Occupy Everything! brings you an extensive round-up of coverage about the March 4th students, faculty, and worker strikes, picket lines, walk-outs, protests, and occupations. We stand in solidarity and struggle with student occupations worldwide.
ALL POWER TO THE PUPIL!
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Students and college staff across the United States today are participating in protests and occupations to protest budget cuts, tuition increases and much more.
Following Thursday, March 4th’s Berkeley to Oakland march and rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza for the statewide strike and day of action against budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs to public education, a second march commenced. 200-250 students, educators, and activists marched from the close of the rally to the exterior of Mark Yudof’s office for a street dance party. The group then made their way toward the I-880 freeway, where 150-200 elected to enter on foot to shut down traffic.
All traffic slowed to a stop, and no individuals were in in any danger of being struck by automobiles. The riot police pursued them as they hopped over barriers in an attempt to make their way to the Jackson street off-ramp. As police closed in, most of the group sat down in anticipation of being arrested.
The police were violent with many of the protesters, using excessive force with their riot batons. None of the arrested were reported to be carrying weapons of any kind, and none were attempting to attack any of the officers. The police shut down the freeway in both directions, handcuffed and escorted the marchers to the Jackson street offramp where police busses slowly arrived to take the prisoners to North County and Sana Rita Jail facilities.
155 individuals were reported to have been arrested, in addition to some minors who were released into the custody of their parents. Francois Zimany was taken to the hospital after either falling, jumping, or being pushed by police off of the freeway, and is now at home with his family. The group was held over night, and released periodically throughout the day on Friday.
You can learn more by visiting indybay.org. All photos were taken by BLR DJ Paisley Cuttlefish who was among those arrested. She sustained a bad fracture to her elbow after being hit with a police baton.
Students and workers struck and occupied across the state of California, as did their counterparts at colleges in New York and 30 other states, defying efforts to corral the movement into after-work rallies or “dialogues” at the Capitol.
One of the most striking facts about the breadth of the action on March 4 was the popularity of radical action in areas with very little history of struggle. Students across the UC system were consciously referring to their activity as a strike and attempting to shut down their campuses, not just at the “activist” campuses of Berkeley, LA, and Santa Cruz, but also at San Diego, Irvine and Riverside (all in the heart of suburban Southern California), Santa Barbara (notorious as a party school) and Davis (the agricultural campus, located in “The Tomato Capitol of the World”).
According to Occupy California (occupyca.wordpress.com), each of these campuses saw at least several hundred students attempting to shut down the functioning of the university and, in many cases, to spread the disruption off campus. At Santa Cruz pre-dawn picket lines closed the entrances to the campus and were held even against violent attempts by drivers to break through, including one attempt by the driver of a Prius that broke a picket’s leg. Many campus workers, instead of getting angry at another “student protest”, respected the strike by joining the picket lines or by defying supervisors (and police escorts) and claiming that they couldn’t get through the picket lines. In Oakland, around 1000 students from Berkeley joined students and teachers from public schools, community colleges, and CSUs for a mid-day rally at City Hall. The marchers managed to get onto Interstate 880, a freeway going through the most working-class sections of Oakland, where 150 were arrested. At Irvine and Davis hundreds of students shut down their campuses and then moved to shut down surrounding traffic – in Davis the marchers then moved to occupy Interstate 80 (the main artery to nearby Sacramento), but after overcoming several lines of police using batons and shooting pepper balls, were eventually prevented. Similar strike attempts occurred at other UC campuses, as well as many campuses of the California State University.
There were simultaneous actions at universities in 31 other states, including at several branches of the CUNY and SUNY systems in New York. Take The City reports an occupation at SUNY Purchase, as well as demonstrations and walk-outs at Brooklyn College, CUNY Hunter, and the CUNY Graduate Center.
The movement is spreading and echoing quicker than anyone expected. Capital demands its pound of flesh and, in so doing, creates its own gravediggers. The students are not relying on any existing organizations for leadership but are spontaneously creating General Assemblies to strategize. By consciously referring to the movement as a strike and by attempting to spread off campus students are showing an implicit consciousness that this is not simply about ‘defending education’, but is about refusing to pay for the crisis created by the contradictions of capitalism. In order to move forward, the strike movement is going to have to spread – students will have to make links with workers, such as the 15,000 municipal workers who are receiving pink slips in San Francisco today, and they will have to encourage the workers to form general assemblies or general strike committees, instead of relying on the established unions that will divide the workers and prevent a general strike.
More to come…
- Search for updates on Twitter using #march4
- Pics: UCLA | UCSC | UMass | Sacramento
- Students Rally Against Education Budget Cuts at Cal State Los Angeles
- Rowdy protester target funding cuts at US campuses
- March, Walkout, Rally, and Sit-in at CSU-Fresno
- Mar 4th, 2010 7:25 PM : Dozens of protesters now on sherrif bus, headed to Santa Rita jail, after being arrested on 880 freeway. 100-120 arrests estimated.
- 16 UW-Milwaukee protesters detained after scuffles
- Rowdy protests target funding cuts at US campuses
- UCLA: UCLA students still sitting-in inside of Murphy Hall! 50 students inside, police just declared it an unlawful assembly.
- Bay Area: Police say as many as 150 arrested at I-880 in Oakland.
- Milwaukee: Cops attack education rights protestors in Milwaukee
- Nearly 7000 people are present at SF City Hall according to CA federation of teachers press contact
- UC Davis: Cops are beating people in the front. Arrests being made. Tasers being used?
- UCLA: Hundreds sitting in at UCLA chancellor’s office.
- UC Davis: 350+ protestors are on the move, linking arms, headed toward CHP blockade near I-80 onramp
- University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee: 18 arrested
- CCSF: A march of approximately 400 CCSF students is leaving Ocean campus now. Traffic is blocked, but drivers are honking in solidarity.
- Seattle: Seattle police stopping traffic for the protest
- UMass – Amherst: Over 200 students rally.
- Baltimore: 500 Baltimore students protest-outraged at the schools vs. prisons funding priorities
- San Francisco State: Picket has been going strong since 10am but entrances no longer blocked
- Picketer’s leg NOT broken by scab trying to cross picket line at UCSC.
- Arizona State: Banner drop at ASU
- UC Berkeley: Sather Gate blocked
- NYC: Walk-Out / Indoor demo at CUNY Hunter
- UC Santa Cruz shut down
- Berkeley Pre-Game Communiqué (That’s Not The Sky, That’s The Ceiling)
- Updates from UC Santa Cruz
- San Diego: Black community lends UCSD students support
- Day of education protests gets under way
- Day Of Action Dawns With Excitement; Protests Underway
- Thousands of Students Taking Part in National Day of Action to Defend Public Education
- Banner at UC Riverside
- CSU Fullerton OCCUPIED!
- Claremont, Calif.: Students Support Worker Demands for Independent Unions and End to Abuses
- Georgia: Student leader: Drastic cuts ‘a death knell for public education’
- California: Protests, rallies mark “Day of Action” for education funding
- California Students Protest Education Cuts
- D.C. area: Area students will protest higher education tuition hikes
- List of Bay Area Protests
- Following String of Racist Incidents, UC San Diego Students Occupy Chancellor’s Office
- March 4 the Regents!: How and Why a Movement gets Co-opted
- Communique from the occupied HCC: The Evergreen State College, Coast Salish Territories
- Why we reject the plan to fix the schools by cutting prison funding
- December 2009: Update on Student Struggle in California
- Bankrupt the System, Exploit The University
- The Bricks We Throw at Police Today Will Build the Liberation Schools of Tomorrow
- Four Theses on The Invisible University
On Thursday, March 4th, a banner was dropped from the rooftop of the University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado, in solidarity with the student uprising in California, and with resisters of the capitalist state everywhere. The banner read:
Free the Debt Slaves
Usurp the Profiteer
Free University Today!
Class War Now
The reasons for this are numerous and should be obvious. Free education is a fundamental pillar of a free society, where affluence is not confined to the smallest minority but diffused for the benefit of everyone. Universities worldwide are being transformed into profit driven institutions, exploiting the student population with inescapable debt, exploiting faculty and workers to increase profit margins, and excluding marginalized portions of the community from the country club of academia. The university today is in many ways an apparatus of the status quo, reinforcing false narratives of the murderous state, while reinforcing artificial values of ecocidal social and economic institutions.
Our university claims a reputation of environmental enlightenment and “progressive” political tendencies, yet takes large portions of funding from (and churns out wage slaves for) some of the most notorious regional polluters, and the foremost proponents of the military industrial complex. As students, the information we are and are not exposed to is more influenced by these coercive components of the dominant culture than by our own desire to learn.
But all over the world, students are fighting back, as students always have. As we recognize the broader implications within the university system of social relations in capitalist society, our goals and desires reach a critical common ground, a common desire to take back not only the university, but the community as a whole. Free education could never come about in such a society without a fundamental restructuring of class relations, for each according to their need, rather than for each according to their exploitability.
We drop these banners in our community recognizing full well that banners are not sufficient means of fighting back in the ongoing class war, but with the intention of injecting these concepts and associations into the consciousness a community where such ideas do not exist, generally drown out by liberal pretentions. As these assertions of liberal morality are proven a fallacy each day beneath the yoke of a Democrat war regime, a simple conceptual foundation of avenues of resistance can provide volatile kindling, as efforts toward liberation from the state and capitalism continue throughout the world.
Dropping banners is cheap, easy, fun, and shows what driven individuals can do with even relatively little effort. And more so than appealing to the masses, it allows us to identify our allies, and to show other resisters in and around the community that we are with them.
No Borders, No Classes.
-A Boulder anarchist
Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall…
Over the last 72 hours, two actions on Arizona State University’s West campus were taken; both of which were almost rendered invisible to everyone other than the accused oppressors. The actions while direct, were intentionally temporal in nature in order to instigate a test of reactionary censorship. Our expectations were not only fulfilled, but exceeded. Within only a few hours time, they ripped the tape holding the written iteration of an active dialogue straying from the norm of placating pacifist vomit from the the walls. They brandished their knives, shredding ropes holding banners with messages thicker than the ephemeral echos of ‘hope’. The validation that our ideas transcribed into words can instill fear in those we hope they would, gives reason enough to spread them in ways that better stick. If our verbal blueprints are taken as a threat, when the attack lashes out, imagine the swift blow affect.
Can you hear the foundations begin to creak?
Humpty Dumpty had a Great Fall…
Just as they are blind to their privilege, it is their privilege that blinds them. The pedestal from which they work leaves them to be the last one to hear the rumbling of the ‘subversive’ voice, the last to see the products of hands continuously creating, the last to smell the smoke from our sparks. This arrogance allows them to believe that they can put all fires out by sprinkling one flame with water, gives them the illusion that by shredding what they don’t want to be read, they can contain anything.
The higher you sit, the farther you fall.
And all the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men couldn’t put
Humpty together again…
The events over the last 72 hours, and the ones occurring while you read this, are only the foreshocks to the quakes that are forming. Observe the vibrations as they begin to crack the walls, as the glass colonial trophies of conquest begin to creep nearer to the edge, threatening to shatter. This is the start to an intricate series of chain reactions. We want nothing to do with attempts to hinder the complete destruction of this violent and oppressive system.
While they work to glue the pieces of the shell cracked by
this week’s actions back together, you can join us in burning their castles.
March 4th, 2010
Sprouts, Sparks, & Solidarity
Found this on arizona indymedia
This communique was posted around the campus of Arizona State University’s West Campus.
On March 4th, California schools will begin a statewide occupation of universities in order to “resist the neoliberal destruction of public education in California and beyond” This is a call to join them.
We are AFAW, a group of students, ex-students, would be students,teachers, learners, dreamers, readers, writers, lovers,friends, human beings…We are fed up, We are fucking pissed. We are here, We are ready, We are awake, We are making a call to all students, faculty, workers, and visitors on this campus to take actions in whatever way you may see fit to show solidarity with California campuses, and to shatter the glass walled prison you are in that they like to call a school.
Something Burns Something Grows.
For too long have we allowed the University to operate under the guise of providing us with an education, while in reality it ’ s only function is as a factory which produces workers to support the colonialist capitalist system. They ensure that we will enter into the workforce by continuously raising the cost of education to the point where it takes years for most students to pay off the debt they aquire while in school. Don ’ t be fooled into thinking your University is anything other than a corporation that does not work for you, they only work to control and use you. The concept of attending school for any other ends than to find a job and attain higher income, has become an impossibility. What is allowed to be taught, the way our classes are structured, the food that is served to us, the books that are made available to us ; are all dictated by the corporate & state entities that control our Universities. Even this pathetic attempt at providing substantive education is only made fully available to the privileged sectors of our population. We are acknowledging that until the control of education is taken out of the hands which currently cradle it, nothing can change. We do not want to negotiate, that time is past. Relinquish your hold on our education, and we are assured that that we can create a new form of education free from your hierarchy, patriarchy, and inherently racist classism. Below is a list of a few ways we feel we can begin to make the statement to those who are currently in control that: WE DON ’ T WANT YOUR FUCKING JOBS, WE DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKING CENSORED AND DULLED EDUCATION, WE ARE TAKING OUR SCHOOLS BACK, WE WILL NOT FUCKING COMPROMISE.
“Occupation means to take a certain space away from the influence of the existing powers, who have little choice but to use police force to reassert their control. As long as a space is occupied, the people inside have at least the chance to define what’s happening in it. ” -A Collection of Written Insurrections from Vienna
Occupy Occupy Occupy !! Dance in the classrooms ! Keep the library open all night ! Start a food fight ! Make barricades to keep the fun inside and the oppressors out !
Have a FUCKING PARTY to CELEBRATE the start of something beautiful and free, CELEBRATE breaking away from all that attempts to blind and oppress us, CELEBRATE the destruction of the lifeless beast that holds our education captive and the creation of a space to share knowledge that cannot be penetrated by capitalist colonizers !!!
Render the visible corporate presences ( Starbucks, Aramark, Fast Food, etc. ) on our campus inoperable in whatever way possible ( a rock and a can of paint can go a long way !! ) We are individuals trying to learn, not a target group to market products to ! Damage to property only is violent to the corporate system. A window, a wall, a cash register does not have a heartbeat.
Make banners expressing yourself and hang them from every building ! Make the walls our canvases ! We do not attend a white walled prison, this is OUR SCHOOL, OUR SPACE !
Refuse to give another cent to the monster, encourage others to do the same ! If they won ’ t teach us for free, WE CAN TEACH OURSELVES AND EACHOTHER !
Make music ring through the halls ! Yell to make your voices heard ! Wake yourself up ! Wake up everyone who has been lulled to sleep by the warm poison milk of capitalism !! Cause a break, a fracture, a disruption !
Take back YOUR LIFE, YOUR EDUCATION, YOUR SPACE ! You are NOT A DRONE, NOT A MONEY PRODUCING ROBOT, YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING !
They will try and stop us. They will threaten us with violence, with prison, with expulsion. We will fight back, we will riot in the jails, we will render their academic threats useless by taking away their power.
UMass — Today at the rally outside of the campus center a lively crowd was speaking and chanting for a good 45 minutes. Soon, the group left on a spontaneous march throughout the campus. We went into and out of campus buildings chanting and telling people to get out of their classes and join us. We eventually reached the administration building where we were confronted with a small line of cops. The teach-in is tonight – we are not done, we are only beginning.
Pics will be up soon
Today at the University of Oklahoma we did a series of solidarity actions. We set-up a little infoshop on the front lawn of our university, talking to people about the struggle for about 9 hours today. We had a lot of silliness and flier/literature goodness, which the highilight being a banner drop occurring off of the journalism building, facing the most populated areas of campus.
We are a Cadre of Anarchist students who happen to attend or have attended mainstream educational institutions; State Universities, Private Universities, Community Colleges and so on. We view Academia as, an institution that reifies claims to privilege and systems of oppression. Our work around the University consists of using it as strategic location to cause ruptures, confront enemies, build alternatives, and explore ideas. At the very least it is a place with a lot of resources for us to take. We personally do not see any use in dropping out, but if you want to, go for it! We encourage diversity of tactics. We position ourselves against all forms of oppression and hierarchy. We’re kind of over this whole thing they call ‘civilization’ too.
We are not fucking concise.
March 4th rally and march at UMass Boston:
Also, banner drops leading up to thursday: