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East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Police State and Prisons

Statement from ASUC/UCPD "Forum"
by Reclaim UC
Wednesday Dec 2nd, 2009 10:54 AM
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The ASUC/UCPD "Police Forum" was crashed earlier tonight. As soon as the first cop began to speak everyone in the room stood up and he was interrupted with the following statement. Then everyone walked out.
Behind every fee increase, a line of riot cops . . . The privatization of the UC system and the impoverishment of student life, the UC administration’s conscious choice to shift its burden of debt onto the backs of its students -- these can be maintained only by way of police batons, tasers, barricades and pepper spray. These are two faces of the same thing. As students and workers we are hit first by fees and layoffs, and then by police batons. Privatization closes off the supposedly public spaces of this public university, erecting a wall that grows higher and higher with each passing year. Privatization is the metal barricades that the riot police set up around Wheeler Hall. Privatization and the police are the twinned forces of exclusion.

This violence is not new; it is only that, for many of us, it has remained invisible at UC Berkeley. The scandal is the reapearance on campus of what the Oakland and Berkeley police and the Alameda County Sheriffs do every day to poor people -- without video cameras present, without stories in the New York Times or letters from concerned faculty. But the university has never been autonomous from the violence of society; we will not forget this fact. The furniture in our classrooms -- the furniture with which the occupiers of Wheeler barricaded the doors to protect themselves against the police -- was made by prisoners in San Quentin. This is the truth of the university: it is guaranteed by state violence just as the UC’s bonds are guaranteed by our fees.

No investigation, no review process, no dialogue can change this structural truth.

To put it directly: the police are the antithesis of dialogue. There can be no dialogue under threat of violence, with the police standing in the background grinning, rhythmically slapping their clubs on their palms, telling us to “Get ready for the beatdown.” They provide the assurance that speech isn’t free even when officially promised, as our 14 friends and colleagues who were arrested during the public comment session of the regents’ meeting in UCLA will attest to. There can be no dialogue while the police are on campus; they are the threat. We refuse to smother our outrage, cover our wounds, put on a smile, and exchange pleasantries in quiet voices with those who beat us. The invitation to dialogue is pathological -- they beat us one day, and invite us to share our feelings about it the next.

So we will not give them the satisfaction of participating in this charade. We reject the naive suggestion that “mutual understanding” is possible -- you will never understand us, but we understand you. We understand that you were “just following orders,” that these fee hikes are “necessary measures,” that we all have to “tighten our belts,” that the “rule of law” must be enforced. We understand where all of this puts you: on the other side of the barricades, defending the interests of privatization and capital. We will talk with you once you put down your badges and your weapons and join us on this side. Until then, there can be nothing between us except enmity.

Posted by d at 7:32 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by UC cops not interested in dialogue
Wednesday Dec 2nd, 2009 12:03 PM
The UC police are not interested in dialogue, only a fool would think so. Look what they did in '92 during the lockdowns, pepper-spraying everyone in sight. Look what they did at the Berkeley and Santa Cruz treesits, routinely brutalizing people, with womyn and people of color bearing the brunt. Look what they did at the Long Haul, busting down doors and stealing everything illegally. Look what they did to the AETA4, surveilling and arresting them for alleged pickets of UC animal torturers. The UC police are the violent arm of the billionaire UC Regents agenda and nothing will change that fact.
by instruction not construction
Wednesday Dec 2nd, 2009 1:17 PM
Great words here are some more:

UC protest: construction vs. instructionConstruction funding is a reason why the Regent’s want to raise tuition, perhaps the most important reason, but, as students, you are unlikely to go along with big increases to fund UC’s list of construction projects. Cutting back on instructional budgets is how they get you to agree to higher tuition without telling you how much will go to fund construction. On my campus, the most visible instructional cuts typically become permanent, and we’re told that without higher tuition they would have been worse. Campus administrations can always say that no particular tuition increase is ever large enough to reverse whatever instructional cuts were imposed to persuade you that it was necessary. If you accept this claim, you’ll never question how much of your tuition is used to fund construction, and whether you would have found an increase justified had you known.


http://www.cucfa.org/news/2009_oct11.php

The students can't take back a University that is no longer instructing students it is in the development business and there is no stopping progress. To little too late I am afraid.

Los Angeles' King Hospital Will Undergo $350M Renovation:

http://www.hospitalreviewmagazine.com/news-and-analysis/business-and-financial/los-angeles-king-hospital-will-undergo-350m-renovation-reopen-in-2013.html

If there is any doubt, these links back up the previous author:

The regents on the committee on grounds and buildings passed a resolution increasing the project's budget by $87.4 million, up from the $2.6 million approved in January. The project will also be funded by fee increases for Boalt law students approved last September.

http://www.dailycal.org/article/100978/budget_approved_for_new_boalt_hall_building

http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/regents/regmeet/nov09/gb2.pdf

http://www.ucop.edu/budget/nonstate/0809NRApp/B-3200regattarenovation.pdf

The Public is calling for a Federal investigation into misappropriation of funds (see comments):

http://bayarea.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/the-choices-faced-by-uc-students-and-the-public/

Why was Richard Blum replaced by Russell Gould if Blum's term wasn't up until 2014? Was there a conflict of interest?

http://www.bohemian.com/bohemian/02.21.07/byrne-0708.html

http://changinguniversities.blogspot.com/2009/10/know-your-regents-part-two-case-of.html
by FEMA football camp
Wednesday Dec 2nd, 2009 1:43 PM
The UC regents have federal, state, and local funds flowing while cutting services and employees. It appears that they are able to fund construction projects no problem. However it also is evident the Regents aren't interested in runnning a public university system. How about seeking funding for current students rather than future development?

FEMA funds are being proposed to build a football stadium without a proper Environmental Impact Report.


An example: Accept one-time FY 2009 federal earmark funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the amount of $750,000 ($250,000 match requirement) to be used to fund seismic hazard mitigation activities at the Veterans Memorial Building and submit an application to the funding Federal agency.

http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Clerk/Level_3_-_City_Council/2009/07Jul/2009-07-14_Item_05_Acceptance_of_FY_2009_Federal_Earmarks.pdf