Boing Boing has an interview up with a 22-year-old UC Davis student going by the name of W, who was one of the students sprayed in the now infamous pepper-spray attack last Friday. W explains that during the various protests last week leading up to Friday's incident, the students had previously taken part in some good dialogue with Lieutenant Pike, the officer seen flagrantly spraying the line-up of students with pepper spray.
When the students decided to set up camp on Thursday night after they had been kicked out of their previous spot in Mrak Hall, Chancellor Katehi had given them permission to camp for the night, waiving the "no camping on campus" policy.
Then on Friday morning, the students were told to leave by 3 p.m. The riot police rushed in later that afternoon and allegedly violently conducted their first round of arrests:
They handcuffed the students so tightly. One kid, later on they were unable to cut off his ties, they'd been tied so tight. One of the other students couldn't feel his hands they were so purple, his circulation was cut off so badly for so long. He took himself to the hospital after he was released from the zip-tie restraints. They told him he had nerve damage and not to expect to be able to feel his hands for the next week. He has to come back next week to see if there was permanent nerve damage in his wrists.
The students then cleared their tents because, as W explained, "[a]side from refusing the order to disperse, the only rule we were breaking was camping on campus. But since we had the first night waived by Chancellor Katehi, we really hadn't even broken university policy, she waived the code."
After the students sat down and linked arms, W says Pike sprayed them all three times at point blank with military-grade pepper spray. W said s/he experienced a lot of pepper spray in her/his throat, which some witnesses say was done intentionally. S/he immediately vomited twice and spent the next couple of hours dry-heaving. W says, "[a]nother girl near me who has asthma had an attack triggered by the pepper spray, and she was taken to the hospital."
Another student, 20 years old, who was sprayed and then arrested—instead of receiving medical care for the pepper spray exposure, he was made to wait in the back of a police car. His hands were sprayed, and he had intense burning in his hands throughout the evening while he was being held. He asked a police officer what they could do to stop it, and they refused to give any advice.
As the California Aggie reports: "Around 15 pepper-sprayed students were treated with water and baking soda donated by the ASUCD Coffee House. Volunteers rushed to purchase other anti-acids. Within the hour, the UC Davis Fire Department came to treat those who were still in pain."
David Buscho, another student sprayed in the attack has started a petition asking for Chancellor Katehi's resignation, which has almost reached the goal of 35,000 signatures.
On a side note, Commenter Speedbird_9 brings it to SFist's attention that Katehi was allegedly involved in a scandal at the University of Illinois, in which "the school admitted hundreds of students with weak academic records following the efforts of politicians and other heavily influential people to lobby on their behalf," as reported by The People's Vanguard of Davis back in 2009.
Previously: UC President Yudof 'Appalled' By UC Davis Pepper Spraying Students
UC Davis Follow-Up: Chancellor's Eerily Silent Walk of Shame [Video], Faculty Member's Open Letter
UC Davis Police Brutally Pepper Spray Student Protesters [Video]