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UC Berkeley finally fucking OCCUPIED!

Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley occupied this morning after unsuccessful occupation of Capital Projects yesterday. Police entered building at 6 am, pepper-spraying and beating occupiers. Most of the people remain barricaded on 2nd floor, holding strong. Police are threatening to use tear-gas. Close to 50 police in riot gear inside the building beating on the door. . .

This is what happens when one threatens the rule of property, making visible the nightsticks and pepper-spray which undergird everyday life. Get down here and help hold the building. Everything belongs to everyone

And so it spreads. . .

UCs SHUT DOWN

The Regents of the University of California voted, at UCLA, on 32% fee increases for students from November 17 – 19. (The CSU trustees are also meeting on these dates). Students through out the state of California are in an uproar.

UC Santa Cruz: over 500 students are occupying the Kresge Town Hall as of 3:45pm, Wednesday.

the details: hundreds of students rallied at the two entrances to campus shutting it down for several hours. Another group of 300 students entered into the Kresge Town Hall to create an organizing space around the budget cuts. Later in the evening, students at the entrances joined the others in the Kresge Town Hall. Currently, the space is being used to plan further actions.

UPDATE: As of 3pm, Thursday, UC Santa Cruz’s main administrative building, Kerr Hall has been occupied. Check out this indybay article!

Thursday 5:45pm: still occupied, discussing the night.

Thursday 6:30pm: Alma Sifuentes, Dean of Students has arranged to not call the police (the time frame is unclear) as long as students remain non-violent and do not create physical barricades.

Thursday 6:50pm: The administrators refused to provide a written-copy of the previous agreement.

Friday 12:00am: Students are still in Kerr Hall (~200-300) and another 50 students are in the Kresge Town Hall watching revolutionary films. Kerr Hall is absolutely packed, there is very little space to even sit down in!

Friday 9:00am: All is well. A rally at noon is planned in front of Kerr hall

Friday 4:00pm: No police action imminent, however such has been implied by e-mails sent from administrators. The Academic Senate is meeting and have been discussing the fee hikes, the issues around child care at UCSC, and the occupations. The administration has also cut off internet access, in both wireless and wired forms, which not only potentially demonstrates the administration’s attempt to silence occupiers, but has very realistically damaged student journalists’ ability to report information and upload relevant videos online.

Friday 4:50pm: A correction, a single internet connection appears to be available in Kerr Hall.

Friday evening: The administration has cut off internet completely.  The occupiers have edited their demand list for a more immediate satisfaction, the new demands are listed below (the old demands are still available as well)

Islamophobic Warmongers Pied at NYU!


Tuesday, November 18, 7:15PM

NYU students disrupted a university event this evening featuring
Robert Spencer from "Jihad Watch" and Elan Journo from the "Ayn Rand
Institute for Individual Freedom." Students called out the panelists for
their Islamophobic, warmongering hate-rhetoric, shouting and launching
pies at the speakers. One student was detained, and several were escorted
out of the building.

The event, entitled "The Jihad Still Threatens America," encouraged
viscous Islamophobia and promoted aggressive military intervention in
majority Muslim nations. Speaker Elan Journo actively promotes devastating
attacks on Iran, claiming that "victory in World War II required
flattening cities, firebombing factories, shops and homes, devastating
vast tracts of Germany and Japan.... Victory today requires the same:
smashing Iran's totalitarian regime and thus demoralizing the Islamist
movement and its many supporters, so that they, too, abandon their cause
as futile." Fear-mongering comments such as these promote the expansion of
US imperialism, and contribute to the wave of anti-Muslim hate that is
sweeping our nation.

The pieing came on the heels of an anti-hate sit-in hosted by the Islamic
Center at NYU. The event was a response to NYU professor Tunku
Varadarajan's recent article entitled "Going Muslim," a new term he has
coined in the vein of "Going Postal" (article available at
<http://search.forbes.com/search/colArchiveSearch?author=tunku+and+varadarajan&aname=Tunku+Varadarajan>).

While it is disturbing to see hate being expressed on such institutional
levels on our campuses, the students' refusal to be silent is an
inspiration to us all.

UC Santa Cruz Occupies Again: A Call to Revolt!

 

 

UC Santa Cruz has occupied again!!! After the recent occupation of their student 

center, UCSC students have occupied their Deans Office, demanding the end of capital, 

the abolition of work and and the negation of the commodity form. THE INSURRECTION

BEGINS WITH YOU! 

 

 

Communiqué from UCSC occupiers:

 

The glass walls of passivity, separating us from one another, can only be 

shattered with revolt. We are occupying a second building on the Santa Cruz

campus of the University of California because we have answered the call of

the first to occupy everything. Tonight is a demonstration to students and

workers everywhere that the division between taking what you want and

planning for a movement to come only appears as a problem for abstract

thought about taking action. We only catch sight of the fires of the

insurrection to come on the morning after the unrest of the night before.

 

What is a crisis anyway? It is the exclusion from work and public services

of those most precariously situated within this system. To a crisis which is

generalized, it is pointless to respond with generic activism. Activists of

more prosperous eras held demonstrations. Still, they were unable to secure

any lasting position for those on whose behalf they took “action”. As the

current crisis unfolds, it is necessary to elaborate innovative forms of

escalation and revolt. Our crisis is as much the failure of these tired

forms of mobilization as it is the collateral damage caused by a growing

economic catastrophe.

 

We have lived through too many cycles of defeat and must try something else.

We are compelled to negate the crisis itself with whatever capacity we have

now. Tonight, we have taken the Humanities and Social Sciences building. As

long as we occupy this space, Dean Sheldon Kamienecki will be deprived of

his workplace. This empty figurehead, who last spring made decisions about

what jobs get cut and which departments lose funding, will no longer have

access to the means of his existence. While we hope this occupation quickens

his pulse and that of administrators like him, we have not taken this

building to send them a message. Although we hope that they fear for the

integrity of their documents and office supplies, we do not occupy to demand

the reinstatement of funding channels to what they were before the crisis

exposed the fucked up priorities of this school. This occupation is a second

call to everyone who has been targeted by this crisis. Which is to say: it

is a call to everyone. We cannot wait for some movement to come that will

stop the forces pushing ever more people out of this system. Our task is to

disrupt the functioning of this system by appropriating what is ours for

ourselves.

 

No amount of organizational meetings, phone calls or emails to legislators

have the capacity to build a movement. Society cannot negotiate its way

towards liberation. There is no need to raise consciousness. The crisis is

already making people painfully aware of the situation. Peaceful marches,

rallies and symbolic protests, attracting spectacular media attention, will

never increase our ranks because this very process of mediation reduces us

to passive observers of what is supposed to be our own activity.

Organization for action has become an end in itself cut off from the reality

of capitalism in decline. How many voices of outrage are required for a

political rally to have a set demands met? We all know the answer to this

question: no amount of voices will ever be enough. There is no power to

which we can appeal except that which we find in one another. The

organization of the movement occurs whenever a freshman or a service worker

learns how to barricade doors, how to avoid arrest, how to pick locks. The

movement has staying power when, for every one of us who grows tired, there

are three who will take our place.

 

We have recently learned that the University of California does not use

tuition money or student fees to fund research and education. On the

contrary, they place one hundred percent of this money into an account with

the Bank of New York Mellon Trust in order to protect their borrowing power

in credit markets. They hold our tuition as collateral in order to finance

the largest and most speculative construction projects in the state of

California. UC pledged collateral rose by 60% with the last issue of bonds

to $6.72B from $4.2B. The number of students taking out debt has risen 20%

since 2000: 80-100% for students of color. Average debt levels for

graduating seniors rose to $23,200 in 2008 alone, a 24% percent increase

over 2004. We know very well what is going on: the University’s ability to

finance bonds for new construction increases in direct proportion to their

ability to slash spending on education, raise student fees indefinitely and

ensure that students cannot disrupt the function of the University itself.

This spectacular credit swap finances new construction on the backs of

parents who increasingly risk foreclosure on their homes and students who

will work the rest of their lives to pay off their debt. The University of

California has already been securitized, ensuring that none of us have a

future within this system.

 

We in the US have been too timid for far too long. We are afraid of the

police. We are afraid of losing our jobs or getting expelled from school. We

are afraid of people shouting in the streets. Security is the watchword of

our era: no one wants to take risks. But this illusion of comfort - our

separation from one another into perfectly compartmentalized lives,

disconnected and self-amused - increasingly unravels with each person thrown

out of work, every family evicted from their home and each student unable to

afford unending tuition increases without bartering away her future on

credit markets. It remains for those terminated by this system to use these

failures as flash-points for generalizing the struggle. Perhaps, at last, we

can understand one another, for we are all going bankrupt.

 

Press contact: (eight-three-one) 332-8916

 

website:  <http://occupyca.wordpress.com/http://occupyca.wordpress.com

 

NYU DISORIENTATION GUIDE 2009: hot off the presses.

presently we only have a pretty version for looking at; an imposed version for printing is forthcoming.

toward a freer and more joyous world.

kisses,
eds.

Students Brutalized and Arrested at Rochester “Funk the War” March

Rochester Students for a Democratic Society’s “Funk the War 2: Revenge of the Funk” was shutdown by Rochester Police today as people gathered for the protest/dance party against the occupation of Afghanistan.

 

More information is forthcoming but initial reports on the ground is that police charged protestors with their horses, punched certain people in the face, and many heads met the ground. Various individuals have been arrested while others have made their way to the emergency room.

 

Rochester SDS’s first Funk the War in March garnered the support of over 100 people in a march through the streets of downtown, taking over main roads and peacefully making their voices heard against the war in Iraq. Funk the War 2, held on the 8th anniversary of the occupation of Afghanistan, was to shed light on the ongoing and increasingly unpopular war.

 

More details coming soon…

http://www.thesitch.com/politics/activism/2009/10/shut-down-funk-the-war-ii-revenge-of-the-funk/

<http://www.thesitch.com/politics/activism/2009/10/shut-down-funk-the-war-ii-revenge-of-the-funk/>

 

UC Santa Cruz is OCCUPIED!

On September 24th, 2009, students at UC Santa Cruz began the occupation of the Graduate Student Commons as part of a day of actions at all the UC schools across the state of California. The building is located in a central location on campus, and occupiers are calling for another day of walkouts on Friday.

Some of the banners at the occupation:
“WE ARE THE CRISIS”
“OCCUPY”
“RAISE HELL, NOT COSTS”
“TAKE OVER THE CAMPUS, TAKE OVER THE CITY, END CAPITAL”

They released a statement that reads:

“We are occupying this building at the University of California, Santa Cruz, because the current situation has become untenable. Across the state, people are losing their jobs and getting evicted, while social services are slashed. California’s leaders from state officials to university presidents have demonstrated how they will deal with this crisis: everything and everyone is subordinated to the budget. They insulate themselves from the consequences of their own fiscal mismanagement, while those who can least afford it are left shouldering the burden. Every solution on offer only accelerates the decay of the State of California. It remains for the people to seize what is theirs.”

Read the full statement, and check out their website for updates, statements of solidarity, and videos of the occupation.

Take Back NYU! stands in ecstatic solidarity with the occupiers at UC Santa Cruz.

Take back your school! OCCUPY EVERYTHING!

WASSAP SUMMER! party + disorientation guide!

Folks:

We hope your summers are are off to a marvelous start. Below are a few announcements/reminders:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I. 5/22 PARTY ON THE ROOF!
II. 5/25 Disorientation Guide Planning
III. Summer Organizing
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Continue Reading »

A Letter From Barcelona

Dear Take Back NYU students!

Here’s a copy of the email we sent to Mr. Sexton, hehehe:

“Dear John,

We are writing to send our most sincere preemptive congratulations upon hearing of the decision you will be taking to cut your wages to $1 a year.

We think it’s wonderful that you are going to show your solidarity in this way. Here in Catalonia, as in your country, we are feeling the pinch of the Capitalist system, and, unfortunately, can only look on with rage and disgust as our university presidents continue to earn astronomically high salaries.

The tension on the street grows as we watch a minority of high-earners living in luxury on the back of deepening poverty for the majority. Our movement is strengthened by the indignance caused by the evident widening gap between rich and poor, a gap that thrives on starvation, misery and death. We are moved to act by the sight of a select few feeding parasitically upon the weak and the defenseless in the name of profit. The silent majority: we see babies dying of preventable disease, children orphaned by wars and women sold into sex-slavery, the suffering of these people forms an intrinsic part of the system which puts $850,000 into your bank account each year. We can only be proud of the decision you will make to face up to these injustices.

Best wishes,
Comisión Internacional of The Barcelona Student Movement”

NYU Applauds John Sexton’s $1 Salary

Our preemptive congratulations to New York University’s John Sexton on his expected announcement that the president will take a symbolic salary in the amount of $1 per year until the current fiscal crisis in academia ends. As the largest private university in the world, this move will send a strong signal to the NYU community, as well as colleges and universities around the country. NYU is committed to do everything in its power to remain a vital institution in the intellectual life of New York City. This sacrifice demonstrates the university’s outstanding commitment to research, learning, and preparing the next generation of scholars and leaders.

“If we are to maintain both the extraordinary academic momentum of recent years and the financial stability of our University, we will have to be particularly nimble and creative, ” writes Sexton. This announcement serves as proof of the creativity, innovative thinking, and commitment to learning that has made NYU famous throughout the world. 

This is not merely a symbolic action, and the president’s $850,000 contribution is only the most visible in a groundswell of material support to be shown by administrators and stewards of the institution. In response, Provosts, Vice Presidents and Deans are likewise expected to unanimously announce temporary salaries of $22,000 per year. This amount is equivalent to what the university’s estimated cost of room, board and transportation in calculating stipends to teaching assistant in the New York City area. In order that this move does not disrupt the vital business of our university, these administrators will retain their subsidized housing in Manhattan and work-related expense accounts.

We expect an outpouring of response from the university community. In times like these, the collective good must take precedence over individual interests. If there ever were an Ivory Tower, it has long since been dismantled. However, this does not meant that we should abandon idealism when the severity of the situation calls us to action. The Faculty Senate will follow the lead of NYU’s top administration to urge all making over $100,000 to tighten belts for a short-time in the interest of the university. 

NYU’s administration is currently being asked to come to consensus on this initiative; participation is entirely voluntary. While the University cannot compel its staff and faculty to join this movement, it urges community mindedness in these hard times. With the expected announcement of the Transparency in University Governance Initiative, salaries, expenses, and costs will be held to public scrutiny. This initiative incentivizes and acknowledges the contributions of exceptional individuals. It also allows participants to rest assured that their sacrifices are being put to the best use.

These are brave moves in the face of a dire fiscal crisis. John Sexton must expect criticism in the world of higher education for this announcement. As the largest private institution of higher learning, NYU has long been seen as a bellwether and trendsetter for academia around the country. NYU is confident that it has the clout within the private university system to weather disparagement from vested interests outside our university. In time, we expect Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Brown, and other private universities currently laying off staff and cutting teaching positions to follow our lead. With so many jobs threatened and loss of funding for research, it is only fair that university presidents at other schools sacrifice as well. Decades of presidents’ salaries at levels upwards of half a million dollars may be appropriate in free-flowing economic times. During these times of austerity, however, such salaries are better reinvested in preserving the place of the university in American life.

PLEASE! Take a moment of your time from your busy finals and graduation celebrations to send an email to John Sexton congratulating him on his groundbreaking decision. He can be reached at [email protected] 

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=81995016177&ref=mf

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