Friday, September 25, 2009

Occupation at UC Santa Cruz

Occupation Statement
"Let’s be frank: the promise of a financially secure life at the end of a university education is fast becoming an illusion. The jobs we are working toward will be no better than the jobs we already have to pay our way through school. Close to three-quarters of students work, many full-time. Even with these jobs, student loan volume rose 800 percent from 1977 to 2003. There is a direct connection between these deteriorating conditions and those impacting workers and families throughout California. Two million people are now unemployed across the state. 1.5 million more are underemployed out of a workforce of twenty million. As formerly secure, middle-class workers lose their homes to foreclosure, Depression-era shantytowns are cropping up across the state. The crisis is severe and widespread, yet the proposed solutions – the governor and state assembly organizing a bake sale to close the budget gap – are completely absurd.

"We must face the fact that the time for pointless negotiations is over. Appeals to the UC administration and Sacramento are futile; instead, we appeal to each other, to the people with whom we are struggling, and not to those whom we struggle against. A single day of action at the university is not enough because we cannot afford to return to business as usual. We seek to form a unified movement with the people of California. Time and again, factional demands are turned against us by our leaders and used to divide social workers against teachers, nurses against students, librarians against park rangers, in a competition for resources they tell us are increasingly scarce. This crisis is general, and the revolt must be generalized. Escalation is absolutely necessary. We have no other option.

"Occupation is a tactic for escalating struggles, a tactic recently used at the Chicago Windows and Doors factory and at the New School in New York City. It can happen throughout California too. As undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff, we call on everyone at the UC to support this occupation by continuing the walkouts and strikes into tomorrow, the next day, and for the indefinite future. We call on the people of California to occupy and escalate."


Anonymous said...

"All of our actions must push us towards communization; that is, the reorganization of society according to a logic of free giving and receiving, and the immediate abolition of the wage, the value-form, compulsory labor, and exchange."

We want everything...

TheTrucker said...

Please read "Progress and Poverty", California. You are where you are because of Prop 13. In fact, the entire world is where it is because of the economics profession's continued snuggling with the rich. Land is not capital and ad valorem land taxation is not an attack on capitalism.

Jack said...

When one looks to the future and sees nothing, then asking for everything seems reasonable. As with all negotiations it is necessary to take an extreme position in the face of the alternate presented by one's opposition. I don't necessarily agree with demonstrations of the type described, but I can understand the impetus. Asking for everything is a reasonable respopnse to those who lhave been taking everything for themselves and leaving crumbs for those who are now protesting. At least they have the vision to recognize that they are having every thing taken from them. And to what benefit? If the one percent can take it all then the 95% can ask for it back, but they are more likely to have to take it back. Those who have it all won't give back even a nickle without a fight.

So don't claim that the "We want everything..." perspective is out of bounds. It is what has come to be the norm for the very few and now is becoming a demand of the many.

Jack said...

Michael Moore has been making his points on a national promotional tour. One of the more interesting things that he says during these promotional interviews is that the opposite of capitalism is democracy.
Each time the interviewer seems perplexed at that dichotomy, but Moore's point should be examined more closely. It takes its validity from the way in which capitalism, and communism for that matter, have been instituted in different nations during he 20th century up to the present. Both have functioned as political system hiding behind a cloak of economic deception. In the case of capitalism the people have been convinced that their governments are democratically established simply because they have an opportunity to take part in an electoral process. In communist states there has little emphasis on the democratic process, but the people in those nations have been led to believe that they are equals in an egalitarian economic system. Both have been a charade for the many and a boon for the very few. Now the two systems, capitalism and communism, are becoming even more closely allied as China and Russia have come to recognize the the very few can benefit to an even greater extent by harnessing their natural resources in a more capitalist manner.

There needs to be a re-establishment of the democratic process regardless of the economic system. The electoral process is not sufficient to define a nation as a democracy. That requires that the many begin to participate not only in the productivity of the economic system, but also the rewards of that system. The capitalists and the communists alike need to be taken out of the political system. They are ideologies that have no more right to exclusivity in a democratic system than does any specific religious ideology. If capitalists want the benefits of an economic system they have to give back to the people the determination of the democratic political system.

Eleanor said...

Sandwichman -- Thanks for posting this. I was not aware of the Santa Cruz action. I find it hopeful. My sense is the current economic and political situation is quite frightening; and if the only people responding are the Teabaggers, then we are in serious trouble.