Occupy Everything Fight Everywhere Strike March 4!

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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.

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Keep Building Brown

December 20, 2009


Everywhere: we are working, thinking about the work we have to do, talking about it, stressing about it, putting it off, forgetting to do it. “How was your weekend?” “Oh, pretty good. Not very productive though. I have SO MUCH WORK to do this week.” “Yeah, me too. Finals are ridiculous.”

We keep fueling our engines, we keep focused, keep clean, keep occupied, keep rested. We keep in line so that we can keep working, performing our assigned tasks, so we can blow off the release valve two days a week, faithfully returning to work every Sunday night.“We get down on all fours to climb the ladders of hierarchy, but privately flatter ourselves that we don’t really give a shit.”

We Keep Building Brown and ourselves with it. A school is its contents, its students, its faculty, its staff. A school is its structures, which our tuitions (invested) pay for: dividends accumulated in endowment. The endowment must always grow bigger, and as it does those on the higher rungs of the pay scale climb even higher and become more numerous. The workers become less of a burden and their benefits (financial aid for students, health care for staff) and jobs are temporarily safer. More gets invested into attracting more and better (wealthier) students. Up go the Building Brown signs. Like all institutions under capitalism, The University is nothing but a Once-ler, biggering its money. Everyone needs money. Non-profits still profit, simply having greater privilege, rewarded for “altruistic” behavior, a crucial function of self-preservation in perpetuation of our world-system.

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Our group convenes this week and begins with a discussion and celebration of the latest events from comrades in the West and the possibility of further accelerations of struggle in our own vicinity. We respond to a series of questions posed by a Greek bourgeois newspaper concerning their year of insurrection and revolt. Our attention then turns to our weekly collective study. This week we prepare to continue reading chapter three.

We review, recite and observe with a particular emphasis: the capital process is masked by its constant transformations into concrete particular modes of existence; the commodity’s dual aspects are masked by their existence in the equivalent and relative forms as only a use-value for the reciever and only an exchange value for the transmitter; the labor and marginal theory of value of the political economist is a mask that freezes time as opposed to the historically dynamic abstract and socially necessary labor time at the root of the value of products; capital’s money-form as wages for the proletariat mask their role in the circulation of variable capital as drafts for means of subsistence as opposed to money as disposition for productive consumption, for the capitalist; convention, culture and juridical activity mask the productive-historical factors that are behind them leading to bizaare rituals and value systems; markets mask the myriad shifts in supply and demand for countless productive activities which we lose track of and therefore control over, passively deferring to the inexorable spiral of self-valorization; exchange masks the intentions and concrete conditions of production; etc.
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From the imaginary committee

Here is a shout out to fellow west coast conspirators
for some good ol’ fashion insurrection!
Its a time of crisis,
but it sure don’t look like one yet!

So get going and bring it on,
because we are the crisis!
This is a call for a competitive occupation
to get things started:
this will be called the Game.
And this game never fucking ends!

Some passing thoughts on the Berkeley and Santa Cruz occupations, from someone who was there briefly

It is no great secret that the terminal crisis of capitalism is before our eyes: the welfare state, the bitter product of two world wars, the child of Hitler and Noske, wherein a certain social safety net was provided for a measure of social peace, is in the process of being forcibly liquidated by the exigencies of an incresingly bankrupt social system. This much is evident to all those who have a basic thinking capacity. And thus, those who are protesting for a defense of this transient historical form will find nothing here of value, nor even anything here addressed to them. Such people can protest all day for a return to the glory days they imagine, but since these halcyon times never existed anyways, one can see they will certainly have no success now. Rather we address ourselves to those who believe in any fashion in the “terminus of student life”; but not of course to open something so worthless as a literary polemic or discussion, nor to presume to give prescriptions or orders — all we do here is attempt a “generalization of insinuation.” For, to be right means nothing, what is important is acting in consequence.

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“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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via Counterpunch – By GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER

Berkeley.

This was bound to be a big week in California regardless, as the threat of a 32 percent tuition and fee increase across the University of California system made a crashing entrance into reality with Wednesday’s vote by the UC Board of Regents. Perhaps the Regents and UC President Mark Yudof expected that their diversionary tactics–lament the crisis and direct blame to Sacramento’s budget cuts–would pay off. But this was not to be.

Aided in no small part by the explosive exposé published by UC Santa Cruz Professor of Political Science Bob Meister, the student, faculty, and workers’ movements the length and breadth of the state were no longer willing to accept privatization disguised as crisis-imposed budget cuts. As Meister explained in no uncertain terms, the proposed (and now passed) tuition increase has nothing whatsoever to do with budget cuts, but the cuts merely provided the pretext for a long-planned drive (and Reaganite wet dream) to privatize public education in California once and for all.
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Via Indybay

The Battles of California

November 22, 2009

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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. . .

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UCLA Occupation Communique

November 19, 2009

Students barricaded inside UCLA's Campbell Hall wave flags and fists from the building's third floor in response to marching protesters. A proposed student fee increase is expected to be endorsed today by the UC Board of Regents.Along with UC Santa Cruz, UCLA is occupied (as of 8am Thursday): Here is their communique:

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE UCLA OCCUPATION

On 19 November at approximately 12:30 students occupied Campbell Hall at UCLA. The time has come for us to make a statement and issue our demands. In response to this injunction we say: we will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, we will occupy. We have to learn not to tip toe through a space which ought by right to belong to everyone.We are under no illusions. The UC Regents will vote the budget cuts and raise student fees. The profoundly undemocratic nature of their decision making process, and their indifference to the plight of those who struggle to afford an education or keep their jobs, can come as no surprise.We know the crisis is systemic – and that it reaches beyond the Regents, beyond the criminal budget cuts in Sacramento, beyond the economic crisis, to the very foundations of our society. But we also know that the enormity of the problem is just as often an excuse for doing nothing.We choose to fight back, to resist, where we find ourselves, the place where we live and work, our university.

We therefore ask that those who share in our struggle lend us not only their sympathy but their active support. For those students who work two or three jobs while going to school, to those parents for whom the violation of the UC charter means the prospect of affordable education remains out of reach, to laid off teachers, lecturers, to students turned away, to workers who’ve seen the value of their diplomas evaporate in an economy that ‘grows’ without producing jobs – to all these people and more besides, we say that our struggle is your struggle, that an alternative is possible if you have the courage to seize it.

We are determined that the struggle should spread. That is the condition in which the realization of our demands becomes possible.

To our peaceful demonstration, to our occupation of our own university, we know the University will respond with the full force of the police at its command. We hear the helicopters circle above us. We intend to learn and to teach through our occupation, humbly but with determination. We are not afraid. We are not going anywhere.

California OCCUPIED

November 19, 2009

California is Occupied

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.

-see website

-info from LA Times, LA Indymedia

SFSU held a sit-in, that has now ended. See Indybay.

City College of San Francisco, 500 students walked out in solidarity

 

 

Download zine printable format

From the AKpress Blog:

I recently posted Research & Destroy’s Communiqué from an Absent Future on this blog. The manifesto, circulated during the recent University of California walkout, has been generating a lot of online discussion.

I thought it might be useful to try to continue that discussion in a more, uh, “organized” manner…one that would free it from the sort of tit-for-tat exchanges that happen in listserv debates and within the confines of blog/Facebook comment boxes (though, of course, I encourage comments to this post).

I talked to one of the Communiqué’s authors, and to Brian Holmes (who wrote, I thought, a very interesting response to the manifesto), and to folks involved with the New School occupation. Together, we came up with three questions, based on reservations about and critiques of the Communiqué we’d seen circulated online.

So, here’s how the discussion will happen:

Round One, below, will be three sets of responses to the questions we came up with: one a collective response from Research and Destroy, one a collective response from Dead Labor (the aforementioned New School occupiers), and an individual response from Brian Holmes (who is one of the organizers of the “Continental Drift Seminar”).

Round Two, which will be posted in a week or two, will be everyone’s responses to the first round of responses.

These are the three questions folks were asked to answer:

1) Whaddya mean the management class is being proletarianized!?! Isn’t this somehow an insult/misrecognition regarding the REAL proletariat?

2) Does addressing the university student as the potential revolutionary subject get us closer to revolution? How? How not?

3) What would a non-reformist goal for a university be, if one exists?

Let the games begin! [Oh, by the way, it’s a long post. If you prefer a printable PDF, click here.]

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A CALL TO REVOLT

October 16, 2009

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.

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Destroy the University

September 18, 2009

by André Gorz 1970

  • The university cannot function, and we must thus prevent it from functioning so that this impossibility is made manifest. No reform of any kind can render this institution viable. We must thus combat reforms, in their effects and in their conception, not because they are dangerous, but because they are illusory. The crisis of the institution of the university goes beyond (as we will show) the realm of the university and involves the social and technical division of labor as a whole. And so, this crisis must come to a head.

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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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