This communiqué was written for students at Evergreen and people in the Olympia community and posted here for those outside these circumstances to understand where the struggle against budget cuts and capitalism stands in this community.
“What goes on between bodies in an occupation is more interesting than the occupation itself”
Tonight (the 2nd and 3rd of March) there was a study-in at the computer lab of the library building. As the clock struck midnight eighty students cheered as the administrators said the space was closed and walked off into the dark. This action was made possible by a concerted effort of student outreach to the workers of the space which helped achieve a common understanding about why this action was needed. Throughout the night people partook in finishing their homework, participating in workshops, and enjoying the feeling of a liberated (for the night) space.
In both the HCC occupation and this study-in, participants felt the change in how they related to the space and the people around them. The floor was no longer a cold hard surface, but a cozy bed, or the perfect place for playful interactions. The private computer rooms transformed into movie theaters and musical stages while the people in them began to loosen their shoulders and see the people around them as something more than alienated, stressed out students. In this space, temporarily void of authority figures people began taking responsibility, horizontally, for their own actions in the space that was, for this night, truly theirs.
People expressed joy, thanks, and excitement for this space. But if we as students, workers, and community members want to truly change the way we relate to this school and city we need to recognize that if we want to expand the bounds of these feelings we need to reclaim what’s ours. That means all of it and all of us.
After the soft (open and permeable) occupation of the HCC two weekends ago, to autonomous individuals organizing against budget cuts, it became more apparent that the administration and the police are fighting a war to pacify the student body. Finding places were they can split and divide student sentiment and pit organizers against organizers, they break our movement apart piece by piece. Whether its by causing internal disruptions at our actions, or endorsing our actions and deflating our momentum on the outside they continue to try and walk the middle road.
Tonight the police and administration walked that road but in the future it is certain that lines will be drawn and boundaries pushed. Eventually they will not bend and students will be forced to pick a side and stand their ground. There is no room for bystanders, budget shortfalls affect everyone. These cuts are just symptoms of a larger problem. Capitalism is in crisis and it is apparent who will get the short end of the stick.
PS. We’re just getting warmed up!