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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

UCLA Powell Library: You Better Have Identification When You Use the Campus Library

In recent months it has been reported that several right-wing organizations have requested students at several colleges and universites accept payment to "spy" on certain professors and instructors on the campus. Among the selected schools of right-wingers choice is the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

This recent incident wherein a student of Iranian descent has been unnecessarily tasered by the UCLA Campus Police, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, age 23, who is an American citizen having been born in the U.S.A., shows the right-wingers have apparently managed to infiltrate the campus police force.

Can you imagine what might have happened with this simple situation, wherein the student who believes he was asked to produced identification because of his appearance during a "random" check for unauthorized persons in the campus library, if the UCPD had fire arms and used them with the same abandon?

This behavior is indicative of our current society, and perpetuated by the attitude displayed by the present lame-duck administration for the past 6 years. Police, enforce, monitor, fear. These actions are not condusive to the world we all say we want to have.

Let the "rent-a-cops" be aware. When you accept the assignment whether as your duty in a full-time job assignment or as your second gig, your part-time job necessary in this economy to fill in the budgetary holes left by your "full-time" job, remember why you are there. You are there to provide reasonable security. Excessive force over something as insignificant as producing identification for authorization to use a state educational facility is no call for torture; nor is such abusive force required to enforce your obvious authority and policing powers in such a situation.

Let the public beware. The man or woman who lives down the street from you, who works full time or who works extra hours to support his family as a security guard, in a supermarket, department store or on a university or college campus, if provoked over the slightest infraction can turn into our worst nightmare of abusive police powers.

In light of the decision by UCLA Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams to have an independent investigation conducted into the incident in Powell Library we call for better training. It is obvious the university administration does not trust or support the UCPD's version of what took place at the library. We are calling for consideration of the fact we are human beings dealing with other human beings.

Regardless of the findiings of the independent investigation, we say,security organizations everywhere should begin to exercise some humanity toward one another. Let's begin to do so during this holiday season of "peace on earth--good will toward men". Let us actively show some compassion, common sense, and reasonable forethought in our everyday interactions with each other from this point on to make the world we all say we'd like to have.

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