Archive for the ‘Solidarity’ Category

4/8-9 Days of Action Against State Violence

2 April 2010

West Coast Days of Action April 8-9
Oscar Grant, Aaron Campbell, and all the others: We Won’t Forget!
Freedom for Joel Dow and Holly Works!

Organize protests and autonomous actions in your own city!

Early on New Year’s morning, 2009, BART police in Oakland, California, shot and killed Oscar Grant as he lay unarmed on a subway platform. Only after community members rioted did the cop get charged with the shooting.

On March 22, 2010, Portland police shot and killed a homeless man, Jack Dale Collins, just two months after they shot to death Aaron Campbell, an unarmed black man. Anarchist and other community members responded immediately, taking to the streets in a riotous protest that marched on the police station, expressing anger at cops for the systemic killings, and at the media for covering up the prevalence of police violence. On March 23 there was another protest, at which police on motorbikes attacked the crowd. In a typical move, they charged one protester with attacking them. Joel Dow is currently sitting in jail, facing a felony charge and two misdemeanors.

The only times the police have ever been held responsible for their murders is when we take to the streets and halt business as usual. Following the law, being peaceful, being quiet, has never discouraged police violence, because it is the function of the police to use violence against the exploited, against the oppressed, against those who fight back.

Police violence is systemic. It is not a matter of isolated cases, or bad apples. For that reason, we are calling for two Days of Action, up and down the West Coast. The trial for Oscar Grant’s killer has been moved all the way to Los Angeles, where the government hopes it can get an acquittal. The problem of state violence stretches across borders. Only by extending our solidarity from city to city can we gain the strength to fight back and show that this is not an isolated problem.

People have already started using a diversity of tactics to resist the police. After the killings of Oscar Grant and Jack Dale Collins, people rioted. After the most recent killing in Portland, anonymous anarchists smashed up the police union office. In the Bay Area, Oakland Peace and Justice is organizing a blockade of the Embarcadero BART station for April 8. In Seattle, people are organizing flyering and protests in the city center. All the tactics are needed!

When we recognize the need to stand up against state violence, we have to remember to support those who have been arrested in the struggle. Joel Dow is in jail for two felony charges and two misdemeanors for a counterattack against police at the March 23 protest in Portland. On April 5, Holly Works goes to trial for felony charges from the Oscar Grant riots. They need to be freed, not on the basis of their guilt or innocence, but because the actions that took place were a necessary response to the police murders. Without those riots, the killings would have been swept under the rug, like so many times in the past. The struggle is not over until everyone is free!

Solidarity protests, flyering, blockades, and other actions will take place in the Bay Area, Portland, Olympia, Seattle, and elsewhere. Take initiative! Organize your own action and publicize it on the internet!

Freedom for Joel Dow and Holly Works!
Oscar Grant, Aaron Campbell, and all the others: We Won’t Forget!

Portland riots

Support Joel Dow

Support the Oakland 100

Bay Area April 8th action

Seattle April 9th protest

Sample flyers
Because the media will always lie, it’s important to let everyone know, in our own words, why we protest, why we riot, why we fight back. Take these, change the date and time for your own events, and print off thousands!

The Police Will Always Murder

Let the politicians mince words about better training and community policing. The truth is, police will always murder. Our entire economy is based on exploitation, on wage-slavery, on violent blackmail: spend your life working for those who own everything, or sleep on the streets. The economy kills people every day. Our country is founded on slavery and genocide. Generations later, the divides only continue to deepen. How can there be peace between rich and poor, between those who profit off this state of affairs and those who have even had their futures stolen from them?

That’s where the police come in. It’s their job to keep people in their assigned places, to use violence against those who resist, those who fall out of line. That’s why every week in this country, cops are murdering homeless people, murdering people of color, murdering transgender people, attacking protesters, spying on dissidents. It’s their job. The problem can’t be reformed away. It’s useless to talk about freedom and happiness as long we live in a world based on isolation, coercion, and exploitation.

That’s why we are not ashamed to talk about abolishing the police, abolishing prisons, abolishing the entire government. We can start right now by fighting back against police violence, against new laws of social control. We can start right now by reclaiming our communities, getting to know our neighbors, and building networks of self-defense without relying on the police. Society has organized itself many times before without hierarchy, without Authority. Suppressed stories of rebellion and freedom can be found everywhere.

If you’re not afraid to take your life in your hands, if you’re truly interested in the possibility of a world without police murders, here’s one of many places you can start searching for ideas:
Otherwise, don’t worry. If you do nothing, the police will continue to murder to uphold the world you rely on. Just don’t let them catch you out of your place.

For Freedom, for Anarchy!

Enough is Enough!
March Against Police Brutality
Friday April 9th, 12pm at Seattle Central Community College

Protect Our Communities, Protect Ourselves!

On Monday, March 22nd another Portland community member, was brutally murdered by the police. Friday, April 9th we are calling a march in solidarity here in Seattle to recognize that Portland’s struggle against police brutality is also our struggle. Police brutality is a systemic issue that is effecting the entire country. We refuse to sit by and just shake our heads as police shoot down people here or in Portland or anywhere. We refuse to feel unsafe in our own neighbourhoods, streets and workplaces.

The police are one part of the prison industrial complex that is expanding rapidly, and more and more sectors of our society are gearing themselves toward promoting the proliferation of prisons– and profiting off it. They are not making us safer. They are killing us and locking us up at an exponential rate. Today the US has 5% of the world population and 25% of the worlds prison population. With the highest rate of incarceration in the world, we have been sold the idea that police and prisons are the solution to crime. Upon investigation of the prison system we find a system that targets poor people, people of color, transgendered people and the mentally ill.

Instead of turning to the prison industrial complex, we want to build networks of support and safety within our own neighborhoods and communities. Instead let’s defend each other to preserve community safety. Talk to your neighbours! Form community assemblies and phone trees to create immediate response to danger in your neighbourhood, from the cops and otherwise. Build an understanding of the root causes of crime and the capacity to think up solutions that could really work to create real safety and healing for all of our community.

Let’s stand up and be loud! Let’s build a community movement against police brutality.

A flyer from Portland with that hot new style: protest info on the front, our manifesto on the back


2 April 2010

Sign the petition at

We the undersigned are opposed to the university’s disciplinary position regarding the students involved in the Architects and Engineering building sit-in on November 18, 2009, the Wheeler Hall protest November 20, 2009 , the arrests in Wheeler Hall on the morning of December 11, 2009, and the students that are facing sanctions for flyering. Over 100 student activists are facing a variety of charges related to recent protests. UC Berkeley is an institution that widely advertises its activist past and prides itself on its commitment to the principles of the Free Speech Movement, but the university is using the recently revised student code of conduct in a manner that is arbitrary in order to intimidate and punish student activists who continue to challenge the increasing privatization of California public education in the UC, CSU, and community college systems.We reject the accusations that the students involved in the Wheeler Hall protest put the safety of other students and community members into question. The November 20, 2009 protest was supported by students and community members; it was a call to the university to change the way that it engages with those upon whom its continued operation depends. The administration not only ignored this call, but is now attempting to silence student dissent on the campus by physically removing students from the campus. The December 11, 2009 arrests of over 60 students in Wheeler Hall were made in bad faith and without a dispersal order. The administration has defended its decision to threaten two students with sanctions for flyering by saying that there are clear rules about posting flyers. This use of the student code of conduct is a tactic of intimidation to silence opposition to the university administration’s position on its direction. We find this unacceptable and demand that all sanctions against these students be dropped immediately.

A Response to the Lies of March 4th (from NYC)

8 March 2010

Over the past century, the US has seen a series of direct-action movements, which spread like wildfire across the country. In the 1930s, for example, movements of industrial workers and the unemployed took over streets, factories, government offices and other spaces. In the 1960s and 70s, movements for civil rights, movements against the war–and of course, movements to defeat capital–did the same. In each case, direct-action contingents faced off, not only against the rich, not only against the police, but also against the established “leaders” of unions, parties and other organizations. Here and now–in CA and across the country–we are beginning to scare established “activists”, who are worried about losing their “following”, worried about the effects that a period of “uprising” and “turmoil” will have on them and their supposed “constituencies”–and especially on poor (as if we ever won anything by playing nice and following the rules). If history is any indication, we should take these denunciations as an sign that we are having some effect, that we are becoming “dangerous” to those who benefit from the present order–including those on the left.

On March 4th, at Hunter College in NY, a showdown occurred between those who wanted to have a disruptive indoor-demo and those who wanted to have a non-disruptive outdoor-rally. While the details are unclear, we are hearing some familiar insults, used to denounce those who favored disruption (the “privileged outside agitators”) over various forms of inactivity (desired, of course, by all the “local, peaceful activists”). We have heard all this before: the attempt to mask real fractures within communities by referring to all those who decide to act as dangerous outsiders. We have heard all this before: the attempt to silence the poor and less privileged by erasing them from actions. As always, neither side sounds like it is entirely blameless. But you know that our heart goes out, now and forever, to those who try to push struggles to their limits. Solidarity from occupyCA!

On March 4th 2010, a walkout was called for at Hunter College. This event was organized to coincide with the National Day of Action to “defend public education”. Inspired by walkouts, strikes, occupations and other acts of disobedience in public universities in California and here in NYC, Hunter students and allies decided on calling for a Walkout at CUNY Hunter. For a rundown of the day you can look here. This day has quickly become very controversial, with a multitude of accusations being thrown around the Internet. Pictures of participants of the action have even been emailed around activist circles at CUNY Hunter, and even published in articles in the Hunter Word by an ‘activist lawyer’ none the less. Based on this backlash from ‘activists’ who had little to no role in the organizing of the walkout and indoor demo that occurred, some of us involved in putting together and publicizing the walkout wish to clarify some points. We would also point out that, unlike those involved with the anti-walkout witch-hunt, we will not use photos of those involved with the rally or walkout or people’s names out of respect for their anonymity in the face of possible state repression …

[For the rest of the response, follow the link below]

Solidarity from USD

8 March 2010

The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego expresses its staunch support and solidarity with the students, faculty, and workers at K-12 schools, community colleges, and California State University and University of California campuses. We stand with them in their call for a democratic and accessible educational system for all students. We stand with them in their actions that shine light on the debilitating budget cuts and damaging campus climates that highlight not only the decline of public education in California and across the country, but also the ways that low-income students, students of color, and non-traditional students are disproportionately affected and further disenfranchised.

No campus – private or public, secular or religious, working-class or upper-class, urban or suburban – is immune from these overt attempts to dismantle public education. We are all directly impacted by these unwise assaults. Community colleges, public universities, and private universities such as the University of San Diego rely on public high school students who comprise the majority of incoming freshmen. Almost all college students rely on state-subsidized financial aid packages, especially those that include Cal Grants, in order to attend college at all. Budget cuts weaken already marginalized academic programs and student services, such as Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, LGBT centers, student retention and recruitment services, increased class size, and increased loans in financial aid packages. Weakened infrastructures also mean weaker departments and student organizations with which local communities can partner and collaborate.

We stand with our colleagues in defense of public education, not its privatization. We stand with them in protecting the integrity of education as a site for the regeneration and redistribution of intellectual, economic, and social resources, not increased socio-economic and racial stratification and terror. In light of this year’s 40th anniversary of the formation of Ethnic Studies, we stand together to honor the determination of our communities to transform public education into a means of liberation and sovereignty. We invite you to join us us in this important movement.

Department of Ethnic Studies
University of San Diego

UCB Banner Drop – Solidarity with UCSD BSU

28 February 2010

A banner was dropped on Saturday, Feb. 27th off the balcony of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building in solidarity with the Black Student Union at UCSD.

Love from Boston

20 February 2010

solidarity from occupyBoston:

As “youth,” there is no future presently worth working or studying for. We study in hopes of getting jobs, even while lost in the mazes of precarity. We work in hopes to make enough to live, despite the guarantee of needing to work for the rest of our lives.

As “adults,” we face the same problems. We work forever in order to give our children the chances of getting their own job upon graduating. This of course is for the “lucky” ones with parents able to help out.

The present future offers us nothing other than the uncertainty of whether we are able to continue to live; we are left worrying about food and money. The only assurance we have in the present future is uncertainty. The uncertainty of whether we are able to complete college. The uncertainty of getting a job after graduating. The uncertainty of having enough food to feed ourselves. The uncertainty of living life. Only these uncertainties are for certain.

Yet, in these uncertainties is also the assurance for the need of a new world. In order to break the illusion of this future that is laid out before us we must to take matters into our own hands. To break the illusion, we must take what we need. No more asking politely. We are to take and appropriate. We are to occupy and live.

March 4th is not just a National Day of Action to Defend Education. It is also the National Day of Action to Stop Police Brutality. It is also the National Day of Action Against Capitalism. It is also the National Day of Action to Fight for Our Lives: To Fight for Our Futures.

We are with you California and New York and everyone else (you know who you are).

Occupy Everything for Everyone

See you March 4th


Occupation at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England

9 February 2010

“On the 8th of February 2010 over one hundred Sussex students entered and occupied the corporate conference centre in Bramber House as a display of support and solidarity for the UCU’s upcoming strike ballot. Furthermore, we stand in solidarity with all other workers at Sussex taking action against the cuts.”–

Students at the University of Sussex have taken action to fight budget cuts at their university. We stand in solidarity with them– knowing that solidarity means each of us–at our own schools and workplaces–taking action too. Here and in England and throughout the world, we are learning how to stand up for ourselves, how not to be afraid, because we have each other to lean on.

We encourage those in the occupation to call all of their friends, to open up the occupation to as many people as possible. And we encourage them as well to transform the space, even if they only have it for a short while: share with one another, pass around pamphlets, write, discuss, make friends, and plan more actions. OCCUPY EVERYTHING!! We will too…

Your friends in struggle,

Report from Occupied Miwok Territory

15 January 2010

We will not budge and are willing to die… Everything has been taken. This is the last.”
-Silvia Burley, CVMT chairperson

“Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
-Mos Def

Anarchists and indigenous activists from the Bay, Central Valley, Santa Cruz and Canada have gathered at a foreclosed house in Stockton which is the only property belonging to the California Valley Miwok Tribe. It’s an hour and a half into the second announced eviction date (the first was in June and sheriffs were held off by a lawsuit). The contest over the house is part of a struggle over the legal identity of the CVMT. It is also one of the first eviction resistances attempted in the U.S. since the housing market crashed, and it is happening in Stockton, CA which has been the #1 city in the U.S. for foreclosures the past 3 years running. (The Central Valley in general has been exceptionally hard hit by the foreclosure crisis.)

The CVMT has existed as a federally recognized tribe (i.e., technically a part of the federal government) since 1915. The tribe existed as a mere formality, without organization or land, until the late 1970s when Silvia Burley and a number of other young activists inspired by the burgeoning indigenous movement of those years began the process of building an actual tribal government organization which can obtain and disburse federal funds and other services. It has been a long slow process but the CVMT has managed to obtain food, housing, environmental protection and other aid for some of its members.

In the past few years, the tribe’s funding stream has been frozen. A development corporation which owns a chain of casinos in Nevada and major housing development concerns in California has hired a front group of thugs and assorted scumbags to intimidate the existing tribal members and take control of the tribal government, with the goal of building a casino. Casinos represent the most crude monetization of the land rights and sovereignty that tribal governments represent. It’s also worth noting that four major “gaming tribes” in southern California hog most of the federal funds available to the state’s 108 recognized tribes (many of which are landless).

There is a very long story here about the BIA, the developer, and the various connections between businesses and government agencies involved. (see the CVMT website) The point that really resonates here though, is that a group of people are drawing a line and standing their ground against the forces of capital. Our homes, our futures, and our lives will not be taken away without resistance. We are not few enough to be easily pried apart. Today, anarchists resisting foreclosure will stand with indigenous people resisting disconnection from their territory. And tomorrow? The occupants of this house are prepared to keep out the sheriffs, the developers’ thugs and anyone else that tries to fuck with us. If the house can be held until Feb. 9 there is a court date which may release funds to the tribe and save the house, so it would be concretely really helpful for more people to join the resisters here. It would also be awesome if more people started occupying foreclosed houses, resisting eviction, and occupying fucking everything.

We are starting again… CALI WHAT!

Call for solidarity from the Student Occupation Movement with the California Valley Miwok Tribe

30 December 2009

Call for Solidarity from the Student Occupation Movement with the California Valley Miwok Tribe:

Thousands of students have taken part in the occupation of their universities and schools – yet many have asked how this movement will grow and expand itself? How will it break out of the schools and institutions of “higher education,” and begin to involve itself in the territory of all social life? Recently, the California Valley Miwok Tribe in Stockton (about 1 hour south of Sacramento and 20 minutes north of Modesto) occupied their tribal office/home and have held it for several months. Barricaded inside their space, the tribe has created an international stir and held their ground behind barricaded walls. On January 15th, the Sheriffs are set to come in and evict the tribe. In response, the tribe is holding two large demonstrations and pickets in Sacramento on the 6th and 7th of January. These pickets will take place at the John Moss Building (Bureau of Indian Affairs Office) 650 Capital Mall, from 10 AM – 1PM each day. People are encouraged to bring signs, banners, and as many people as possible. Stand in solidarity with all people occupying and taking back their lives – from the schools to their foreclosed homes.

If the students who stood against the budget cuts and fee hikes now stand in solidarity with the Miwok people who are resisting eviction by occupying their space, we can expand our movement and make powerful connections. We can generalize our struggle across new terrain and space. We can push for the occupation of all aspects of our lives. We must occupy and escalate!

More information on the pickets:
Interview with CVMT in Modesto Anarcho:

Of Many Tasers and Batons, a Few Torches and Rocks, and the Way Forward: A Statement by a UCI graduate student

15 December 2009

Of Many Tasers and Batons, a Few Torches and Rocks, and the Way Forward

The actions and arrests that occurred on Friday night at Chancellor Birgeneau’s residence have provoked a moment of pause and recalibration among those of us involved in the anti-privatization movement in UC. The facts about what happened that night are unclear. No charges were filed at the arraignments of those who were arrested and held in jail for four days on bail of $132,000. It would seem that, at the moment, there is no evidence to support the accusations of multiple felonies for which they were detained.  At a time when people are considering the initial rush to judge and condemn, we should remember that lives are ruined by police accusations that those inside and outside the movement circulate as fact.  Let us take this opportunity to affirm absolutely that the reaction to last Friday’s events must take place as a conversation among those who have been engaged in the defense of public education in California: the workers, students, and faculty who have risked much in pursuit of overturning the policies approved on November 19th at UCLA. The current UC President Mark Yudof, enabled by the tacit support of Chancellors, implemented the endgame of a process that will see our libraries close at 8 pm., our campus workers fired, and public education increasingly become a commodity for the wealthy to purchase. These offices are now engaged in a dishonest and insulting rhetorical game of misdirection that encourages students to address their rage to an abstraction called “Sacramento” in lieu of directing it at the flesh and blood people – Governor, UC Presidents, Regents and Chancellors — who penned, signed, and excused this gross betrayal of California public life.  Part of this campaign to misdirect the message of the movement was the governor’s supremely irresponsible labeling of the actions of a few protestors on Friday as “terrorism,” equating the smashing of planters and the throwing of rocks at windows with acts of mass murder. One need not condone the vandalism that occurred at Chancellor Birgeneau’s on Friday night to condemn this abuse of language and logic and to worry about its dangerous effects. It would be laughable if not for the fact that such political posturing has material consequences for the lives of individuals and movements. We now know that there is insufficient evidence to charge those held in jail with vandalism, let alone to support the charges made by the Governor and the Chancellor’s office. We add this to the list of good reasons to mistrust reports issued by Chancellor Birgeneau and his Public Relations spokesperson Dan Mogulof. After the occupation of Wheeler Hall on November 20th, Mogulof claimed that those inside the building were not Berkeley students. There was no reason for the Chancellor and Mogulof to believe this and so we are left to assume that this was misinformation knowingly circulated. In an impromptu press conference held in front of Sproul Hall on Saturday, Mogulof affirmed again and again that the arrests at Wheeler early Friday morning were made in order to “prevent at all costs a scene like the one on November 20th.” This statement, heard by faculty, students and workers who were present, confirms that contrary to the Chancellor’s official statements of concern, these arrests represented a tactic in the effort to suppress student activism at Berkeley. If Mr. Birgeneau was simply concerned with clearing the building, certainly police would have issued an order to disperse to each of the occupants and allowed students the choice to take a civil disobedience arrest, or to leave. We are left to assume that the spectacle of students hand-cuffed in the rain was a PR goal for the Chancellor. Let’s not allow the public response to Friday’s action, whatever the facts turn out to be, to further excuse a policy of student intimidation that was underway prior to acts of property damage and intimidation. Let us not forget who perpetrated the previous violence on our campuses this year, and on whose orders. I urge the faculty, if they are uncomfortable with any tactic or ideology connected with this student movement going forward, to resist relying on spokespeople who have circulated lies. Ask a student what the environment was like in Wheeler prior to the mass arrests. Ask a student what students and workers are saying about the vandalism at the Chancellor’s house and how it has affected student activism as a whole on campus. Given the complete exoneration of those arrested we should vow to  remember next time that while activists remain in jail, the in-house conversation can be nuanced and critical but the public comment should strive for solidarity and at all costs should avoid circulating the unverified (and in this case utterly, absurdly false) claims of the administration and the police. Faculty need not condone the acts of the few in order to express concern for the wrongfully jailed and renew a commitment to the mission and tactics of the larger UC-wide student movement: to resist the long pre-meditated and ideological policy of Governor Schwarzenegger and his appointee Mark Yudof to replace a public trust with a private concern and to take money out of the pockets of poor, working and middle class students and workers and put it into the pockets of the wealthy, their own and those of their under-taxed class mates.

In Solidarity,

Emma Heaney

UC-Irvine Graduate Student, Department of Comparative Literature

Solidarity from UMD College Park

2 December 2009

UCI Department of Spanish & Portuguese

1 December 2009

IRVINE – November 20th, students and a faculty member from the department of Spanish and Portuguese stated their solidarity with students protesting the 32% fee increase and disagreed with the deplorable police violence used against students.

ALUD, la revista de los estudiantes de posgrado del departamento de Español y Portugués de la Universidad de California, Irvine rechaza el incremento del 32% a la matrícula universitaria estatal definida el 18 y ratificada el 19 de Noviembre  2009. Los integrantes de esta revista deploran la violencia efectuada por elementos policiacos en contra de grupos estudiantiles en protestas llevadas a cabo en varios campus del sistema universitario durante las mismas fechas. (read more)

Solidarity from Japan

29 November 2009

WE stand in solidarity today with the students, staff, and faculty members at the University of California campuses who have been occupying campus buildings in protest of the 32% fee increase, budget cut, laying off of the workers, and loss of quality public education and those who are engaged in the similar struggle at Michigan State University. Your movement not only makes visible the demand that the public university be valued and maintained as an important site in society for the redistribution of wealth and privilege. The occupations of the buildings at UC Davis, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State University–along with other acts engaged in solidarity–have proved that the students can free time and space in the midst of today’s corporate university. It is the time and space stolen from that university that matters, the kind of university that is so bent upon making profits while sacrificing our desire to learn and think, exploiting its workers, especially the vulnerable ones such as the non-tenured faculty members and the non-teaching workers on campus, and, worse still, demanding that its students must pay money for the kind of education that teaches us to be a “competitive labor,” a euphemism for a calculative, lonely individual subjected to the forces of capital and shackled to student loans. In many ways, if we may quote from the Zapatistas, we are you here in Okinawa. Our budget has been cut annually, our part-time language teachers lost their jobs or teaching hours, our curriculum began to include classes on job search, job interviews, and individual psychological health. “Hell no,” (“jodan ja nai” in Japanese or “yukushi” in Okinawan) has been our response, so we pitched tents on campus last winter to make visible the same tension, to steal time and space on this island. It is in this spirit that we show our support and solidarity to the students, faculty, and staff members at the UC and Michigan State University.
You and we are the beginnings!
November 27, 2009
Concerned Students at the University of the Ryukyus
Project Disagree

source  website.

Solidarity from WSA

28 November 2009

This statement from the Worker Solidarity Alliance:

Defend and Expand the Campus Occupations!

The campuses of California have been occupied. Last week, the California Board of Regents decided to impose a 32% tuition increase across the University of California system. The Workers Solidarity Alliance extends its full support and encouragement to the students and workers across the state of California in their struggle against astronomical tuition increases and other measures intended to make workers pay for a crisis deliberately manufactured by the state’s governing elite.

We take inspiration from your fight and the militancy of your struggle and wish to offer any support and solidarity we are able. We are not directly present in your struggle, and as such, we do not have the understanding of what is happening that you do. However, as an organization of working class militants engaged in struggles across North America over the last 25 years, we would like to humbly offer not only support, but also analysis based on our own experiences as you move forward in your fight. We welcome communication from you about ways we can support you, about lessons you suggest we take away from your struggle, and above all about how to extend this struggle further.

As news reaches us, we find it encouraging to hear that the struggle so far has been waged in a largely libertarian and confrontational manner – through general assemblies and direct actions, such as occupying buildings or physically preventing the departure of the UC Regents from their meetings. We believe that it is vital to avoid efforts by politicians and other opportunists to mislead the students and workers into narrow reformism or accommodation into existing channels for dissent that demobilize social movements, such as lobbying, waiting for the next election cycle, or waiting for a bailout from the federal government. Your time is now.

While we applaud the bravery of those who risk life and limb confronting the forces of the capitalist state on the picket lines and behind barricaded doors, we also feel we must soberly acknowledge that this is a defensive struggle. Unless the struggle rapidly grows, it will succumb to repression and dissipate in the face of meager concessions.

It is therefore necessary to expand the struggle, building on the already impressive participation in the struggle by working class students. We lack specific first-hand information, but it seems that the racial and ethnic composition of the movement fairly closely parallels the composition of California’s working class. Workers of color have once again taken the lead in advancing the class struggle in the United States. It is unclear to us if white workers and students are participating in the struggle in proportional numbers, but we hope that white activists play a role in building class unity across racial lines- encouraging participation by working class whites and actively combating any attempt by the bosses to offer a white supremacist sweetheart deal to white workers or students in order to split the movement. The involvement of large, diverse working class base of previously “unpoliticized” students and workers is the only hope for success in the struggle, and also the only real defense against the repression of the movement.

One urgent task facing the movement is the extension of the struggle to the California State University campuses. If resistance to the longstanding efforts by California’s owning classes to shrink and privatize both university systems is to be successful, the students and workers of all the state’s educational systems must stand united.

Beyond broadening participation in the struggle amongst students, it is necessary to expand the struggle to other sectors of the class that are impacted by the crisis. We are heartened by the level of collaboration between students and workers in the current struggle. We understand that this has been possible because of years, if not decades, of committed organizing between these two groups. This sort of solidarity is critical if we are to avoid co-optatation as an “interest group” grasping for benefits from the bosses. Capital can shift resources around to buy off and pacify one particular group. It cannot deal with one big union of all the workers, all in support of each others’ demands. The long, slow work of mass organizing must continue even in the period between mass mobilizations to build this solidarity and prepare for the next upsurge.

In discussions among ourselves based on your struggles and our own experiences, we brainstormed a few possible ways to expand the struggle to other sectors of the class. Some of the ideas we discussed are for working students to mobilize their coworkers around workplace demands, for masses of students to shut down businesses in areas around the universities that depend on students as customers, or for workers to stage job actions in workplaces that employ large numbers of students. You could also seek out workers currently on strike in other sectors of the economy, or ask your parents to participate by coming to campus or organizing their coworkers in support of your demands. Another option would be to bring non-student coworkers to assemblies on occupied campuses, as was common in the 1968 uprising in France. You might also look for inspiration to the 2004 Quebec student strike, in which student unions shut down university campuses and then went on the offensive by creating “economic perturbances”- student occupations of critical sections of the highway system, the port, and the stock exchange. The Quebec students won their demands with broad support from unions and workers across Canada.

If steps are taken to deepen and expand the struggle, the student-worker movement will be able to extract more favorable concessions from the California capitalist class, hopefully leading to the removal of some of the burdens they seek to foist on UC students and workers. However, we believe that it is only through a national, if not international, unification of campus struggles that the worker and student movement will be able to move from a defensive position against Neo-liberal cutbacks to more radical changes in the education system such as democratic self-management of the universities by the staff, faculty, and students.

We ask respectfully if the California students in action consider it a useful step to form a national student union to coordinate solidarity not just between campuses and across states, but with students and workers around the world. We see this as a potentially useful tool for advancing your struggle, the struggle of working class students, and of our class generally. We welcome response on this suggestion from the students in action now, and would be happy to collaborate to the best of our ability on such a project.

The protests and occupations of the students and workers in the UC system have captured the attention of the nation. Such actions speak louder than our words ever could. We hope that your example will find its echo on campuses and workplaces around the world as university managements and governments seek to further immiserate workers and students in the wake of the economic crisis. Furthermore, we hope that your fight in turn inspires workers in other sectors across the world to organize and fight their own bosses, building the unity and strength of the workers movement in preparation for the long years of struggle ahead, and setting the stage for the eventual global workers revolution.

The Workers Solidarity Alliance

Statement in Support of UC Mobilization

27 November 2009

from: the california professor blog

Here is a statement in support of mobilization at UC, started by Peter Hallward (Middlesex University, London), which is currently gathering signatures:

We the undersigned declare our solidarity with University of California students, workers and staff as they defend, in the face of powerful and aggressive intimidation, the fundamental principles upon which a truly inclusive and egalitarian public-sector education system depends. We affirm their determination to confront university administrators who seem willing to exploit the current financial crisis to introduce disastrous and reactionary ‘reforms’ (fee-increases, lay-offs, salary cuts) to the UC system. We support their readiness to take direct action in order to block these changes.  We recognise that in times of crisis, only assertive collective action – walkouts, boycotts, strikes, occupations… – offers any meaningful prospect of democratic participation. We deplore the recent militarization of the UC campuses, and call on the UC administration to acknowledge rather than discourage the resolution of their students to struggle, against the imperatives of privatization, to protect the future of their university.