I've always considered Michael Moore a dolt, and his latest ramblings regarding the U.C. Davis pepper-spraying incident confirms that. In an interview on MSNBC he compared what happened to the 11 seated students blocking a sidewalk on the U.C. Davis campus to the "tank man", the lone man in a white shirt who bravely stood in front of tankers in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
I certainly don't condone what the police did to those silly students, but they have nothing in common with the Chinese people who demonstrated in Tiananmen Square; and to compare the two is asinine. 11 kids got pepper sprayed, they'll live, but hundreds to thousands got killed in China. No-one definitively knows the actual death toll, but it ranges from the official number of 241 to $3,000 found in a Soviet archive. It's safe to bet it was probably somewhere in between. While Moore calls it an iconic moment in the history of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, it is in no way comparable to the truly iconic moment of the Tiananmen Square protests.
While I believe people have the right to protest, peacefully, they don't have the right to break the law, and if they do so they suffer the consequences. If the police ask you to move because you are obstructing a pathway, then you move. The kids were allegedly asked to move and warned they would be sprayed, and they refused. What the U.C. Davis police did was overkill, but the kids knew what was coming if they disobeyed.