Printable PDF

Occupied UC Berkeley, 18 November 2009

Being president of the University of California is like being manager of a cemetery: there are many people under you, but no one is listening.
UC President Mark Yudof

Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor.
Karl Marx

Politics is death that lives a human life.
Achille Mbembe

Yes, very much a cemetery.  Only here there are no dirges, no prayers, only the repeated testing of our threshold for anxiety, humiliation, and debt.  The classroom just like the workplace just like the university just like the state just like the economy manages our social death, translating what we once knew from high school, from work, from our family life into academic parlance, into acceptable forms of social conflict.

Who knew that behind so much civic life (electoral campaigns, student body representatives, bureaucratic administrators, public relations officials, Peace and Conflict Studies, ad nauseam) was so much social death?  What postures we maintain to claim representation, what limits we assume, what desires we dismiss?

And in this moment of crisis they ask us to twist ourselves in a way that they can hear.  Petitions to Sacramento, phone calls to Congressmen—even the chancellor patronizingly congratulates our September 24th student strike, shaping the meaning and the force of the movement as a movement against the policies of Sacramento.  He expands his institutional authority to encompass the movement.  When students begin to hold libraries over night, beginning to take our first baby step as an autonomous movement he reins us in by serendipitously announcing library money.  He manages movement, he kills movement by funneling it into the electoral process.  He manages our social death.  He looks forward to these battles on his terrain, to eulogize a proposition, to win this or that—he and his look forward to exhausting us.
Read the rest of this entry »

Like Lost Children blog

“we seek to push the university struggle to its limits.”
-communique from an absent future

“there is nothing in the world of capital that compares to the feelings of comradery and power in the moments when it is only possible to speak of i-as-we.”
-politics is not a banana

this is not a rational discourse, only some brief reflections of an arrow in flight.

tonight around 200 people are occupying the largest administrative building at ucsc. the chancellor’s office is denied to him as education will be denied to thousands of youth in california, as the uc and csu approved 32% tuition hikes earlier today in so cal. (police were exceptionally violent at the ucla protest, where regents were trapped inside the building for a time. lots of pictures of them tasing and beating the fuck out of people. pigs also got pretty brutal at the solidarity demo in nyc and 45 people were arrested occupying an admin building at uc davis. the ucla occupation dissolved today due to threat of police attack.)

but wait how did this happen? weeks ago we said “don’t even bother talking about kerr hall, it’s a pipe dream”. the only way to make the impossible possible is by building action through action. today there was a general assembly at occupied kresge where 3-400 people decided “let’s go occupy something!” really, it was that simple. we marched around campus for about 20-30 minutes chanting. hahn and the bookstore were both on lockdown. then suddenly we were descending on kerr hall. they locked the doors inside as the swarm approached. we started runnning. someone finds an open window and a door is propped open from inside.

then there are 300 people running through kerr hall, chanting, screaming, pounding on the walls. such a tremendous feeling of collective-being. into the stairwell, but the doors are locked; someone hops in an elevator and then we are pouring up into the second floor, where the main entrance lobby and the chancellor’s office both are. HOLY FUCK! we just occupied kerr hall!! um… what do we do now?!
Read the rest of this entry »