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A summary commissioned by the antioch rebel newspaper from a participant in the ucsc actions

On Sept. 24, thousands of students, faculty, and staff walked out of University of California campuses across the state. The walk-outs and one-day strike were called by a wide coalition of UC unions and activist groups as a largely symbolic protest against the budget cuts, fee hikes and firings associated with the state budget crisis. At two campuses, however, in Santa Cruz and Berkeley, some people then walked back in and began to initiate occupations. Administrators and activists alike were stunned that the logic of symbolic protest had been abandoned for concrete, insurrectionary activity. Occupation, a tactic which is mostly unfamiliar in the U.S., is widely generalized in many social struggles throughout the world, and points towards new dimensions of struggle and autonomous organization that are likely to prove particularly vital as the economic crisis continues and deepens.

WHAT IS AN OCCUPATION?

An occupation is a break in capitalist reality that occurs when people directly take control of a space, suspending its normal functions and animating it as a site of struggle and a weapon for autonomous power.

Occupations are a common part of student struggles in France, where for example in 2006 a massive youth movement against the CPE (a new law that would allow employers to fire first-time workers who had been employed for up to 2 years without cause) occupied high schools and universities and blockaded transit routes. In 1999, the National Autonomous University of Mexico City was occupied for close to a year to prevent tuition from being charged. Both of these struggles were successful. In Greece and Chile, long and determined student struggles have turned campuses into cop-free zones, which has in turn led to their use as vital organizing spaces for social movement involving other groups like undocumented migrants and indigenous people.

Occupations have not been seen much in the U.S. since the 1970s until 2008 when workers at the Republic Windows and Doors Factory in Chicago occupied the building and won back pay from the bank that foreclosed the factory. In following months, university students in New York City staged several occupations in resistance to the corporatization of their schools. It was this activity which inspired the students in Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

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From the University of California Santa Cruz occupation: WeWantEverythingpdf

Like the society to which it has played the faithful servant, the university is bankrupt.  This bankruptcy is not only financial.  It is the index of a more fundamental insolvency, one both political and economic, which has been a long time in the making.  No one knows what the university is for anymore.  We feel this intuitively.  Gone is the old project of creating a cultured and educated citizenry; gone, too, the special advantage the degree-holder once held on the job market.  These are now fantasies, spectral residues that cling to the poorly maintained halls.

Incongruous architecture, the ghosts of vanished ideals, the vista of a dead future: these are the remains of the university.  Among these remains, most of us are little more than a collection of querulous habits and duties.  We go through the motions of our tests and assignments with a kind of thoughtless and immutable obedience propped up by subvocalized resentments.  Nothing is interesting, nothing can make itself felt.  The world-historical with its pageant of catastrophe is no more real than the windows in which it appears.

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wDownload the New School Disorientation Guide:

FOR PRINTING

FOR READING

The campus has been dead for months now, it yearns for the hustle of students running late to class, meeting each other in the courtyard and recanting their nights, marching angrily or partying in the streets. During the summer the administration had the time and space to put everything back in its right place: sandblasting graffiti, installing a Starbucks, closing the 65 5th Avenue building for good, prosecuting and fining rebellious students, sweeping up the broken glass and letting the pepper spray disperse in the air. For the University administrators, the last two semesters were a nightmare, but they are hopeful that with Kerrey’s announcement that he will resign in 2011 (which effectively fooled many into thinking he had already resigned) that the action on campus will calm down. Students will return to focusing on trivial “quality of life” issues such as “greening” the campus and getting more organic food into the cafeteria, so the New School’s return to radicalism will finally come to the end.

What they didn’t count on is the incoming student body actually knowing what they are entering: a war-zone.  . . .

www.edu-factory.org

Last night 21 Italian students of the universities of Turin, Padua, Naples and Bologna have been arrested through a violent act of the Italian police. Sixteen students have been imprisoned, and other five have to stay under house arrest. Moreover two social centres and several houses have been raided and searched in Turin, Padua and Naples.

The students arrested are in charge of resistance to police and violence during the G8 University in Turin on May. The Anomalous Wave occupied the universities, took the streets and blocked the cities against the unsustainable and illegitimate G8 University Summit, and against the crazy policy of the Italian government.
During those days, Turin’s University was animated by several debates and meetings in which edu-factory collective participated too.

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From Tarnac 9 site.

Video: The Coming Insurrection on FOX NEWS

Book:  The Coming Insurrection

Fox:  Extreme Left Calling People to Arms
by Glenn Beck

While the government warns that right-wing extremists could be domestic terrorists, and The New York Times, says I could incite those crazy conservatives to violence, the extreme left is actively calling for violence!
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Tuesday 19 May 2009

Several people were injured during violent clashes between anti-globalisation protestors and security forces on Tuesday in Turin, northern Italy, during a G8 meeting on universities.

The troubles lasted for an hour after a number of the 3,000 demonstrators tried to force their way through a police blockade to access the architecture faculty building where 40 university deans from around the world were meeting.

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To help push along the inquiry into the facts concerning the occupation of 65 Fifth Avenue on April 10th 2009, we are offering clear and direct responses to all the questions that the New School Investigation Committee is seeking to answer. We do hope this clears some things up.

On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM, Announce Announce  <Announce@newschool.edu>  wrote:

May 5, 2009

The Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Co-chairs of the Faculty Senate have agreed to form a Committee, to be convened by the Chairman of the Board, to conduct a detailed inquiry into the facts relating to the occupation of 65 Fifth Avenue on April 10, 2009 and subsequent events.

Among the questions we expect our report to inquire into are the following:

1.      How was entry into 65 Fifth Avenue effected early in the morning of April 10?

Through the vortex.

2.      How many persons entered the building at that time?

A risk of lobsters.

(a)     How many were students or faculty of the University?  How many were not connected with the University?

We are all connected to capital; the university is a capitalist enterprise; we are all connected to the university. QED

3.      What was the stated purpose of the entry and how was that purpose communicated?

The effacement of law through an act of divine violence communicated through its very being(-out-of-time).

4.      Did the persons entering the building threaten or cause physical harm to any persons or property in the building?

I remember when the property cried, torrents of saltwater down the gutters of law. “Respect my rights,” the doors sang. “Over my dead body,” whispered the epoxy. “But my texture!” the carpet chanted. “Be my lover,” the paint responded. A family of things, packed together in church. “Shhh! The sermon is about to start,” opened the gates.

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From The Thing –  the spring occupation tournament challenge:

Beautiful and hilarious banners (30pts) [1,2]
Crazy barricades and tons of chains (30pts)
Transform the uses of the space (10pts)
Dramatic rooftop reading of radical text (20pts) [1, txt]
Wild, inventive chants (30pts)
Solidarity means attack! (50pts) [1,2]
Total: 170pts

Lessons Learned
[ + ] Banners: DAMN THESE KIDS ARE CLEVER.
[ + ] Outside support is key. That was badass: [1,2,3]
[ – ] Despite their toughness, more was needed!
[ – ] Don’t expect your social role to lessen police reaction.
[ + ] You have to respond to “repression” with action, not self-victimization and whining.

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P4260090.jpg picture by besplatnoskolstvo

On Monday, April 20th, students occupied the faculty of philosophy in Zagreb, Croatia, demanding free education. The day after that, the the Univetsity of Zadar, Croatia, was also occupied. What do they want: 1) the abolition of tuition 2) a freeze on all firing of professors without student input 3) liberation of student organizations from university approval and red tape. They are calling for a general strike and are refusing to negotiate. If the administration doesn’t do what they want, they’ll stay forever.

To contact them, email Slobodnifilozofski

www.slobodnifilozofski.org/

UNTIL EVERYTHING IS OURS

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Libcom.org – For more than 10 weeks now, French universities have been disrupted by strikes, mass meetings, demonstrations and occupations as a daily occurrence in an unheard-of wave of protest by university staff and students against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s neoliberal reforms of higher education.

A dozen mass demonstrations with tens of thousands of people have been held, motorway tollbooths have been occupied and university council meetings invaded. Parallel university lectures, in streets, shopping centres or on trams have been used to help popularise the movement that shows no sign of stopping.

In a spectacular action known as “The springtime of the chairs”, all the chairs were removed from many universities to stop classes and used to build protest sculptures. “University all night long” events were organised while in front of the Paris town hall there is a permanent march, 24 hours a day, that began three weeks ago.

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Are the core values of the New School being upheld? This question has sparked bitter debate between students, faculty, and administrators at the New School. Whether it’s student actions, faculty roles, university identity, or administrative decisions, everyone has an opinion on whether or not it fulfills the “core values” that secretly govern our university.

Thankfully, we of the Reoccupied Investigative Committee have got hold of a leaked document from 1919 (revised as of 1933) that marks the actual core values of the school. From now on, we have a measure, a standard, a baseline from which to hold reasonable conversations in the future. Judge for yourselves.

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“OCCUPY EVERYTHING”

The Battle to Take Back the New School

By BARUCHA CALAMITY PELLER

Owing to pending legal issues, as well as continuing intimidation from school administration towards student organizers, all the New School students are quoted anonymously in this article, at their request. CB.

“We occupied a university building, workers in Chicago occupied their factory, people facing foreclosures have refused to leave their homes. Occupation is not merely a tactic to get some demands met; it is a practical strategy for taking our lives back into our own hands. Let’s occupy everything until everything is ours.” – a student at the New School for Social Research, NY

On Friday, April 10, in the first lights of a cool Manhattan dawn, banging could be heard up to a block away from the four-story New School building at 65 5th Ave, and the sound of chains scraping against metal permeated the silent morning.

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OCCUPY  EVERYTHING

DROP THE CHARGES,  OCCUPY AGAIN

OCCUPY AGAIN, AGAIN AND AGAIN

A, ANTI, ANTICAPITALISTA

ABOLISH TIME

NEGATE  NEGATION

OPEN UP THE VORTEX, LET US IN

WE DESTROY THE PRESENT, WE COME FROM THE FUTURE

OFF THE SIDEWALKS,  INTO THE FUTURE

WHOSE TIME?  OUR TIME!

HEY HEY, HO HO, BOB KERREY’S GOT TO GO

THE WHOLE SPECTACLE IS WATCHING

ABOLISH EXCHANGE-VALUE

FROM NEW YORK TO GREECE, FUCK THE POLICE

NEGATE, NEGATE, NEGATE THE PRESENT STATE

An analysis and call for action

by New School Schwarz und Rot

“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency…” – Walter Benjamin

Recently there has been a lot of talk connecting the specific conditions at the New School with the general conditions of society-at-large. You may have heard the material and intellectual concerns of students couched in a radical critique of capitalism, injustice and hierarchical power. On the surface, this may seem abstract and out of touch with the everyday life of students at the university. It may appear as an attempt to shoehorn unrelated “activism” into an otherwise simple administrative matter. However, when we delve below the surface appearance of everyday life, it becomes clear that a generalized critique of society based on the twin logics of capitalist accumulation and hierarchical domination has everything to do with our struggle to redefine our school. The following is an attempt to communicate this relation between the general and particular and to reach out to those students who may feel distanced from last semester’s occupation.

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