Behind the Privatization of the UC, a Riot Squad of Police
By GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
This was bound to be a big week in California regardless, as the threat of a 32 percent tuition and fee increase across the University of California system made a crashing entrance into reality with Wednesday’s vote by the UC Board of Regents. Perhaps the Regents and UC President Mark Yudof expected that their diversionary tactics–lament the crisis and direct blame to Sacramento’s budget cuts–would pay off. But this was not to be.
Remembering and reinscribing the violence of this police response into our collective memory of the occupation is of more than historical interest, however, and consists of more than merely remembering the pain inflicted upon our comrades, however necessary this may be. It is in this violent police response that a strategically correct interpretation of events lies, and this fact makes efforts to conceal the conflict of the day more than merely an effort to prevent further violence. The police response showed precisely what was at stake in the occupation, and what remains at stake in the movement more generally. The police response showed exactly how far the UC Regents, President Yudof, and the local administrations are willing to go in order to drive the privatization of public education down our unwilling throats. It showed us, in short, that we were doing something right, and we can expect more of the same if we ever hope to win.
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