'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, November 20, 2009

Students Resist UC Fee Increases and Staff Layoffs 

Yesterday, after protests in Los Angeles where the police used pepper spray and tasers upon angry students, the Regents of the University of California ordered a 32% increase in fees over the next year. Undergraduate tuition will rise from $7,788 to $10,002 a year. Here is one account of the protests from one of the participants:

i went to the strike at berkeley Wednesday, then bused to ucla for the night and next day.
the whole campus was a police state about 100 cops there clenching their batons and tasers the whole time.
student protests were peaceful the whole time

i was tased, pepper sprayed, and arrested all on different occasions for interrupting their pig line and facing the uc regent in the face and calling out the filthy racist thief-- tried to spit in his face. a bunch of us chased after the uc regents and other corrupt officials to their cars and tried to block them from leaving, until they separated us with the threat of tear gas. i was among MANY others tased and pepper sprayed, in fact, a woman next to me passed out because she was sprayed directly in her face! the spray reached my arms (have burns) and lightly on my eyes and throat and are red and harsh.
however, there was apparently one other arrest since the time they got me.

got charged for resistance cause i was the only one who got past their line taking the regent to his van cause im tiny and prob didnt see me (hella stealth action) then went right up to the uc regents face. i kicked a pig in the face when they picked me up from behind and SLAMMED ME ON THE FLOOR. it was a natural reaction, i couldnt see cause they shoved my face in the dirt and i panicked because i thought they were gonna tase me again. two officers picked me up by the feet and upper body then cuffed me and dragged me to the building where the regents were.

Protests also took place on campus at UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. Meanwhile, students have barricaded themeselves inside Wheeler Hall today at UC Berkeley. From the standpoint of the political and economic establishment, the protests must be suppressed with a firm hand, because, if the students, faculty and staff of the UC system succeed in extracting concessions, they may spread to many other disaffected people.

Nothing must be allowed to shatter the consensus in support of neoliberal policies that require us to subsidize the bailout of transnational financial institutions through the imposition of austerity. Students involved in these actions are being charged with misdemeanors, and, in some instances, possibly even felonies, as there are reports that some of the students already arrested in relation to the Wheeler Hall one have been charged with burglary. Criminal charges are being brought for the purpose of creating grounds for the administration to expel the students. But what sort of educational institution seeks to admit the brightest, the most motivated and the most politically engaged so that it can thereafter proceed to expel them?

Labels: , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?