November 18, 2011
As we are continually and violently pushed out of public spaces, the people of this city must find new spaces in which to foster dialogue, learn and engage politically. Private spaces must be liberated; the movement must expand. We students, educators and members of the broader public have come together to occupy this space, seeking to transform it into a place of public education, safe and open to all.
Much of the repression of this movement has been conducted under the pretense of public health and safety. We, the occupiers, declare that our primary concern lies in the safety and well-being of this occupation and its participants. New School President David Van Zandt and the New School Administration have expressed concerns that we observe the building’s fire code. We share these concerns. Licensed fire guards are included among the occupiers and we will continue to take the necessary steps to prevent harm from coming to anyone.
We reiterate that this occupation is not a New School action; this building actually belongs to Wells Fargo, whose role in the current economic crisis is well-known. We are occupying a building: and we, as occupiers, are not solely students – we are workers, teachers, students, unemployed, under-employed, indebted and exploited. We are creating a common space that will eventually be open to all. In addition to the people’s university, the CUNY adjunct project, and the all-city student assembly, we are in the process of planning a series of open teach-ins and events. Schedule forthcoming.
March 9, 2010
In California, they face the same shit. Critiques of the so-called “white anarchist male outside agitator” emerge and simultaneously erase all the power and agency of the inside agitators, of all the nonwhite nonmale nonanarchists who know how to fight and don’t play by the activist rulebook. In solidarity with our comrades in Cali, we post the following three letters below, letters which take such critiques to task. Enjoy!
Response to a Critic of the “White” Student Movement by The Invisible Women Committee
Rebuttal to “Why Did the March onto the 980 Freeway Happen” by Melissa Merin
Following Thursday, March 4th’s Berkeley to Oakland march and rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza for the statewide strike and day of action against budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs to public education, a second march commenced. 200-250 students, educators, and activists marched from the close of the rally to the exterior of Mark Yudof’s office for a street dance party. The group then made their way toward the I-880 freeway, where 150-200 elected to enter on foot to shut down traffic.
All traffic slowed to a stop, and no individuals were in in any danger of being struck by automobiles. The riot police pursued them as they hopped over barriers in an attempt to make their way to the Jackson street off-ramp. As police closed in, most of the group sat down in anticipation of being arrested.
The police were violent with many of the protesters, using excessive force with their riot batons. None of the arrested were reported to be carrying weapons of any kind, and none were attempting to attack any of the officers. The police shut down the freeway in both directions, handcuffed and escorted the marchers to the Jackson street offramp where police busses slowly arrived to take the prisoners to North County and Sana Rita Jail facilities.
155 individuals were reported to have been arrested, in addition to some minors who were released into the custody of their parents. Francois Zimany was taken to the hospital after either falling, jumping, or being pushed by police off of the freeway, and is now at home with his family. The group was held over night, and released periodically throughout the day on Friday.
You can learn more by visiting indybay.org. All photos were taken by BLR DJ Paisley Cuttlefish who was among those arrested. She sustained a bad fracture to her elbow after being hit with a police baton.
March 3, 2010
SOLIDARITY TO ALL STRIKERS, RIOTERS, AND OCCUPIERS!
Our desires are empty, our power is null. Our gestures of escape are pushed to the margins – drunken debates with coworkers, crumpled pamphlets, the violent fantasies of miserable morning commutes, graffiti in the bathroom stalls. Struggle is a daily reality. Rather than forcing our anger against our common enemies, we turn our struggles inwards. We let our self-doubt grow infectiously as we wallow in self-appointed passivity. We drink ourselves to death to survive this meaningless culture.
But our individual struggles are communal and our set is beginning to take notice. In times of crisis the working class has two options: accept cutbacks in order to keep capitalism running, or revolt against the bosses and politicians who we all know we don’t need. “The people united will never be defeated!” chants the left. We stare at the metal barricades in which they’ve trapped us, despising this chant in its inaccuracy. We are defeated at every turn. So we search the crowd for others as angry as us, and
we see it in the eyes of the youth. No words are said to confirm the energy that propels us towards the barricades.
“California is a vision of the future,”
says the old new left of the East Coast academia, far enough away to study it as if it is the past.
The walls are ours to tear down, the streets are ours to shatter. Its matter hold no authority. Bricks are no longer stamped with the name of the empire, and all roads lead to an infinite number of terrible paths. The enraged classes are growing in size and strength and desire for something new and terrifying beyond the barricades.
Let us teach others to fight. Let the eace-police feel their irrelevance. Let the police-police trip as they chase us down alleyways. Let University Presidents from San Diego to Boston dump frenzied memos on each other. Let the student class and the working class ally and together abolish their social categories!
NEW CHANTS FOR MARCH 4:
Social War must be made! Students to the barricades!
Taking the streets is not enough! Occupy! Fuck shit up!
The university is dead! Kill the Student in your head!
Human strike is now in sight! It’s 2010! It’s time to fight!
Forever’s! Gonna! Start to-night!
Debtors of the world revolt!
FORM! CONTENT! FORM! CONTENT!
COAT! LINEN! SELF-ABOLITION!
Open up the Vortex! Let us all in!
A brief video statement from participants in the Durant Hall Occupation and the subsequent street party/riot in downtown Berkeley. For more information on the occupation movement in California visit: occupyca.wordpress.com
Video: dance parties, smashed windows, ghost ridin’, burning dumpsters, whining liberals, and police lines in Berkeley
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
The parting words of After the Fall– at once both a summation and a call– present the occupations in the past 6 months as a “vulgar and beautiful” destabilizing force within a larger arena of forces, at times nomadic and imperceptible, at other times spectacularly, with declarations and attitude.
Still, the finale of welfare state social services, the numbing terror of disaster, displacement, the colonial politics, the social death of civic life, the logic of representation, the endless reproduction of modern misery, the absent future, the crises of capital, the Afghan offensive, the government in a box– none of this deserves the elegance of any of the words we printed in this publication. They deserve a swift, merciless street fight.
After the Fall.
February 6, 2010
Occupy Everything Fight Everywhere Strike March 4!
The call has gone out. On March 4th, students, workers and teachers throughout the nation and across the globe will strike. Pre K-12, adult education, community colleges, and state-funded universities will come together in an international Strike and Day of Action to resist the neoliberal destruction of public education in California and beyond.
We stand beside all who wish to transform public education, and we seek to advance the struggle by generalizing the tactic that has, by far, been the strength of the movement: direct action.
In keeping with the spirit of March 4th, we call upon everyone, everywhere, to occupy everything—from collapsing public universities and closed high schools to millions of foreclosed homes. We call on all concerned students and workers to escalate the fight against privatization where they are, in solidarity with the California statewide actions. We envision a network of occupied campuses in multiple states across the nation.
December 17, 2009
In the aftermath of the November occupation of Kerr Hall at UCSC there has been a storm of writing and discussion as both supporters and critics have rushed to represent the unprecedented events and imbue them with political meaning. The administration said what everyone knew it would say – that the participants went beyond the bounds of civil protest, that they deprived the university community of its rights, et cetera. We are neither surprised by nor interested in their rhetoric. More important to us have been the conversations developing within the movement itself, some of which we fear threaten to distort the real content of the occupation and drain it of its radical potential. As participants in the Kerr Hall events we want to set the record straight about a few misconceptions and also challenge a particular kind of political logic that has surfaced from some quarters.
“If you’re scared today you’ll be scared tomorrow as well and always and so you’ve got to make a start now right away we must show that in this school we aren’t slaves we have to do it so we can do what they’re doing in all other schools to show that we’re the ones to decide because the school is ours.”
The Unseen, Nanni Balestrini
Days later, voices in unison still ring in our ears. “Who’s university?” At night in bed, we mumble the reply to ourselves in our dreams. “Our university!” And in the midst of building occupations and the festive and fierce skirmishes with the police, concepts like belonging and ownership take the opportunity to assume a wholly new character. Only the village idiot or, the modern equivalent, a bureaucrat in the university administration would think we were screaming about something as suffocating as property rights when last week we announced, “The School is Ours!” When the day erupted, when the escape plan from the drudgery of college life was hatched, it was clear to everyone that the university not only belonged to the students who were forcefully reasserting their claim but also to the faculty, to every professor and TA who wishes they could enliven the mandatory curriculum in their repetitive 101 class, to the service workers who can’t wait for their shift to end, and to every other wage-earner on campus ensuring the daily functioning of the school.
Last week, the actualization of our communal will gave us a new clarity. The usual divisiveness of proprietorship was forcefully challenged; cascades of hidden meaning rush onto rigid notions of possession and our eyes look past surface appearances. So now when asked, “who does the university belong to?” we can’t fail to recognize that the college itself was built by labor from generations past, the notebook paper is produced by workers in South America, the campus computers are the output of work in Chinese factories, the food in the student cafe is touched by innumerable hands before it reaches the plates, and all the furniture at UC Berkeley is produced by the incarcerated at San Quentin. Thus the university, its normal operation and existence, ought to be attributed to far more than it regularly is. To claim that the school is ours requires our definition of ownership to not only shatter the repressive myth that the college belongs to the State of California and the Regents but to also extend belonging past national and state borders and throughout time. It’s clear, the entire university, for that matter, every university belongs to everyone, employed and unemployed, all students and all workers, to everyone of the global class that produces and reproduces the world as we now know it. The school is ours because it’s everyone’s and the destruction of the property relation, with all its damaging and limiting consequences, is implicit in the affirmation of this truth. It’s our university…
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November 19, 2009
November 18, 2009
The Regents of the University of California are voting, 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.
UC Berkeley attempted occupation. Students have been organizing massive actions through out these three days as well.
UCLA, 14 students arrested earlier. UPDATE (8am Thurs): UCLA IS OCCUPIED
the details: students at UCLA held a “crisis fest” on Wednesday night. At 12am, students go and occupy the campbell hall and rename it the Carter-Huggins Hall, after two black panthers that were murdered in the building. As of this morning the building is still occupied.
SFSU held a sit-in, that has now ended. See Indybay.
City College of San Francisco, 500 students walked out in solidarity