DAVIS (CBS13) — The campus at UC Davis was quiet on Thanksgiving Thursday, with only a handful of tents up as students apparently took off for the holiday after a contentious week at the university.
Organizers, however, plan a campus-wide general strike on Monday to coincide with a statewide meeting of UC regents, the University of California system’s governing body. Students are protesting “sharp tuition increases, accompanied by millions in department and resource cuts, layoffs and furloughs,” according to a press release from protest organizers on Thursday.
Tension at UC Davis spiked after campus police pepper sprayed peaceful protesters on the quad Friday. CBS13 filmed the encounter, and the video captured nationwide attention. The incident sparked cries for Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign and also led to the police chief and two officers being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. One officer, Lt. John Pike, is seen in the video walking back and forth using the pepper spray on a line of seated students.
Katehi led a town hall meeting on Tuesday in which she reiterated that she would not step down, insisting she wanted to lead the healing process and promising a thorough review of the police department policies in regards to handling protests. She was shunned on Monday when addressing student protesters during their general assembly.
Katehi handed out turkey sandwiches to protesters on Wednesday but was not on campus Thursday.