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Dancing for a Future at the Bay Tree Occupation, UC Santa Cruz
by ~Bradley ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Thursday Oct 1st, 2009 3:37 PM
A dance party thumped on the night of September 30th at the occupied Graduate Student Commons and Bay Tree Plaza at UC Santa Cruz. The party brought out hundreds of undergraduates, many of them still frosh in their second week of college, as well as graduate students, alumni, dropouts, faculty and other distinguished community members. Many people described the space and experience as liberating. People of color, anarchists, communists, fraternity guys, sorority gals and jocks were all mixed into the diverse crowd of protesting dancers.

Without a doubt, they danced to enjoy the present moment, but of greater importance, they were dancing together for a future. A future of liberation and mutual aid, rather than the systems and structures of exploitation rigorously ingrained in them through corrupt institutions.
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Some people critiqued the occupation of the Graduate Student Commons (GSC) because there were two dance parties, however occupiers counter that the parties were very politicized spaces. They also conclude that dance parties expanded the occupation from the GSC and into the rest of the plaza. This politicized space, rather than just a party, is what kept the UC Police Department from trying to physically intervene and stop it.

Below the lights in the Bay Tree Plaza, people danced, listened and shouted to a mix of electronic music, students giving speeches, and classic hits that span generations, such as Fight For Your Right (to Party) by the Beastie Boys and a techno remix of Rage Against The Machine's Killing in the Name. Through bullhorns, students vowed to continue and escalate the resistance to the privatization of their future.

They urged people to return at noon the next day, Thursday, October 1st, to raise hell over the high price of textbooks, on top of rising tuition costs and shrinking course availability. However, after the dance party winded down, the students ended the occupation of the Graduate Student Commons. At noon on October 1st, the manifestation against textbook prices did not materialize. Instead of seeing banners and students occupying the GSC and demonstrating against privatization and the high price of textbooks, there were groups of UCSC administrators and police officers standing guard at the Bay Tree Bookstore, Express Store and Graduate Student Commons.

Although there was not a loud demonstration in the plaza on Thursday, there was a quieter one. A sort of silent standoff between members of UCSC's 'Emergency Response Team', including Alma Sifuentes of Student Affairs, and groups of students plotting out their next moves.
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by ~Bradley Thursday Oct 1st, 2009 3:37 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

ucsc-dance-occupation_9-30-09.mov (5.9MB)

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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Craig Louis Stehr
( craigstehr [at] hushmail.com ) Thursday Oct 1st, 2009 8:51 PM
Rains from the cloud do not wet the sky!
by Einstein
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 11:37 AM
Trash the only student-owned building on campus to protest capitalism. Way to go.
by Me
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 1:13 PM
~Bradley, you are truly a moron. Why do you think the police didn't respond, because they were afraid of you, because there were so many people there that they were afraid to do something? WRONG, they didn't do anything because they didn't care. As much propaganda BS as you all are spewing, the GSC is a student space and they just didn't care. You did not cripple the university or bring it to it's knees in any way shape or form. Get a clue, you have very little support and most of us think you are a joke. Bet you'll have a great coffee table book someday with all your pics, loser.
by a
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 2:24 PM
read this http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/09/29/18623866.php

fuck your reformist agendas
by I Guarantee
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 6:58 PM
Didja know that the morons who "occupied" the senior commons offered up their identity cards to secure their use of the facility in advance?

Didja know that the "occupiers" trashed/vandalized/graffiti sprayed the building on their way out?

I'll take any and all bets that these same students will soon be receiving a bill in the mail for all damages. And I say GOOD. F-you for using idealistic agendas as an excuse to vandalize, damage, and act like idiots. Thats ALL OF OUR SPACE, not just yours.

Enjoy paying a five-figure charge for screwing up the building; you earned it.
by Karl
Saturday Oct 3rd, 2009 8:28 AM
"Taking" a building with all the amenities one could possibly need.

Way to go middle-class socialists!
by a
Saturday Oct 3rd, 2009 9:35 AM
to those whove suggested that the lack of a police attack on the occupation was due to lack of interest on the part of the administration, i dont think it jives with what we know about them - think of tent state and the tree sit, they were not really disrupting anything per se either, and the uc sent in cops with clubs and chemical weapons to disperse folks on the grounds they were breaking regulations. i'm sure they could have found a pretext to do so in this case. i think the fact that they didnt speaks somewhat to the impotence of the gsa and moreso of the administration itself, its lack of political capital, its fear of provoking the student body and preference for trying to pit student groups against each other.

its unfortunate this became possible because of the gsc's unusual status and that the occupation organizers - some of whom were ucsc grad students! - didnt figure it out beforehand. but then again, its pretty fucking weird, who would have guessed that building in the middle of ucsc didnt technically belong to the uc? and again; is it really autonomous student space if the school is charging you for it? yall should really read the "why occupy the gsc?" statement because it answers some of the questions raised. if you arent going to engage with it then maybe its just too obvious that your point is not to engage at all in any constructive manner but as a basically atagonistic voice in support of capitalism, hierarchy, etc - everything the occupation was against.

revolutions are known to piss people off, but are not any less necessary for that reason.
by voice of smartness
Monday Oct 5th, 2009 9:57 AM
"revolutions are known to piss people off, but are not any less necessary for that reason."

- Revolutions SHOULD piss off the elite, and that is inevitable. However, stupid acts like vandalizing the GSC are alienating NON-elites: underpaid grad students. Exactly the people your "movement" should be reaching out to.

Congrats: you've totally alienated exactly the sector of UCSC you should be alligning yourselves with. Brilliant...
by Voice of Smartness
Monday Oct 5th, 2009 10:01 AM
"some of whom were ucsc grad students! - didnt figure it out beforehand. but then again, its pretty fucking weird, who would have guessed that building in the middle of ucsc didnt technically belong to the uc? and again; is it really autonomous student space if the school is charging you for it?"

"Its unfortunate?" That's all you have to say? In other words, you are admitting this was a boneheaded act from the get-go.

"but then again, its pretty fucking weird, who would have guessed that building in the middle of ucsc didnt technically belong to the uc?"

How about anybody who knows shit about UCSC? And maybe, just maybe, the people involved should have done a little homework first?

"s it really autonomous student space if the school is charging you for it?"

It is a loan that is being paid back. So let me get this straight: you want the state (I thought the "state" was your enemy?) to build you a building FOR NO COST, then turn it over to you as an autonomous space. Got it. Why not raise the money and buy a space downtown?