The Free University Coalition (which we’ll refer to fUC) has published a piece challenging UCLA’s new branding campaign, which marks a change in its attempts to erase its own oppressive history by co-opting the history of its own oppressive actions to sell more degrees, in the light of the recent tuition hikes. It is a great read full of great citations. It was also held back by the Daily Bruin for an extended period of time because they didn’t want to publish the word “herstory.” Yeah…
Education Should Be Free! is on fire with their letters and statements. The latest one, “A letter from students and workers ‘of color’ in the Takeover of Humanities 2” is a must read.
WAU is for solidarity with all anti-authoritarian organizing, to Autonomous Students at Santa Cruz, and all those working on the problematics of cooptation from within positions of oppression.
Many of us organize with and for a wide-ranging collective called Autonomous Students (AS). When students of color in AS find it necessary to organize autonomously within the group to advance our political goals, we do so. That is because we believe in the revolutionary potential of people of color (POC) autonomy. Autonomy to us means being not just independent from, but also antagonistic to, white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchal power structures. These centers of power include, but are not limited to: the UC president Janet Napolitano, the UC Regents, every UC campus administration, and the armed repressive force of the state and capital, the police, and those that materially…
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Education Should Be Free! has released a new statement in response to the generally good vibes people have been throwing Governor Brown since he used the UC Regent’s recent 27.5% tuition hike as a backdrop for his image as “defender of the people.”
Brown only differs from the UC Regents on how best to privatize. His record is antithetical to a free, public, and critical education. Brown does not have the power to save the UC. His most powerful threat, the ability to cut state funding to force a reversal in the Regents’ tuition decision, only plays into the UC Regents ultimate plan to increasingly divest and become autonomous from state-funding and accompanying legislative restrictions on how that money can be used. If Brown did have the power to force the UC to change we wouldn’t want him to use it.
Thanks to Education Should Be Free! for starting the real conversation we need to have about Governor Brown.
“FUCK THE REGENTS!”
Every night this cry rises above the thumping music at Humanities 2. It comes from the collective voices of hundreds of furious but ludic dancers who have come here to retake their university from the forces of privatization and austerity.
Jerry Brown, the governor of California (though for our part, we refuse to be governed) announced his opposition to the tuition hikes several days before the Regents met last week to approve them. Make no mistake though, this was an opportunistic shift: he leapt from a pro-hike to an anti-hike stance when it became clear to him that the people and students of the state of California opposed them.
But we must be clear that Jerry Brown is no friend to the students, or the people, of the state of California. He opposes the tuition hikes even as he supports further cuts to the UC, CSU and…
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La Gente has published an excellent article from Todd Lu, UCLA undergraduate, outlining privatization in the context of struggles against patriarchy, mental illness, and white supremacy in addition to capitalism and the preservation of a class society. Be sure to check out the article at the source by clicking here.
Last night, a collection of students from various organizations or not affiliated with anything other than their own desire to be free seized the pyre intended to serve as the focal point for the annual “Beat ‘SC” bonfire and rally.
The students who blocked the pyre on the November, 20th sent the message to administrators and students that business as usual will not continue at the privatized university.
The action, which took place last night over the course of three hours, can be described as an occupation, a reclamation, sabotage, performance art, or all of the above.
The students occupying Humanities 2 at UC Santa Cruz have released a statement.
Solidarity to those occupying Humanities 2 at Santa Cruz, Wheeler at Berkeley. Those on the quad at Davis. And to all in the UC system and beyond that are unmanageable.
If you haven’t bookmarked reclaim UC yet, be sure to do that.
A Communiqué from the UCSC Occupation of Humanities 2
The University of California was once a tuition-free and public institution. Now the students are facing yet another tuition hike. The most recent attempt to raise tuition in 2009 was successfully frozen by the courageous and necessary action of students, yet this week, the UC Regents have approved a 5% tuition increase each year for the next five years. This is in addition to the numerous increases that have occurred since the new millennium which amount to what will now be a 500% increase by 2020. Governors and legislatures have come and gone, and have continually spouted rhetoric without taking any action.
In addition to tuition increases, students face larger class sizes, fewer classes, cuts to student services, and ultimately, are paying more for less education. Of course, these measures disproportionately affects those already marginalized–women, students of color, queer students, and many more. A private business parades in the mask of a public university.
All of these issues and more are a direct result of the failed leadership of the UC Regents, a ruling junta appointed by the governor—yet rebuked in this move even by him!
Privatization threatens the promise of education for all. With this most recent tuition hike, UC students are being crushed; this is just one symptom of a global effort to privatize everything. Our water, lands and studies are being held hostage to further benefit those at the top of a horrifying capitalist economy of accumulation. It extends far beyond the university, from the extraction of natural resources, to the oppression and exploitation of laborers. We are saddled with obligations to work and incur debts at the expense of our humanity and the habitat we depend on. As students, our future labor is put on lien for the privilege of attending a once free, now mediocre, university.
The hypocrisy we face is astounding: the Regents gave 20% raises to a few campus Chancellors just weeks before hoisting more debt onto vulnerable students. Regent Bonnie Ress said they were correcting an “injustice” by bumping people up from $360,000 to $383,000. This would be laughable if it weren’t so disgusting. Never mind that the chancellors are already in the top half percent of income earners in the United States. But with ten CEOs, four corporate lawyers, two investment bankers and merely one student on the board of Regents, it is not surprising that the priorities of this institution are skewed towards the interests of those at the top.
For all these reasons, we are occupying the Humanities 2 building at UC Santa Cruz. We are using the space to do many things: to think, to strategize, to finally meet the fellow students we sit next to every day. Most of all, however, we are simply inhabiting a space that is ours in a world where nothing seems to be for us.
The students here are fed up, but we have not given up hope on one another, and we have not given up hope on you. This message is intended for our fellow students here at UCSC, but it is also for everyone else: we want to hear from alumni; from parents; from the people in our communities; from our fellow students at other UCs; from our young comrades in elementary, middle and high schools; from the workers and teachers who make this university run. We may only be in this building temporarily, but we want to build something bigger, something lasting, and we want all of you to be a part of it.
The Regents have passed their tuition hike, but this is far from over. We are calling on our allies to help us grow: more occupations will surely follow (we don’t know who plans them!), and more strikes, more disrupted meetings, more barricades, more students and allies in the street. All of this not to return to the past, but to build a new future.
We will be unmanageable until such time as there are no managers—until the Regents, tuition, and privatization are washed away in a wave of democracy.
Bruins rule! School spirit brah! U – C – L – A fight fight fight!
Fuck UCLA. Fuck the Regents. Fuck Bruin Pride. This is not a community. This is a brand. Don’t get branded. If you’re going to spout that shit at least cut a deal with management to get a refund on your tuition for serving as a walking advertisement.