Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rioting Breaks Out at UCLA 'Direct Action' Protest - Campus Resistance Front Decries 'Criminal Budgets' in Sacramento!

I predicted this week's campus unrest in my previous essay, "'Mobilizing Conference' for Public Schools Revives ’60s-Era Campus Radicalism."

The Los Angeles Times has two reports, "
Students storm UCLA building to protest expected UC system fee increase, and "UC regents approve fee hike amid loud student protests." Also, from KABC-TV Los Angeles, "UC Fee Increases Approved Despite Protesters":
Students chanted and waved signs as they marched throughout the campus and onto Wilshire Boulevard and other streets, blocking traffic in the area. There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

One student was arrested earlier in the day and cited for allegedly obstructing a police officer.

"Even as first-years, we've already suffered the 9 percent increase, and it's just going to get worse and worse for us and for our friends back in high school," said Ayanna Moody, a UCLA student. "It's our only choice to come here and fight."

After the vote, the protests continued around campus.

"I can hardly afford school as it is so -- I'm on grants, loans -- and they want to raise it 32 percent more. It's unacceptable," said student Crystal Bureman.

Mark Yudof, president of the UC Board of Regents, noted that students who come from families earning less than $70,000 will pay no tuition whatsoever, thanks to financial aid programs.

"If you make less than $70,000 a year, you will not pay any fees. You not only won't pay the increase, you won't pay the base. And if you make between $70,000 and $120,000, we'll pay half of the increase in the initial year. So the access is still there," said Yudof ...

That's sounds "free" to me, at least for lower income students. That's no satisfaction to the revolutionaries, of course. Here's the "communique" from the UCLA Resistance:
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 Sacremento, 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.
Everything's "criminal" nowadays, like the "criminal" occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine, remember?

More video from CNN:


2 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Everythin is criminal David, mostly the way the State has managed your tax dollars taking the state to the brink.

In the words of Reverend Wright, "the chickens have come home to roost"

Rick said...

Don't these people have classes to attend?