"We won! We won! They pepper-sprayed us!"

Wait — you won? How does getting pepper-sprayed constitute victory? I thought the goal of your protest was to force the trustees to give you a “free education,” as the protesters were chanting? That didn’t happen (tuition fees were not eliminated by the college’s trustees), so wouldn’t that mean that you lost?

Well, the statement wouldn’t make any sense unless the purpose of the protest was in fact to get pepper-sprayed. Which it was.

As is the case in most of these incidents, once you actually see the circumstances, your sympathy almost always switches over to the police, who in this case were totally outnumbered by a violent and unruly mob attempting to bum-rush and overwhelm a legal meeting.