This photo, from the San Francisco Chronicle, captures the visual imagery of the protest's roots in the struggles of international revolutionary solidarity:
The Wheeler Hall protest has now been shut down (see, "Wheeler Hall Occupation Ends Peacefully"). But a wide array of "progressive" neo-communist groups are at the base of this latest wave of mobilizations, and they're vowing an escalation in the struggle.
Recall that International ANSWER organized the November 17th protest against the CSU Board of Tustees. The UC Solidarity group is an alliance of radical academics and student protesters seeking to rekindle campus unrest of the 1960s. The communist Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! is endorsing the protests, "Why Are We Destroying Public Education? University of California Students and Staff Prepare for System-Wide Strike to Protest Cuts," and "As UC Regents Approve Major Tuition Hike, Students, Faculty Decry Erosion of Public Education in CA and Nationwide." And from the hardline communist Fight Back! journal, "Student Struggles Continue Across California." The International Committee of the Fourth International has a report, "University Protests Continue in California," and that group's splinter faction, International Socialist Organization, as well, "Struggle Heats up in California."
The Wall Street Journal reported on the unconditional demands of the occupiers, which turned off moderate students focused on fee increases rather that worldwide revolution:
UC Berkeley officials condemned the action at their campus. "We certainly understand the students' frustrations and concerns, but it's disappointing they expressed their frustrations in this way," said Janet Gilmore, a UC Berkeley spokeswoman.Recall that the student insurgency group, Occupy California, is mobilizing revolutionary cadres for widespread campus mobilizations. See, "California is Occupied," which features the image above from inside Wheeler Hall, and this picture below from UC Santa Cruz:
In the crowd, sentiment seemed mostly in favor of the building occupation. Protesters locked arms to block entrances to the building in an effort to impede police.
But some students said the tactics were counterproductive, and that the demands, in some cases, were unreasonable. For example, some protesters demanded the UC regents eliminate the fees. "I agree the tuition hike was not good for me, but I know the state is in a crisis," said Jeffrey Joh, a 19-year-old sophomore. "Their message here is unclear."
The Student Activism blog has pledged to take direct action to the next level, "Two Days After the Regents’ Vote, UC Fee Protests Go On." Check also the Indy Media blog for direct action updates.
My sense is that the only thing missing so far is the arson, kidnappings, and bombings that have marked earlier decades student revolutionary agitation. And unfortunately, my bet is that it's only a matter of time -- we'll be seeing some Bill Ayers wannabes popping up in short order.
RELATED: International ANSWER has released a press statement in solidarity with jailed pro-communist attorney and terror-enabler Lynne Stewart, "Free Lynne Stewart."