Very organized--complete with medics, hot drinks and cake! I think these folks do have several major points
- that the investigation needs more than just the Dean of Law, who is ultimately tied to the administration. Principal Heather Monroe-Blum or HMB should have appointed a rep from the Profs and a rep from the student association so that it does not look like a white-wash. So far, HMB claims she does not know squat.
- that the university needs to foster an environment where dissent can be expressed peacefully. I hate words like "Securitization" but treating each interaction with folks who are displeased as a security issue is probably not a good idea.
I am concerned about a number of assertions by various sides. The Occupiers asserted that their movement was not violent, but they stated that they essentially pushed and shoved their way in. Not that it justifies anything, but their moral high ground is not so tall and innocent. There have been calls for the political science department to assert its moral authority, but I have to wonder where such authority comes from? A mandate from the masses? From a watery tart throwing a sword? Because we have people who study political expression (political theorists)? Um, in my old job, one of the most utterly corrupt and evil-doing evil-doers was a theorist, so I am not sure that the study of anything in particular lends moral authority/supremacy. It may lend expertise on how to respond to dissent (the literature on social movements tends to assert that repression does not work, but that is highly conditional).
Indeed, I think the best thing that everyone can do is to be a bit humble. That is: we don't really know how things played out, who started what, and how it should have been handled. Jacob Levy (who does have a heap of moral authority granted to him by, well, me) had a great set of tweets this morning addressing the need for planning ahead of time. That making things up along the way is a recipe for a bad response.
I have no expertise on the events here at all. I was not there. I don't trust the statements of the biased people who were there. I do find the commenters on my blog who were present to have pretty credible accounts.
We live in interesting times.