Is this really defending yourself? What threat do college kids sitting on the ground pose to scores of police officers in riot gear with batons and pepper spray. Whoever is running the police effort should hopefully form the idea that images of jackbooted storm troopers spraying down peaceful protesters with OC spray does little to elevate their reputation. Maybe instead of sending in the heavies, why don't you have regular uniformed police officers, you know the ones without riot shields, plastic flexcuffs, and ballistic helmets, and let them interact with the protesters. This definitely might go a long ways to lowering the tension of the situation and might make for more productive interactions with the protesters.
I know some might argue that the police need the extra level of equipment for security, but for as large as the Occupy protests are, proportionally very few law enforcement officials have been injured. And as far as the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi's lackadaisical response, well did you not think they would call for your head when you didn't suspend the officers involved in the incident? Your pledge to set up a fact finding commission is just mere lip service to placate the people.
Physical altercations and violence against those who peacefully protest did not quell the demonstrations of the civil rights activists in the 1960s and they will not end the Occupy protests of today. Institutional thuggery may seem like a viable option to bureaucrats to break the will of the people, but discipline and restraint go much further to bridging gaps in hearts and minds.
Use your head, not the damn pepper spray...