Letter of solidarity from the University of Minnesota:
The occupation of UCSC is inspirational for all student-workers struggling for revolutionary change. Your occupation stands as a call for all of us to take the means of educational production into our own hands. Building constructively on the refusal expressed in the UC system-wide walkout, your occupation symbolizes, and at least temporarily enacts, the dream that another university is possible.
Like UCSC, the State of Minnesota and its University’s administration have and will continue to use the financial crisis for their own ends. They will continue to raise tuition, to increase fees, to cut the pay of the lowest-paid workers, to commodify higher education, and to reduce the experiences within it to a function of profitability.
But. ‘The public’ does not equal ‘the state’. The quality of educational experience is not measurable in dollars. Nor is it legitimated by corporate and military investment into our practices of research, teaching, and learning.
Your occupation stands against the university administrators’ bad-faith assumption that we need their expertise for governing our educational work and lives; it speaks to the intense impulse of refusal in all of us who desire to learn rather than submit to the capitalist rat race; it embodies a rejection of the neoliberal university and a replacement of it with a more beautiful and joyous one, where our educational energies will not be recuperated for profits or sacrificed in the name of a financial crisis. Instead, your occupation exemplifies an alternative: the creation of self-organizing modes of living, working, and learning. And while Yudof (former president of our own institution) says he’d prefer to see you in prison, you turn his prison of a university into a space for dance parties and radical democracy.
We respond to your call: spread the occupations and build affective relationships between our struggles; connect with those who are already creating self-governing commons within, across, and outside universities; break down and re-imagine the boundaries of universities to fit better with the lives we imagine in our revolutionary dreams; expand, intensify, and circulate our insurgent struggles until we take over the entirety of existing universities and make them our own in common.
Just as state and university administrators will continue to insist that this crisis is our crisis, we will continue to turn our backs to them while we reclaim, transform, and creatively destroy the spaces of higher learning, constituting new communities around educational projects that directly meet our needs and desires, without the mediation of bureaucracies or markets. In short, we too will not stop until we occupy everything,
The Committee on Revolutionizing the AcaDemy (ComRAD)
The University of Minnesota