A few thoughts on UC activism

The following was by written and reblogged with permission from http://geoffreyw.wordpress.com/

The situation is different at each school, clearly. Davis, unlike Berkeley and Santa Cruz, has no conception of itself as an activist campus. There is some self-selection here. Not to say that no politically aware students go to Davis, there are a number of us. However, politically aware students tend towards Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

The fee hikes have radicalized every campus. Los Angeles for obvious reasons, that is where the regents were. Berkeley, too. The rally at Berkeley was too sparse for that campus, but many might have gone to LA already. Santa Cruz, famous for its many anarchists, has had anarchists take over buildings. More power to all these mobilizations.

At Davis we have had two sit-ins. The first was on Thursday in Mrak Hall (our Administrative Building), and the second at Dutton Hall (Financial Aid offices). There was an encouraging, spontaneous tone to Mrak–which ended with a shocking 52 arrests (including me). Dutton Hall, on the other hand, was disappointing, at least it was before I left.

We are at a stage where we can get a couple hundred apolitical students to mobilize in the rain for sit-ins at a moments notice, yet there is almost no one that we can count on to show up a week from today for any event.
Hardt and Negri are wrong, we all realize that. At the same time, digital communications made spontaneity a requirement rather than an option. No one wants to plan; few even view the strikes as a more than social event. It is good that there is music and dancing at our sit-ins, as most of the protestors seem perfectly willing to dance elsewhere.

We also have little when it comes to long term goals. I, of course, would love to have the charges against me dropped. But that is like drinking from the floor after knocking a glass filled with water off the counter–it replaces a problem without solving the real issue.

We need people–more people, dependable people–to mobilize against the real problems in the UC and State (and Nation and Transnational and Systemic) economy, but we lack those people. If we want democratic goals we need people to dialogue about them. But we need goals to inspire people to dialogue.


1 Comment

Filed under Statements, UC Davis

One response to “A few thoughts on UC activism

  1. I should clarify that there have been people organizing events since the summer. Mainly UCDOC. However, the recent sit-ins and jail solidarity were essentially spontaneous.

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