user preferences

Problems and Possibilities: California Student Organizing Explodes

category north america / mexico | education | opinion / analysis author Wednesday August 04, 2010 06:43author by Michael Reagan - Common Actionauthor email nwcommonaction at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

California Student Organizing Explodes

Last summer, the University of California Board of Regents voted to increase student tuition by 32%. When they announced fee hikes and budget cuts while simultaneously granting themselves pay increases, faculty organizations and unions called for a one-day walkout and symbolic strike on September 24th across the UC system. California faces a budget shortfall upwards of $20 billion dollars, and education faces an inordinate degree of the cuts. That day brought out thousands of students and seriously disrupted operations at the LA and Berkeley campuses.

4c09cb1466ac438eadaf39addb756772.jpg


Last summer, the University of California Board of Regents voted to increase student tuition by 32%. When they announced fee hikes and budget cuts while simultaneously granting themselves pay increases, faculty organizations and unions called for a one-day walkout and symbolic strike on September 24th across the UC system. California faces a budget shortfall upwards of $20 billion dollars, and education faces an inordinate degree of the cuts. That day brought out thousands of students and seriously disrupted operations at the LA and Berkeley campuses.

At Berkeley, the actions on the 24th led to a blundered attempt to occupy Wheeler Hall, a prominent building at the heart of the campus, and to establish a student general assembly. Both fell short of their potential. Without consulting other students, a small group tried to turn the general meeting into an occupation by locking the doors with u-locks. Students not prepared to risk arrest -- most of those present -- left. Attempts were made to organize the general meeting elsewhere, but disagreements over questions of race, participation, and representation meant a viable student organization did not get off the ground.

Despite the failures, the September mobilization spurred further activism. In November a more successful attempt was made because the occupation wasn’t disrupting other organizing efforts. Students put forward a list of demands that included protecting student co-ops and re-hiring laid off campus workers. Thousands of students gathered in support.

Police arrived and violently attacked, breaking one graduate student’s hand. After the occupiers were cited and released, they claimed success having sparked the interest and energy of the entire campus. Similar school occupations soon spread and students began organizing forums and building connections regionally and statewide.

Another week long occupation occurred in early December with students negotiating with the school. But when occupiers announced a free concert, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau called in police to oust the students, and 66 were arrested. Tensions remained high on campuses.

In early January, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to reverse state budget priorities and allocate more money to education than to prisons, in a reversal of twenty years of fiscal priorities. An office staffer admitted this reversal was in reaction to the statewide student uprisings. These changes come with their own sets of problems, but show that student organizing is having an impact.

Meanwhile enormous efforts went into mobilizing for a nationwide March 4th day of action. From grade school to graduate students, young people took to the streets in an effort to defend public education, fight racism, and disrupt efforts to privatize schools.

Students at the University of Washington, including Common Action members, took part in the March 4th national day of action. Several hundred students held a rally and picket in the main campus plaza and then marched into the U District. Entire classes of high school students joined the demonstrations. Several campus groups came together to organize what turned out to be the largest campus demonstration in three decades.

With positive media coverage and a respectable turnout, the University of Washington demonstrations were a success. However, more students stayed away from the protests than participated. In one defining moment, the demonstrators disrupted a large lecture room in Kane Hall to encourage students to ditch class and join the protests - but not one of those seated stood up and walked out. Organizers will have to examine the reasons for this reluctance to participate if they wish to build larger demonstrations in the future.

In California, as in Washington, student organizing has been rife with problems and possibilities. March 4th was huge – what happens now depends on what we as students, parents, teachers, staff, and organizers do next.

Related Link: http://nwcommonaction.org
author by Education For All, San Diego CA - Education For All Coalitionpublication date Sun Aug 08, 2010 13:44Report this post to the editors

Solidarity from San Diego. Organizing efforts under way for the second national strike and day of action on October 7th. Viva...

 

This page has not been translated into Català yet.

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Issue #3 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective

Front page

Elementos da Conjuntura Eleitoral 2014

The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes

[Chile] EL FTEM promueve una serie de “jornadas de debate sindical”

Ukraine: Interview with a Donetsk anarchist

The present confrontation between the Zionist settler colonialist project in Palestine and the indigenous working people

Prisões e mais criminalização marcam o final da Copa do Mundo no Brasil

An Anarchist Response to a Trotskyist Attack: Review of “An Introduction to Marxism and Anarchism” by Alan Woods (2011)

هەڵوێستی سەربەخۆی جەماوەر لە نێوان داعش و &

Contra a Copa e a Repressão: Somente a Luta e Organização!

Nota Pública de soldariedade e denúncia

Üzüntümüz Öfkemizin Tohumudur

Uruguay, ante la represión y el abuso policial

To vote or not to vote: Should it be a question?

Mayday: Building A New Workers Movement

Anarchist and international solidarity against Russian State repression

Argentina: Atentado y Amenazas contra militantes sociales de la FOB en Rosario, Santa Fe

Réponses anarchistes à la crise écologique

50 оттенков коричневого

A verdadeira face da violência!

The Battle for Burgos

Face à l’antisémitisme, pour l’autodéfense

Reflexiones en torno a los libertarios en Chile y la participación electoral

Mandela, the ANC and the 1994 Breakthrough: Anarchist / syndicalist reflections

Melissa Sepúlveda "Uno de los desafíos más importantes es mostrarnos como una alternativa real"

North America / Mexico | Education | en

Sat 20 Sep, 16:01

browse text browse image

rechazoreforma.jpg imagevideoUnder Attack, Mexico’s Teachers Fight Back Against Neoliberal ‘Reforms’ 06:12 Sat 14 Sep by Scott Campbell 0 comments

With the state pushing reform forward, the National Representative Assembly of the CNTE decided to call off the beginning of the school year and declared an indefinite work stoppage starting on August 19. They called for a massive convergence in the Zócalo and for more than three weeks, over 40,000 teachers from all corners of Mexico have reinforced the encampment, turning the Zócalo into a tent and tarp city.

Street banner in front of Chilean Consulate, Miami imageMiami Students: Solidarity with Chilean Students and Popular Struggles 08:27 Wed 10 Aug by S. Nappalos 0 comments

Students and activists in Miami held a protest outside the Chilean consulate in downtown Miami Monday August 8th. The rally was organized by Students Working for Equal Rights, a student organization at campuses throughout Florida that organizes around student and immigrant issues.

textZACF Statement in Solidarity with Students at Santa Cruz University 20:27 Fri 25 Sep by International Secretary 0 comments

We are delighted to hear that students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are taking direct action by occupying their university at the same time as our comrades take to the streets in Pittsburgh to protest the G20. We urge occupying students in Santa Cruz, as well as struggling students everywhere to forge links with the workers on their campuses and to support their struggles.

textMutual Aid: Host an Anarchist Speaker 02:59 Wed 19 Aug by Cindy Milstein 0 comments

The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) is proud to make available the following dynamic, politically engaged speakers: Ashanti Alston, Kazembe Balagun, Alexis Bhagat, Harjit Singh Gill, Matt Hern, Mark Lance, Josh MacPhee, Andréa Maria, Todd May, Cindy Milstein, and Shiri Pasternak. Each speaker will support the good work that your political group is doing, and in turn, will use some or all of any honorarium that your collective, university, or organization provides to contribute to the IAS as a project.

textUniversity of Toronto prosecutes 14 for opposing fee hikes 05:17 Wed 30 Apr by Edward Wong 1 comments

Outrage is mounting over the arrest of 14 students who are facing criminal charges for allegedly participating in a peaceful sit-in at the University of Toronto on March 20, 2008. The sit-in, held to protest rising fees, ended when police acting on the orders of senior UofT administrators forcefully removed demonstrators. Students and organizers are being subjected to a campaign of intimidation by the UofT administration, who sought a criminal investigation of the matter and encouraged Toronto Police to arrest 14 individuals and have pressed charges against them.

textQuebec: Student Strike Sweeping Province 20:19 Tue 12 Apr by Nicolas 0 comments

It has been already a month now since a massive student strike has been sweeping through Québec. It all started in late February when approximately 10 student unions, mainly from the Montréal area, went on an unlimited general strike.

imageOn the Chicago Teachers Union Strike Sep 11 by Chicago M1AA Member 0 comments

The following is from a Chicago member of First of May Anarchist Alliance. It is an overview of the situation and was drafted over the weekend in the lead up to the strike that has started today. [Italiano]

imageSnapshots of the student movement in Montreal May 30 by P. Gage 0 comments

At the bottom of this article are links for how your trade union or community group can support the students’ struggle. That will help tremendously, but spreading the struggle to your own job or school will do even more. This article is meant to help explain how, by showing how students in Quebec were able to organize their general strike. [Italiano]

textReport on the SDS and the SDS Convention of 2007 in USA Oct 01 by Mike GW 2 comments

About 200 students and observers converged on Detroit’s Wayne State University from July 27 to 30, 2007, with the ambitious goal of rebuilding SDS as a national force to be reckoned with. There was an organization, a structure to build. There was a vision, a politics to work out. There were internal problems to confront, there were actions to endorse, and all in all, there were some 70 proposals to be debated and submitted to the membership for ratification

textIndentured Education May 17 by Ella Powers and Hannah Leah 0 comments

Increasingly, working class students are incurring lifelong debt because the alluring promise of upward mobility through education leads them to take out substantial loans to pay for their education. Quite often they are uninformed or misinformed when it comes to the nature of the financial obligation.

textZACF Statement in Solidarity with Students at Santa Cruz University Sep 25 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

We are delighted to hear that students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are taking direct action by occupying their university at the same time as our comrades take to the streets in Pittsburgh to protest the G20. We urge occupying students in Santa Cruz, as well as struggling students everywhere to forge links with the workers on their campuses and to support their struggles.

textMutual Aid: Host an Anarchist Speaker Aug 19 Institute for Anarchist Studies 0 comments

The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) is proud to make available the following dynamic, politically engaged speakers: Ashanti Alston, Kazembe Balagun, Alexis Bhagat, Harjit Singh Gill, Matt Hern, Mark Lance, Josh MacPhee, Andréa Maria, Todd May, Cindy Milstein, and Shiri Pasternak. Each speaker will support the good work that your political group is doing, and in turn, will use some or all of any honorarium that your collective, university, or organization provides to contribute to the IAS as a project.

textUniversity of Toronto prosecutes 14 for opposing fee hikes Apr 30 Common Cause and The Committee for Just Education 1 comments

Outrage is mounting over the arrest of 14 students who are facing criminal charges for allegedly participating in a peaceful sit-in at the University of Toronto on March 20, 2008. The sit-in, held to protest rising fees, ended when police acting on the orders of senior UofT administrators forcefully removed demonstrators. Students and organizers are being subjected to a campaign of intimidation by the UofT administration, who sought a criminal investigation of the matter and encouraged Toronto Police to arrest 14 individuals and have pressed charges against them.

© 2005-2014 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]