In response to Lt. John Pike's pepper spraying of UC Davis student protesters, international hacking collective Anonymous has posted a video urging people to flood his home phone, cell, email, office, and mail box with messages condemning his actions, and has released his information, making it available to the global community.
In the YouTube video, Anonymous references protest slang, calling the police pigs, threatening Lt. Pike and saying the movement will make you squeal.
The video has since been removed by YouTube for violating the company's policy against hate speech, but has been reposted again and again since its initial take-down. More videos giving out Lt. Pike's information and decrying UC Davis pepper spray incident are appearing by the hour.
Full Transcript Leaked Online
An accompanying message by Anonymous hackers has also quickly gone viral, including a full transcript of the original video.
Greetings, police forces of the world, the video began. We are Anonymous.
Anonymous began by condemning the general rise in police brutality against Occupy demonstrators, highlighting incidents in New York City and Oakland, Calif. Since the beginning of the Occupy movement, we have watched as police violence towards otherwise peaceful protesters has steadily increased, the computerized voice said.
The video then went on to personally attack Lt. Pike for his pepper spray attack on UC Davis demonstrators.
You are a coward and a bully, the voice said over images of bloodied protestors and the pepper spraying at UC Davis. A tool of the corrupt. A puppet for your masters.
Anonymous then urged the citizens of the world to personally target Lt. Pike, giving out all his personal and work information in an effort to shame the police officer and flood the streets of the world.
Stand up for your rights, and against injustice, the Anonymous video urged, before ending with its signature sign-off:
We are Anonymous. We Are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us!
UC Davis Still Reeling
Anonymous' video may have crossed a line into harassment and even hate speech, as YouTube alleges, but its anger at the pepper spraying at UC Davis is part of an ever-growing stream of horror and outrage from UC Davis students and faculty, Occupiers worldwide, and Americans across the U.S.
UC Davis Assistant Professor Nathan Brown has been one of the most outspoken faculty members to condemn the decision of UC Davis Chancellor Lina Katehi, calling for her immediate resignation and describing one incident where police allegedly forced open students' mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats.
Another staff member, Cynthia Carter Ching, posted a statement on her blog Nov. 19 offering an apology to students on behalf of the faculty. I'm sorry we didn't protect you, she wrote. And I'm sorry we left the wrong people in charge.
Even Katehi has stepped back from her initial praise of the officers at the scene, calling video footage of the pepper spraying chilling and working with UC Davis Police to put the officers involved on administrative leave. An official probe has also been launched into the pepper spraying by the district attorney and the local sheriff's office.
Did Anonymous go Too Far?
Though Anonymous threats against Lt. Pike to expect our wrath have been viewed as hate speech by Youtube authorities, and the pepper spraying itself defended by some conservative pundits, many in the online community feel the international hacker collective is a necessary addition to the official probe, one that may generate more results than an investigation done in-house.
Two words: police accountability, one user posted. This cop is a criminal, another wrote. Freedom of information triumphs, said a third poster.
These users view the video's removal as an infringement of free speech, and evidence that YouTube was working with police rather than protesters. Suppressing information? Stay classy, a Buzzfeed user posted, while a second added: I guess youtube walks a fine line between letting people watch veterans get beat up by police in riot gear, but not letting similar offenders receive social justice.
Others however, believe that though Anonymous was motivated by the right reasons, their personal attacks and distribution of personal information crossed a big line.
Two wrongs do not make a right, a Youtube poster wrote before the video was taken down. Many commented on the thread, supporting non-violent vigilante justice but still urging people to write UC Davis and the police rather than targeting specific officer's home addresses and cell phones.
All those responding to the UC Davis incident can agree however, that Lt. Pike's pepper spraying of student demonstraters has become symbolic of th Occupy movement's clashes with police, and a wake-up call for university faculty reactions to student protests.
The events last Friday do not represent the UC Davis community we all aspire to be members of, Katehi told reporters on Nov. 20. The safety of our students and their ability to express themselves are paramount as we strive to create the best possible learning environment.
Here, Watch Original Video of Lt. John Pike Pepper-Spraying UC Davis Protesters:
The original Anonymous video has once again been removed from YouTube. To see the first posted video, visit Buzzfeed's coverage at www.buzzfeed.com/sly/anonymous-fights-pepper-spray-with-personal-inform.
Below, another video posted by Anonymous: