Reflections on Kerr Hall

December 17, 2009

by student participants

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.

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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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Outraged by the eviction of the Wheeler Occupation and the police violence around Berkeley Friday, over 100 students seized UC Headquarters demanding to talk to UC President Mark Yudof.

With supporters and riot police massing some administrators apparently talked to the students for 2 hours, and the students left by the time the building closed.  This tweet indicates a very phoney sounding compromise on the part of a UC administrator. Nonetheless, action continues throughout California.

Follow this indymedia link for updates on Monday’s action and search these Hash Tags on Twitter: #UCStrike #OurUni #UCregents