Occupy Movement: Campaign Analysis

Great Essays
The image I chose is a photograph of UC Davis students peacefully protesting while sitting down and being pepper sprayed by a University of California Police Officer. The photograph was taken on November 18th, 2011. This image has many elements in it which include the Police Officer using pepper spray, the students sitting peacefully being maced, the spectators watching in shock and anger, and a group of armed officers in riot gear in the background. I found this image interesting because I am a student who was a proponent of what the Occupy movement stood for. The Occupy Movement is a campaign to end class inequality and spread awareness about how our country’s wealth is distributed. We still see police abusing power and inflicting unnecessary …show more content…
Many would argue that the Police officer in the front is the antagonist as he pepper sprays the students practicing civil disobedience and that this reflects a massive abuse of police power. The viewers of the photo are subjective. They bring their own opinions with them as they look at the photo. We can empathize with the students because they are participating in something they feel is important and don’t appear to be doing anything wrong. However some people may have the opinion that if you don’t follow police instructions then you face the consequences. The students were told to disperse and refused so the police are legally allowed to use force, which includes the use of pepper spray. Even though what the police officer is doing may be legal, I think it breaks a moral code in which people who do not pose a threat and are not acting in a violent manner are assaulted without cause. When this image was shown on the news and spread online via social media I think the reason that the image was so shocking was because we see a person that is paid by our government to protect the community, inflicting serious pain on people that appear peaceful and standing for something they believe …show more content…
The officer is standing upright while everyone he is facing is seated. The expression on the officer 's face is casual while the look on the protesters faces and their body language is passive. The Police officer’s dominance is further perpetuated by the four officers standing on the right with their riot helmets facing down and holding weapons as if to express a threat to all of the demonstrators. Even though at the time this image was taken the protesters appear to be passive, nonviolent protest can be very powerful because the public became aware and enraged at the officers actions. Therefore it could be argued that the demonstrators actually have the most power by using nonviolent tactics.
College is a time of exploring new ways of thinking, learning about the world and practicing activism in the community. While some Occupy protests were getting wild and out of hand to the point where police needed to intervene with riot gear and rubber bullets in order to break up chaos, the students in Davis are simply attempting to be part of a positive movement that spreads awareness about economic disparities. Looking at the way the students are involved, sitting passively, this image reflects similarities to the images of civil disobedience during the civil rights

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