Our overriding conclusion can be stated briefly and explicitly. The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented. On November 18, 2011, University of California, Davis, police officers used pepper spray on students sitting in a line in the midst of a protest and “occupation” on the campus quad. Viral images of the incident triggered immediate and widespread condemnation of the police action. The UC Davis protest focused on and drew strength from widespread discontent among students about the increase in tuition and fees at the University of California. The incident also took place against the backdrop of worldwide student protests, including demonstrations by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which triggered similar events across the nation. These protests presented challenges for all affected universities and municipalities in attempting to balance the goals of respecting freedom of speech, maintaining the safety of both protesters and non-protesters, and protecting the legitimate interests of government and the non-protesting public.
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Procedures for Handling First Amendment Assemblies and Mass Demonstrations
The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) outlined in this manual are to ensure that this department is prepared to respond effectively and efficiently in accordance with applicable law and District of Columbia policy to any unlawful conduct occurring in the context of First Amendment assemblies. These SOP’s incorporate revisions to the manner in which the Metropolitan Police Department responds to demonstrations and other assemblies on District of Columbia public space that the District has implemented in resolving litigation. This manual also reflects measures mandated by the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act of 2004.
These photos depict a series of protests occuring in Spain over the last week. Many of the photos are from May 21, 2011. These protests are being discussed via social media using the tag #spanishrevolution. a. roig. – http://www.flickr.com/photos/aroig/ protozoo…
The following photos were taken by Gul Rahman at the protest in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan on April 1, 2011 against the burning of the Qur’an by Florida Pastor Terry Jones.
The following photos are from Salmaniya Hospital, Thursday 17 February 2011 following protests in Pearl Square in Manama, Bahrain. The photos were taken by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and some of them are extremely graphic.
With the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, OSAC constituents are concerned about opposition groups in other Middle Eastern countries attempting to stage similar uprisings. Many countries in the region, including Jordan, suffer from similar economic and demographic problems, which put them at increased risk of civil unrest. The recent series of Friday protests and subsequent conciliatory measures by King Abdullah has only increased these concerns. Nevertheless, Jordan is a unique country with significant differences, and its potential for civil unrest needs to be judged based on its own internal dynamics, even if that includes accounting for recent regional changes.