Students Occupy Former Cross Cultural Center at UC Davis

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DAVIS, California – Students at UC Davis occupied the former Cross Cultural Center midday on Tuesday – the center having moved to a new $22 million building. They have declared their solidarity with UCR, Egypt, the hotel occupation in San Francisco and Occupy Oakland – especially with their upcoming moving day on January 28th.

This is their communiqué:

The spaces we live in are broken: occupation is our defense.

As capital spirals further into crisis, we are constantly confronted with the watchword of austerity. We are meant to imagine a vast, empty vault where our sad but inevitable futures lie. But we are not so naïve. Just as Wall Street functions on perpetually revolving credit markets where cash is merely a blip, so also does our state government. High tuition increases have been made necessary not by shrinking savings, but by a perpetually expanding bond market, organized by the UC Regents, enforced through increasing tuition and growing student loan debt. Growth has become a caricature of itself, as the future is sold on baseless expanding credit from capitalist to capitalist. Our future is broken. We are the crisis. Our occupations are the expressions of that crisis.

But on the university campuses, where militarization is increasing daily, we have more immediate needs. Our relationship with the administration and police is not one of trust and openness; the arrogance and nonchalance with which they regularly inflict violence against us is just as regularly followed by a thoroughly dissembling, inadequate, and cowardly condemnation of that violence. One hand attacks—one hand denies. Our universities and our public spaces are today ultra-militarized zones, where students and workers are monitored and subjugated under the pretense of “health and safety.” Officer Kemper from UC Irvine drew his gun at the Regents’ meeting at UCSF. Berkeley UCPD participated in violently clearing the Oakland Communards from Oscar Grant Plaza just weeks before they would come to UC Davis for the events of November 18th. On the day of the first Oakland General Strike, UCOP office in Oakland was lent out to OPD to “monitor” protests. Under the pretext of mutual aid, squads of armed and armored riot cops move from one campus, one public space, one city, to the next. The circulation of cops throughout the state shows that the mobile, militarized force of repression knows no boundaries: it will protect capital, government, and the status quo, wherever they are threatened. In a university whose motto is fiat lux, the administration crushes dissent and veils its intentions with lies. It has the same intentions as Mayor Quan or the Military in Egypt: to crush resistance, by any means necessary.

To continue our resistance, our immediate need is to create a safe space of togetherness, care, and freedom. When we occupied Mrak, the same officers who would later be involved in pepper spraying us watched over us as we slept. As we gathered to discuss, plan, and act to protect our right to education, the Orwellian “Freedom of Expression Team” and the “University Communications Team” loomed nearby, texting the pigs and administration on their stupid androids, smiling at us in their fake, overfed way, scooting near like unpopular highschool kids trying to overhear the weekends’ party plans. Later, these same concerned FOEs, would stand by on the quad and do nothing, grinning like idiots, as students pepper-sprayed at point blank range called for medics. It is clear to us that public space has become a euphemism for militarized, ordered, monitored space. Occupation opens a common space which is not the extension of private property to group property, but the active exclusion of all that reinforces private property. We must exclude the police and the administration, and their “Freedom of Expression Team” lackeys as well, in order to create the openness and togetherness which is impossible in their presence.

The UC Chancellor, President, Regents—who prattle on endlessly about diversity while the university closes its doors to brown students, who hail marginal utility while “the economy” closes its fist around the poor, who dream up ways to boost the university’s standing on some imaginary scale of “excellence” while slurs, swastikas, nooses, and Klan masks appear endlessly on our campus, who meet protests with violence and truth with lies—they have already proven their incapacity to imagine a future different than the present. We occupy because we will not wait for the broken future they have planned for us, because we do not trust our “elected officials” or administrators to make decisions that address problems beyond their own narrow interests. This action is not the beginning of a discussion; this is the end of the discussion. We cannot negotiate for our needs, we will not negotiate for our needs, we will meet our needs. (via UCDecolonized)

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2 Responses to “Students Occupy Former Cross Cultural Center at UC Davis”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Problematic much? the new building received funds from the actual centers themselves to be built, and although they were student fees this was a planned construction that has been slowly raising funds over the last 10+ years, not all of a sudden as a lot of construction has been (which is the source of outrageous campus fees that make us, the students struggle so much). I am not necessarily “pro” the existence of this new building in the first place, actually for similar reasons that have to do with why this occupation of the old CCC/ now EOP is problematic. people of color have VERY LITTLE ALLOCATED SPACE ON CAMPUS. the new center, to many, is a victory of recognition of students of color and their needs, which doesn’t happen too often (and if you’re not a marginalized student on campus u probably wouldn’t notice it). I just think that maybe yall should think over the politics and message that this brings. That “old” center means so much to so many people and the fact that it is now being “occupied” by a movement that is supposed to be representative of a solidified student voice is actually making many students cringe, students who are and have been continuously active on this campus for the past 5+ years, not just with the recent wave of activity that the Occupy movement has mobilized (not trying to hate on the folks who are now just getting involved- it’s beautiful that folks feel an opportunity to get involved thru the Occupy movement, however, just shedding light on the fact that other folks are taking an issue with this). I am speaking solely on my behalf, however i felt the need to say something because too many of my friends are distraught and hurt by this sudden movement to the old CCC/ new EOP.

    By the way, that IS the new home of EOP (Educational Opportunity Program). if you do not know what that is, i suggest you take the initiative to inform yourself because it is even more problematic that space that is to be used to retain low-income, educationally disadvantaged students is now being “occupied” may not bring the kind of message that Occupy UC Davis wants to convey….

  2. Students Occupy Former Cross Cultural Center at UC Davis | OccuWorld Says:

    […] for a radical occupation – SensusCommunist Source Tags: a-common-space california chancellor crisis egypt events hotel img-alt mayor military […]

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