December 11, 2011
By any reasonable measure, the November 2 general strike was a grand success. The day was certainly the most significant moment of the season of Occupy, and signaled the possibility of a new direction for the occupations, away from vague, self-reflexive democratism and toward open confrontation with the state and capital. At a local level, as a response to the first raid on the encampment, the strike showed Occupy Oakland capable of expanding while defending itself, organizing its own maintenance while at the same time directly attacking its enemy. This is what it means to refer to the encampment and its participants as the Oakland Commune, even if a true commune is only possible on the other side of insurrection.
Looking over the day’s events it is clear that without the shutdown of the port this would not have been a general strike at all but rather a particularly powerful day of action. The tens of thousands of people who marched into the port surpassed all estimates. Neighbors, co-workers, relatives – one saw all kinds of people there who had never expressed any interest in such events, whose political activity had been limited to some angry mumbling at the television set and a yearly or biyearly trip to the voting booth. It was as if the entire population of the Bay Area had been transferred to some weird industrial purgatory, there to wander and wonder and encounter itself and its powers.
Now we have the chance to blockade the ports once again, on December 12, in conjunction with occupiers up and down the west coast. Already Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver and even Anchorage have agreed to blockade their respective ports. These are exciting events, for sure. Now that many of the major encampments in the US have been cleared, we need an event like this to keep the sequence going through the winter months and provide a reference point for future manifestations. For reasons that will be explained shortly, we believe that actions like this – direct actions that focus on the circulation of capital, rather than its production – will play a major role in the inevitable uprisings and insurrections of the coming years, at least in the postindustrial countries. The confluence of this tactic with the ongoing attempts to directly expropriate abandoned buildings could transform the Occupy movement into something truly threatening to the present order. But in our view, many comrades continue thinking about these actions as essentially continuous with the class struggle of the twentieth century and the industrial age, never adequately remarking on how little the postindustrial Oakland General Strike of 2011 resembles the Oakland General Strike of 1946.
March 2, 2010
From a comment posted on our blog:
—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: Statement of UC President Mark Yudof regarding the future of
public education in California
From: “University of California Office of the President”
Date: Tue, March 2, 2010 5:43 am
Contact: University of California Office of the President
Phone: (510) 987-9200
Statement of UC President Mark Yudof regarding the future of public
education in California, March 3, 2010
Today I am publicly announcing my resignation as president of the
University of California. A letter to the U.C. community is posted at my
I first would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the members of my
staff who have worked tirelessly on behalf of public education. It has
been a privilege to work with such an exceptional group of individuals. I
would also like to thank the Board of Regents for allowing me to serve the
University of California and the staff, faculty and students of the entire
University system for their dedication, perseverance and commitment to the
ideals of excellence in higher education.
There are no doubt many questions about my decision to step down. I would
simply refer people to the letter I have posted on my website and urge the
public to respect my decision. I should say that this decision was
entirely my own and I was not pressured by any individual or institution.
The crisis we are facing is not only a budget crisis. This much is clear.
It is a structural and systemic crisis. It is my hope that outside of my
role as president of the U.C. that I will be able to do more to address
the systemic nature of the crisis we are all facing.
Mark Yudof, ex-president, University of California
Story still developing, students who went to meet with legislators used the opportunity of access to take the office and refuse to leave. As 4 PM arrests are being made. More information from Student Activism:
Today is a statewide lobby day for higher education in California, with students, faculty, and staff — and even regents and top administrators — descending on the capital to make their case to members of the state assembly and senate.
There’s been a lot of activity in Sacramento today, and I’ll have a full report on it tomorrow, but right now I’m trying to get on top of one breaking story: students are apparently conducting sit-ins at the offices of two state legislators at this moment.
4:00 pm California time | All the info I have so far is coming in via Twitter, so it’s a bit fragmentary, but apparently students are sitting in at the offices of Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R) and State Senator Darrell Steinberg (D). Twitterer @educatethestate is in the Steinberg offices, and @babysharkie is at the Nielsen sit-in.
4:06 | Tweets from @educatethestate suggest that State Senator Leland Yee has been negotiating with police on students’ behalf at the Steinberg sit-in, seeking to have any arrested students cited and released at the scene rather than being taken to jail for booking. Meanwhile, @babysharkie indicates that five students have just been arrested outside of Nielsen’s offices.
4:11 | The latest tweet from @educatethestate seems to indicate that five more students have been arrested at Senator Steinberg’s offices.