In an experience similar to watching the world's largest anti-war protests before the invasion of a country even occurred (I'm speaking of the 2003 global protests of the Iraq war) I am disheartened by the demonstration that even massive displays of resistance by the people can have no effect on an entrenched power. Raising voices in dissent only matters if the state powers are actually willing to listen.
If they have already decided to ramrod through preapproved changes, from cutting classes to rejecting CC transfers in defiance of the California Master Plan to increasing fees by 32 percent (after the 9 percent hike earlier this year), then there is nothing we could say or protest we could make that would make them listen. And since the Regents are not elected positions, it's not possible to vote them out. And the whole problem is compounded by a global recession, state legislature stupidity, Prop 13, and bureaucratization. I'm left wondering, like Steinbeck's farmer, who can we shoot?
I haven't been going on campus since the last set of protests, so I'm not really in the loop. It seems though that most of the campuses organized trips to either Berkeley or UCLA to protest the Regents' meeting at UCLA today, and that further rallies and protests are being organized at all the campuses tomorrow.
Anyway, here are some links:
Check out this cool website UC Solidarity to see recent and future actions. While at Keep California's Promise, Richard Evans compares the growth of senior management to that of faculty, stating that we're almost to the point where each faculty member could have his or her own senior manager.
Davis and Irvine didn't appear to have news articles in their papers about any campus protests.
At UCR, a spokesperson explains some of the cuts that this 32% increase is supposedly going to help: "' We've had major, major budget pain on this campus,' Lovekin said. 'People are hurting. People are being laid off. The fee increase is the part of that pain that students will see. They'll also see the larger class sizes.' Other impacts have included a loss of 16 positions at the campus library, where the collections budget was cut 21 percent."
San Diego --- "Councilmembers are organizing bus rides to UCLA for students interested in joining the protest. About 200 students from across the UC system are expected to protest at UCLA and participate in the public-comment period."
A Santa Barbara editorial --- "The current fiscal crisis is certainly to blame for slashed services and furloughed faculty and staff, but these furloughs will be up for review next year. On the other hand, if historical precedents hold, this fee increase will never be rescinded and students will be left holding the bill. With the promise of an economic recovery on the horizon, we recommend the Regents consider a provisional tuition increase. Just as faculty and staff furloughs will be up for review, students would like to know that this 32 percent hike is actually a measure to deal with a transitory crisis and not part of a general trend toward privatization of the University of California system."
Zunguzungu also alerts us to this website about the UC crisis and the news that the UCSB faculty held a vote of no confidence on Yudof.
At Santa Cruz, it appears that they have occupied a building again. But that they only held it temporarily.
At the main rally at UCLA, the Daily Bruin quotes someone as having been tasered during the protest:
“The UC Regents don’t care. … They only care about their progress, basically themselves,” said Miles Goodloe, a third-year political science student who said he was Tasered twice by police. “And I had to get Tasered to understand that.”A spokesperson denies this, but man, UCLA should not be pushing things. They have already had some major shit with this before, if you remember that youtube video that went around of the guy getting tasered for six minutes in the library computer lab. (I'm not even going to link to that again.)
And at Berkeley's student paper they have not only some great pictures but also are liveblogging the three-day strike, so you can go check in on it while it's ongoing.
Sigh. I was going to tell you that I finished reading and marking up my entire dissertation, and that today I did a lot of brainstorming about the introduction, but I think I'm going to be sad and depressed and go to bed early instead.
So I ask yet again; why are you so intent on staying in CA?
I'm applying out everywhere, I swear! Since I do have a class here next quarter and no prospects anywhere else, it seems silly to pick up and move right now...
As bad as the situation would have been anyway, we certainly have to give credit to Yudof for doing his best to be as big an asshole/buffoon/bastard as possible. He's just a pawn of the Regents, of course, (who are just putting through the agenda of California's insane republicans), but if I was Steinbeck's farmer, I'm not sure I'd be all that confused about where to point my shotgun.
Since my little corner of UC has been underfunded since it opened, I am sympathetic. On the other hand, according to our local paper (http://www.mercedsunstar.com/167/story/1180961.html), financial aid will be increased to meet the increased fees. This whole funding model is crazy.
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