It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience.
The pepper spraying of eleven UC Davis students is a startling visual revelation of a pattern repeated over two decades: the widespread use of a potent chemical compound to subdue political protesters, prison inmates and inner city youths, in spite of numerous warnings by health officials of potentially life-threatening effects. The Davis episode shows that pepper spray has become a weapon of choice even for University of California police.
"It is the pain of the still-necessity humility and obsequiousness toward authorities who have done nothing to help them, added to the suffering caused by the pollution, that makes the protesters heroes..."