Thursday, November 19, 2009

Updates from Occupied California

I've been so long in posting because of teaching and dissertating duties. The current collapse of the University of California system has not been helping matters in the slightest.

-On September 24th, Students throughout the UC system and especially here at UCSC staged walkouts and occupations of buildings in protest of the UC Board of Regents and the general mismanagement of the University, State and national governments' production of- and response to- the contemporary crisis in global capitalism.

-On November 17th, the UC board of regents met at UCLA to begin a 3 day meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to seal an already promised phase 32% increase in student tuition and fees.

-The California State University (CSU) board is concurrently meeting to pass a similar set of measures that will raise costs and lessen access to public higher education.

-In anticipation and in response to these threats to the very public nature of public education, students staged walkouts and occupations of university space in Santa Cruz (where between 300 and 500 students, faculty and workers shut down campus for 3 hours before staging a takeover of the Kresge Town Hall); Berkeley (an ~1,000 students, faculty and workers walked out and an unknown number of people attempted an occupation of the capital projects building); UCLA (multiple arrests at the regents meeting, ~30 people occupied and renamed Campbell Hall, and where hundreds are currently attempting a campus shutdown); City College San Francisco (hundreds walked out in solidarity with the CSU and UC cuts and actions); and San Francisco State (~150 occupied the administration offices).

-This has shaped up to truly be a 'hot autumn' in terms of student activism here in California. The task now is upon us to match our vigor for tactics with vision. If we really want 'everything' we damn well figure out how to keep it.