scene, while two were taken to hospitals and later released, university officials said.
The movement continued around California where several hundred other protesters in Oakland tore down a chain-link fence surrounding a city-owned vacant lot and set up a new encampment five days after their main camp near City Hall was torn down.
“They obviously don't want us at the plaza downtown. We might as well make this space useful,” Chris Skantz, 23, told the San Francisco Chronicle. The protesters passed a line of police surrounding the lot without a struggle, used wire cutters to take down the fence and pulled down "no trespassing" signs, the Chronicle reported.
"I supported Occupy Oakland," a nearby resident of the UC Davis town, Sherbeam Wright, told the Chronicle. “At this point I don't know what they stand for anymore.”