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Arrests of 52 students at UC Davis and others at UCLA ended 1-day occupations at both places, and at San Francisco State, but a new occupation has begun at Berkeley, where the occupiers report that police beat and pepper-sprayed students to re-take the building’s first floor. Students appear to hold the second floor at this time. Two buildings remain occupied by hundreds of students at UC-Santa Cruz, which has been the epicenter of the California occupation movement.

Since the first UCSC occupation featuring only a few dozen students earlier this term, their rhetoric and tactics have spread across the state: even the the more respectable “UC solidarity” movement uniting staff, faculty and students have taken up their mantra, to “escalate” the struggle.

The expanded wave of occupiers, featuring a reported 200-300 students in the Kerr admin building and 500 students in the Kresge town hall, have articulated detailed demands: see below.

Thanksgiving Without The People of the Corn

I’ll be in London as a visiting scholar at Queen Mary University’s School of Business and Management over US Thanksgiving. You know, in a culture where you can actually talk about the failures of capitalism–even in a business school–and not have the droolies come rising out of the corn: the Market is God…must kill the dissenter… he has an Agenda different from Holy Reagan.. my cartoon of Adam Smith proves the Intelligent Design of capitalism….

While I’m off the beat, the best source for occupation news is here. The mainstream press in California and CNN have noticed these events.

Unfortunately, besides my work in the “ideas & opinion” portion of the paper–my tiny blogger stipend representing about 1/15 of a reporter’s salary–all the Chronicle of Higher ED has been able to muster is a California stringer doing a quickie voiceover of a video clip I embedded in this column (and referring, wierdly, to raising “New York City tuition”), and a brief mention of just one of the wave of occupations–at Berkeley, natch.

“Would you like a happy ending with that?”

Well, that’s not quite all.

Senior “reporter” Paul Fain–or someone using his name– did take time out of his busy day massaging the egos of higher ed leadership to upload snotty comments on my last post at the Chronicle of Higher Education Review’s Brainstorm group blog, inaccurately accusing me of having a personal agenda, overblown rhetoric, and the like.

I mean he makes me sound like I’m a blogger with left-wing tendencies filling the token left-of-liberal slot in an ideas & opinion segment of the paper.  Shocking! Gee, Paul, it must be a pretty slow news day at the leadership-ego massage parlor for you to jump on that headline.

If Fain or the person using his name were actually following the story, he’d have known that anti-capitalist rhetoric is part of the global movement, as well as here in California, and that critique of capitalism has been on uptick everywhere in the mass media/entertainment complex. To the extent the first wave of occupiers spoke out, they were fairly bluntly anti-capitalist, without my help.

And battling Yudof and Schwarzenegger, or corporate management of higher ed generally, hardly qualifies as a “personal agenda.”

As anyone who has followed my columns knows, I’ve been curious as to where occupations would go, and have hardly taken for granted that they’d increase:  the trope of a “pillar of fire” refers not to an inferno, but to an enigmatic sign.

My suggestion to Fain or the person borrowing his moniker is that Chron might want to get Fain off his cushy “beat” lecturing executives on how to manage the bad press generated by their greed and selfishness, and do some reporting.

Or at least get the two-by-four out of your own eye before pointing to the ideological specks in others.

UCSC Occupiers’ Demands

1. Repeal the 32% fee increase
2. Stop all current construction on campus
3. UC funds and budget are made transparent
4. Verbal and written commitment to Master Plan
5. Total amnesty to all people occupying buildings and involved in student protest concerning budget cuts including: Doug G., and Brian Glasscock and Olivia Egan Rudolph
6. Keep all resource centers open: engaging education, women’s resource center, and all other diversity centers
7. Keep the campus child-care center open
8. Repeal cuts to the Community Studies Field Program
9. Re-funding the CMMU field studies coordinator positions
10. Get verbal and written agreement from admins to shut-down campus for one day for the purpose of educating students on the budget cuts
11. Said support for AB656
12. Said commitment to work-study for all who are eligible
13. Making UC Santa Cruz a safe campus for all undocumented (AB540) students and workers
14. Keeping LALS professors Guillermo Delgado & Susan Jonas
15. Repeal all furloughs to all campus employees, renege the 15% cut in labor time for custodians
16. Stop the gutting of funding for fellowships and TAships and the re-instatement of TAs who lost their jobs due the budget cuts from this quarter
17. Re-prioritizing funding so that essential student services i.e. the library get adequate funding to ensure regular library hours
18. Censure Mark Yudof
19. Un-arming UC police of all weapons including tasers
20. NO SCPD police allowed on campus
21. An apology from the regents and the state
22. Creating a free and permanent organizing space on campus for student activists and organizers (first options: Kresge Town Hall)
23. Due process for students:
a. trial by peers
b. constitutional rights for students tried under the UC judicial system
24. Making rent affordable for Family Student Housing, ensuring that the price does not exceed that of operating costs

Long Term:
1. no student fees
2. return to master plan
3. abolition of regents’ positions
4. abolition of all student debts
5. tripling of funds from the state to public universities
6. all eligible students get work-study
7. highest UC salaries are tied proportionally to the lowest waged workers
8. Impeach Mark Yudof
9. Representation of students and faculty equal to UCOP/UC Regents
10. All UCSC tuition fees stay at UCSC
11. UC Money is only invested to education
a. cut ties with Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos & Livermore National Labs



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