STUDENTS ONCE AGAIN SEVERELY INJURED BY POLICE
Occupy Colleges denounces police shooting and beating of students at UC Riverside and calls upon a national student mobilization in response
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 20, 2012) – Several University of California (UC) students were once again brutally and unnecessarily injured at yesterday’s peaceful demonstration at UC Riverside.
Close to 800 student activists gathered throughout the day outside the building where Regents board members were meeting behind closed doors to discuss further budgetary cuts and other matters. Police forces already forming a barrier to prevent student access into the building were joined by a legion of armed Sheriff Officers and more police back up toting what looked like guns in hand. They made their way through the hundreds of UC students in order to get to the front line, often pointing their guns or wielding batons in their face and shouting “move.”
As the police and sheriff units finalized their formation at the front line of the protest, seemingly protecting the entrance to the building, they pushed students further back; however in this disorganized attempt to obtain more ground many students lost their footing and either fell or were pushed forward by the dense mob of students that stood or were sitting behind them. It is among this chaos and as students chanted “Peaceful Protest” that at least one student was pushed forward, seized by police and beaten. Almost simultaneously, officers on the front line began to shoot into the crowd of students less than 4 feet in front of them without warning. Several accounts describe the weapons police fired at students as “paint-pellet guns.” The officers continued to fire even as the students struggled to move away, in effect using the bullets, which released paint upon impact, as a crowd control mechanisms.