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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism

Why I Support the Santa Cruz Rioters
by lil prole
Friday May 7th, 2010 12:16 PM
Someone's poisoned the tofu supply!
Why I Support the Santa Cruz Rioters
by lilprole

Walking along Pacific Ave in Santa Cruz, one might choose to go inside the large health food store located next to Borders. The food is overpriced, the staff becomes angry if you pop an olive into your mouth from the salad bar, and the beer selection doesn't include the cheap stuff. If you're bored while waiting to spend $8.67 for a juice and a muffin, feel free to read the latest issue of Pagan Vegan Gardening, or whatever they have in stock. Glancing up however, one comes to see something much more sinister than a lack of Keystone, a mural. Not just any mural, but one that really angers me. It shows white people farming, and then loading the produce onto a truck. The field ends next to the ocean, and a road begins, which leads into Santa Cruz, where a sign for the health food store beacons. If you want a picture of what Santa Cruz is, or what it wants to be, you need only look at that mural. And, if you're too stupid to not realize how ridiculous that image, and the message that it produces really is, then perhaps you need to refresh your browser and check how that time share is doing.

Santa Cruz exists like a colony. The county itself is almost 80% white, with large sections belonging to the upper middle class. The importance of tourism, technology industries, and also the university create a neo-colonial relationship with the nearby UCSC campus. Here, working class Latino labor is pulled in from Watsonville and exploited for just above minimum wage. Rent in Santa Cruz is out of control. It takes years to get on section 8. Without packing swarms of people into a small house, a person with a mediocre job or non-connected parents will not fare well here. The politics of the local area are interesting as well. Here, the city council passes resolutions against the Iraq War and the PATRIOT Act, "Marxists" and members of the ACLU sit on the city council, yet still they find it necessary to fill the streets with surveillance cameras and push out the homeless from the downtown. In fact, the Mayor even wants to hire 8 new cops in the wake of the riot, even though city workers face cuts and there is no money to pay for them. An 18 year ban on ICE has also been lifted recently, allowing La Migra to once again come in and break up families and deport working class people, in "Operation Community Shield." The coastal forest, which also draws so many people to the area, is also routinely threatened by the UCSC system itself. Recently, the school has announced a long range development plan to clear much of the forest in order to expand the school for the future elite. Welcome to Santa Cruz, pack a gas mask in your tote bag.

In essence, everything in this place is different, but it is really the same. Here, people love organics, but they also love the cheap immigrant labor that supplies it, especially when it stays in Watsonville. Here, people love being liberals, except when it comes to issues that actually have an effect on class relations in the city. It feels great to slap that anti-war sticker on the car, but the upper middle class is still a class with it's own interests - ones that run counter to ours. Thus, here we have repressive politicians that call for more police, higher rents, destroyed forests, more cameras, more development - all while wearing a Che shirt. This is what it takes in this town; but the game is still the same. An economy needs to be managed, workers have to keep going to work, and class and race lines have to be firmly kept in place. And if people could just enjoy their granola here and shut up, things would go a lot smoother...

The events of May 1st represent a tear in this fabric. Suddenly, people aren't shopping on Pacific, they're breaking windows and setting things on fire. They aren't afraid of the police, they are surrounding cop cars and pouring paint on them and pelting them with rocks. "What's next?," cry the elites? "Will they surround city hall and burn it to the ground? Will they link up with migrant workers and take over the fields?"

The events in Greece are not that far removed. There, people riot and fight a "socialist government" that is just as committed to capitalism as the one before it. In Santa Cruz, despite the liberal window dressings of the local establishment, the song is the same.

But, here, unlike in Greece, there is not wide support for revolutionary action, at least not loud, vocal support. In fact, here, most of the vocal support for a fundamental changing of society comes from those that want to preserve capitalism at all costs, albeit in a greener, much nicer form. Thus, we see signs on local health food stores that implore us that "Non-violence is the only way." The only way to what, however? The destruction of capitalism and it's states? Or the only way to get a film screening of the latest Al Gore film at your local campus dining hall?

Here, we are surrounded by a framing of proletarian actions (riots, strikes, occupations) in middle class contexts (property destruction, violence, etc). We are suffocated by middle class voices (mass media, activists, the Left, Take Back Santa Cruz) when engaging in proletarian actions. We feel the raining down of dirt as they push us into coffins through their defining of our struggles in middle class values to solely middle class people (like much of the "anarchist" movement). I, want none of this.

The Left denounces the riots because they were violent. Violence, like sabotage, has always been a tool of the proletariat. Strikers in the UFW destroyed company property and armed themselves. Rioters in Oakland fought police and destroyed property when Oscar Grant was shot. In Chicago, workers occupied their workplaces, students in Santa Cruz and beyond did the same, and in Stockton and elsewhere, people occupy their foreclosed homes, ready to have it out with the police. The state is already violent. It is up to us to decide how we should respond. Will we be crushed, or do we fight? We are fighting for bread (and, fuck, roses too) here, not some moral code that says we can't cap a fucker who's screwing us. WE define the terms of our struggle against capitalism. Us. Not liberals and leftists who want to preserve capitalism. Display your billboards. Write your letters to the editor. We are not in the same struggle. You want more room at the Farmers Market. We want an end to wage labor and hierarchical power.

Some Leninists even went on to write on indybay regarding the riot:

While Liberation News understands that a system that keeps kicking people when they are down is bound to create a reaction, we also see [the May Day Riot] as having been generally counter-productive. Our perspective is towards building a workers’ party that fights to overthrow the current leadership in the unions to make the unions a fighting instrument of the working class. In the course of that struggle we seek to build self-confidence in the working class coupled with a vanguard party capable, with a rebellious working class...


The Left. Ridiculous. Disgusting. Vile.

One segment sees class as a misnomer. Something to be avoided. Don't talk about work, and rent, and immigration. Talk about bikes, and vegan food, and non-violence. Peace, dood, comes through buying the right products, the right lifestyle choices, and all that jazz, man.

The other side of the Left, sees the working class as a means to power. They want to use us to build their party, and put them in the leadership role. A ruling class in waiting. Meet the new boss, same as the old, but with sandals.

Another position, comes from Take Back Santa Cruz. They tow the same line as other groups before them. Gang violence is a problem. Crime is a problem. Thus, they want more police. More surveillance. More immigration cops. To them, crime isn't something that is caused by inequality. Nor is it something that they have had to deal with as being part of the class that is criminalized. No, they are attacking crime as a threat to their quality of life as the upper middle class.

However, the working class can only solve it's own problems. We can only help ourselves in our own communities. More police means more immigration officials. More people in jail and more tickets. It does not mean safer streets. But it does mean gentrification and higher rents. It means us removed from areas that rich people want to be developed. Now "anarchists" are on their radar. Their "violence" against the property of downtown business owners is a problem, just like the gangs. It threatens the tourist industry. It scares away potential businesses, just like brown people. Take Back Santa Cruz's activism does not impress us. They can clean all the parks they want to. We still understand the upper middle class to have interests different than ours, just as we see those heads of the gangs to be contrary as well. They do want to Take Back Santa Cruz, but even more so for the upper classes and their interests.

Finally, what are the anarchists saying? Most of the public outrage at the riot has been directed towards SubRosa, a small cafe that sells coffee and offers a place for people to buy anarchist publications. Being that there were flyers for the May Day event at SubRosa on a bulletin board and the space is "anarchist," many people believe that the space organized the event (which they didn't). SubRosa however, has been quick to distance themselves, being that they are becoming the victims of media attacks and mean posts on the Internet. Some of these include (ironically) threats of violence against anarchists that have quite public faces.

As SubRosa open letter read on indybay.org:

"We know it is a terrible feeling to feel under attack, as some of the downtown business owners and employees must feel right now. We care about the suffering of the people who were affected. The fear of violence and attack is something that many of us, especially women, youth, people of color, political dissidents, and poor people, feel on a regular basis in Santa Cruz and the world at large."


A SubRosa collective member wrote:

This town does not just belong to the rich, the white, the business owner. It also belongs to the artist, the street musician, the worker, the homeless. It also belongs to the anarchist and the anti-authoritarian. We live in a place where business owners and the police try to control our every move, where you can sit, what you can say, and they give us nothing in return, telling us to move along so that the rich tourists who come to spend money won't have their pure eyes tainted with the sight of our ragged clothes.


Can't we all just get a long, the anarchists ask? No, actually, we can't. This is class society. There is death, abuse, destruction, and violence everyday. Sometimes, we get to direct it. That is why the riots on May Day were a good thing. For those that are angry about the property of corporations and rich people being destroyed on International Workers Day while rent is sky high, workers are laid off, people are foreclosed on, people are deported and families are destroyed, fees continue to rise, and the forest is destroyed for development, and so on - eat shit. These actions weren't to find you, or make you feel good, they were meant for others. They were meant for us.

We refuse to let our actions be defined by a pacifistic leftist middle class morality. We refuse to let our actions be merited by it's politicians. We do not seek find sympathy with or feel sorry for, business owners, they are a different class than us. We do not care if they are afraid. We do not care what they think. We do not care how many letters of opinion the upper crust activists in Take Back Santa Cruz write, we see where their true interests lie. We see the game, as we smash a black checker down and scream in yo face, "CONNECT FOUR MOTHERFUCKER!"

It must be understood that the Left is shifting the debate of the riot. It is doing that because of it's own middle class interests. They don't want us to talk about why these actions against the rich in a society divided by class and race make us feel good and powerful, and how they could lead to more action. They want us to feel bad and to help catch the bad ones. If we're feeling uppity, we're told, go out and hold a sign, and if we've got money, run for office. Even many "revolutionaries" are playing the game. Don't.

The breaking of windows materially doesn't get us anything, (unless you lucky bastards came up in that rolex store!) But, it sends a message that we are not afraid to attack, and in rioting, we feel something. We come to understand that we can't just let capitalism wash over us. To continue to just allow ourselves to simply sell our time and labor out for a wage in order to survive. To pay for rent. To allow everything on this earth to become a commodity; from cum to forests. In finding each other and realizing that we don't want this; realizing that the avenues for change are bankrupt, we understand that in action together we find new ways of being that can improve our conditions. We find possibility. That is what is exciting. Today, a riot of 200. Tomorrow a general strike of 5.9 billion? Next week, the end of industrial capitalism?

What is most terrifying for the petite-bourgeoisie is not that we are no longer afraid to attack and steal their property and engage with the police. No, we already knew that. What is terrifying to them is that this is just a start. Yes.

In the end, we are not interested in showing how "bad" a corporation is by breaking it's windows, or in decrying police by destroying their cars, but in subverting and negating the totality of life in capitalism. In refusing wage labor and the commodity. In destroying the hold and control of capital and the police over all space. In destroying the separations that exist between the proletariat based on race, age, geography, gender, and sexuality. We are not out just to punish you, but to abolish you and your dictatorship over all our lives.

So, when we go on strike. When we occupy the building. When we break down the doors and start looting. When you scream at the top of your lungs, "PEACEFUL PROTEST!" while cop cars are burning and we tell you to "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" When the co-op becomes a collective meeting space and the SEIU hall becomes a strike coordinating center. Remember, that before all of this, someone whispered in your ear: "...long live the proletarian movement!"

At that point, it stopped being the start, and started becoming the end.

wewantsomefood.blogspot.com

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Pumped Up
Friday May 7th, 2010 2:31 PM
This turns everything I always thought about the system into well spoken poetry. From now on I only live for the day we all rise AND FUCK WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO START THE PROTEST REBELLION!

DIY @ THE NEXT PROTEST DEMO WHERE EVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD!
by Sum Dim
Friday May 7th, 2010 3:00 PM
What a drama queen you are. Sheesh. I'm surprised you deigned to address us petit bourgeoisie in the White Man's language.
by (a)
Friday May 7th, 2010 7:53 PM
this really breaks it down and gets to the heart of this controversy. i agree with every word. the attack, and this article, are an inspiration for more resistance.
by Insurrection Is Fun
Friday May 7th, 2010 9:47 PM
The bourgeoisie will follow us when they lose everything in the next wave of the financial meltdown. Look at Greece and pay attention to the big financial news. It's going down! more bailouts on the way. more strikes on the way, more riots, more resistance, more insurrection and it's spreading to other pig nations up to the uk and then America is next so get prepared.

FEAR NOTHING!

"We are an image of the future!"
by Helping make things better
Friday May 7th, 2010 11:00 PM
What to you expect?

So let me try to understand your arguments:

• New Leaf does not carry cheap beer. Hum, . . . that is an effect of economics. If New Leaf Market could make money selling cheap beer I assure you, they would. Nevertheless, they do not. You will have to walk across the street to CVS to buy cheap beer. It must be so hard to walk across the street. . .
• New Leaf expects you to pay for what you take. So you expect to walk into a business (by your words an expensive business) and they do not let you use it as a free buffet. Sub Rosa charge for coffee (the capitalist pigs). The volunteer there would look at you askew if you took coffee without pitching in. . . the bastards!
• Santa Cruz is too white. 80% by your numbers white. Are you white? Most people in the anarchist community that I have observed are white. Does that make them a problem? You do not like some white people. You do not like people that do not agree with you. Well, I am a Latino male who works with low-income people protecting their rights, and I think you are full of yourself. The problem is not ethnicity, but brains.
• It costs too much to rent in Santa Cruz. OK I agree with you. It does cost too much to rent here, but that is a condition of supply and demand of rental units. So if you support the building of housing development that will help bring down rent by increasing the supply. . . support the building of more student housing at UCSC which will reduce the student need for housing that drives up the rent. Will you support either of these. . . didn’t think so. . . it’s fun to sound pretentious.
• Section 8 housing is too slow. You are a fucking anarchist! Why are you demanding the government do more for you and do it faster? To do it faster the government will grow larger to facilitate your needs for faster section 8 housing. Then after you get your section 8 housing, I assume you will protest the size of the government (after you have gotten yours).

What do you expect the City Counsel to do after a riot? Do you really expect them to say, “Hey anarchists’, you are right what were we thinking we need less police.” I hope that you are not that dim. After any riot, there will be a call for increased law enforcement presence by the City Counsel and majority of the population.

The “people” need to take from the elite what have stolen from them. So, if people threw bricks through the windows and doors at Sub Rosa and spray painted “anarchists are leaching the life our community.” I am sure you would stop and think about the effects of Sub Rosa on the community. . . You would likely change your beliefs and actions right. You would protest against Sub Rosa and support the people who damages Sub Rosa? On the other hand, are you calling for people to rise up against the people that you do not like?

As for other posters: Santa Cruz, California and the US are not Greece. We are not even close to Greece. Do any of you understand the economics behind what is happening in Greece? It is more that riots. It is a system cannot support the debt incurred by the government. Greece cannot find anyone to purchase their debt because they are so unstable. Locally it is not good economic times, but it is improving locally whereas Greece will need rescue by out side governments to save their economy and save the euro. That is not happening here at all. We are slowing recovering not spiraling down.

I understand that you like to type, but what do you want? If you could destroy the government and there was anarchy in Santa Cruz that would be better? That would help the people trying to get section 8 housing. That would help get you more cheap beer in New Leaf. Do you think New Leaf would be there anymore in anarchy? Do you actually think that violent over throw of the local government would be good for the short term? Long term I doubt it would improve when the gangs took over and made life even worse.

So what are you doing to make life here better? How are you attempting to make life better for the "people"? You know if there is a complete break down of the government, there will no longer be a system for you to post on these forums . . . And then we will know if you do make a sound?

By the way, I work full-time and I cannot afford $8.67 for juice and a muffin. Glad to read the anarchist can.
by MetalNun
Saturday May 8th, 2010 4:02 AM
Lil Prole,
I randomly found your essay when I Googled after hearing about the Santa Cruz "riot" on t.v. last night. I lived in the mountains near Santa Cruz 20 years ago, lovely place. In retrospect much of what you say is true - even the organic hippie stores are just pawns of the multinational corporations which are exploiting the labor of the working poor (i.e. most of us), etc., etc. You make some very good points. I do note that you seem to be opposed to virtually everyone, including the labor unions, the liberals, the mainstream Leninists and even the anarchists! So I guess that pretty much rules out anybody working together, because really you just want to destroy the system entirely. Which, on a bad day when I have worked a double shift and still wondering whether I will be able to pay the mortgage or the electric bill, I admit can sympathize with you. OK, so let's say you succeed in having the big revolution. WHAT HAPPENS THEN? Will there be the Worker's Paradise that Chairman Mao envisioned? (before he and Madame Mao fell out of favor with the new regime). Will we all finally live in harmony, justice and equality, or what? You said "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Exactly. So what is going to make your revolution any different from those which tried and failed in the past? Personally, I am a libertarian leaning toward anarchism (the peaceful, cooperative kind - not the angry bomb-throwing kind) and really I am quite sympathetic towards many of your complaints. However I am skeptical that class warfare per se will ultimate accomplish anything other than continued power struggles. We can only "change the world," if indeed that is possible, by changing human nature, and it begins with each one of us. We have to find common ground and compassion for each other as living beings. Otherwise you can break all the windows and burn all the police cars you want and things will never really change.
People don't realize that this insurrection has to manifest in small actions before it leads up to large running street battles to eventual full swing rebellion.

Greece will be in California in a matter of no time!
by a
Saturday May 8th, 2010 6:46 PM
you're first and second points are completely meaningless to the debate and merely address an introductory statement that was meant to lead into the main article. it is strange though that you fail to address the rest of the sentiments in that same paragraph (the actual point of the paragraph). as a "latino male who works with low income people," i am quite sure that you are aware that the mural the OP is referring to is obviously a misrepresentation of the actual process that it is supposed to portray. Whenever I have been past the farms and fields of produce, I usually notice a majority of non-white workers.
-your assumption that the author means to say that white people in and of themselves are a problem, is completely unfounded and ridiculous. you are correct though when you say that the "problem is not ethnicity, but brains." the statement that 80% are white is only the first piece of information on a list of symptoms of a town that is run by corrupted ideas and values (the ideas and values that say property is more important than people). the observation that most of the anarchist community is mostly white is just what you say it is, your observation. in otherwords, simply because i have never seen something does not mean that it doesn't exist.
-your solution to the crisis of rent prices is also not one of your more brilliant points. If rent prices could be controlled simply by building more housing then I have to wonder, "why are rent prices so high despite the fact that an abundance of new apartments have sprung up downtown and ucsc has already expanded its student housing so much they can't even name the colleges fast enough to keep up with "development?" could it be that never-ending growth is not a real solution?
-also, your inclusion of the threats to damage subrosa are meaningless because if you supported property destruction as a tactic you would not be posting on indybay from your moral high horse condemning the action. and if you actually took action then oh no ,dun dun dun, you would be reduced to our level. how unthinkable a thing for the morally upstanding upwardly mobile.

im bored of lame attempts to condemn the actions that took place this past May 1st. if you want to help anything then you are actually going to need to do more then trying to insult people with snide remarks and bad argument points.
by tomwiththeweather
Sunday May 9th, 2010 6:13 PM
I, too, am bored of lame attempts to condemn/condone the actions that took place this past May 1st. I, too, feel that those who want to help anything are actually going to need to do more then trying to insult people with snide remarks and bad argument points. "a", I'm talking to you.

I'm glad to hear participants in last weekend's black bloc articulating their decision-making process. Media twists and viral rumors have successfully warped the actual event's purpose, concocting a bunch of sinister conspiracies about immigrants and anarchists. But I suspect that our OP is simply a bored student whose spent enough time reading obscure nihilist theory that the time has come to act on his conclusions. And for that decision to act, I applaud him. A disgusting majority of kids our age haven't reached that point yet, and I've little evidence to hope that any of them ever will.

The way I see it, black blocs are non-violent(ish) protests that amount to little more than a frightening photo-op, and this one has almost immediately amassed an unimaginably large audience (thanks Glenn Beck). The May Day clusterfuck succeeded in making millions upon millions of complacent individuals extremely uncomfortable. And for that, too, I applaud our OP. I feel that was largely the point of the smashing- to make the comfortable uncomfortable. And if you ask me (which you didn't) it's about damn time.

I'm glad no individuals were hurt, by protestors or by police, and I'm glad that there is talk of further "demonstrations". Mine might be the most boring generation in this country's history... it's about time everybody got off their laptops formed an opinion on the world they've been given. And it's about time something interesting happened in this town. Because you must admit, whether last Saturday gives you a woody or curdles your blood, at least it wasn't BORING.
by matt
Sunday May 9th, 2010 7:45 PM
Ya Know, August Spies was an Anarchist, Albert Parsons was an Anarchist.(read their Bios that they wrote before getting hung for the May 4th riots of 1886 that made them an example for anyone who wanted to lead a just cause for workers-probly on wiki) Admit it, you guys on the street breaking windows are "Adventurers" you want an adventure it seems to me- Thats pretty much it. I admire, like the immediatly previous entry, your action /repulsion-but not the action of 5/1 rather you've gotten far enough to get pissed off. And marching is not an end but, respect the more organized activists who try to and do make change for peoples needs today-in 06 when May 1 was again recognized in mass by the most vulnerable of the working class, the Sensenbrenner bill was defeated and a dialog that was concerned with people who were almost politicaly invisible prior to 4 million marching 5/1/06 was created. Then again in Seattle-99- when windows were broken the media finally paid attention to labors issues with NAFTA and the WTO -Thank you black block-You're needed but not as adventurers. You're needed as participants in a democratic movement as is the rest of the mass of working class needed. (dont understand Liberitarians but respect their involvement if they get involved that is) the extant "Left" is not organized together but seem to agree on whats wrong- great-time to get together and change whats wrong. for the most part what is wrong with the left is that we dont agree that a united front including window breaking enthusiasts(not to break more windows for your vote) and everyone who calls themselves a Marxist or Socialist or whatever ID describes them to be in favor of working class interests attend and vote on any action or issue, (once joining in small groups sending rep's to a larger group and so on) and go by the wisdom of the 51% I dont know how to do that specificaly-shit!sorry- but maybe an Anarchist or adventurer or Libritarian or Soc or Marxist can figure out how to do it. Democracy is the essential element in all of these Political formats-if ya think about it-even in Anarchy (By the way We dont actually have effective participatory democracy here(USA) and we dont export it as is claimed just FYI-Think its couse ya gatta have LOTSA Money to run for election and then you rep the source of the $ Duh)Right now EFCA is the most democraticaly empowering act/bill that has been put before congress-AND IT PASSED!!! in 05-07-and 09-only to be dropped by the STINKING Senate at every turn please read it. Its simple its democracy in the workplace-51 percent sign a card in favor of collective bargaining and within 10 days negotiations begin-at present time a minimum of 30%-a max of all or 100% of workers can sign the card and within 10 days the NLRB doesnt begin negotiation it begins a 120 day mandatory waiting period before "secret ballot"elections-at present 4 of 5 organizing efforts fail couse within that period all organizers are fired and dinks are brought in to tell lies and the union reps are not let into the shop- PLEASE REAED IT- its a step to democratic-real democratic education for all workers if it passes-if its law then we've got em- havent heard about it? wonder why-join us in this sublime struggle-a worker
by Helping to make things better
Monday May 10th, 2010 4:16 PM
Sorry I did not understand that the Original Poster was just warming up their fingers by complaining about not being able to buy cheap beer and looked down on when the person pops olives into their mouth from the salad bar while purchasing their expensive juice and muffin. It seemed quite out of place with most other posters here on Indy Bay. Further, the idea that the catalyst of the anger (and eventual damage) was a mural in an expensive market not portraying the mix of skin tone that you and the Original Poster feel is appropriate. To think that is why people who were celebrating laborers rights started smashing windows because of a mural is a little hard to fathom. If that was, then why was New Leaf not targeted? It seems much more likely the mural had nothing to do with people who were looking for any excuse to riot.

I also apologize for not noticing the mural in a store I do not shop. I am glad because of my ethnicity and my work helping low-income persons it would be obvious to me. I did go in today during my lunch break to look. What I saw was about 6-8 people on the mural. Some were darker (and I assume that makes them a member of La Rasa). Others (2) were clearly causation females. The remainders were ambiguous in terms of ethnicity. Thus, I guess it was not obvious to me. Further from what I know, the majority of the produce sold at New Leaf is from local organic farms. These farms are staffed by a variety of ethnicities. Some of them work there not because they have little other option, but because they believe in organic farming. I think there is some confusion between corporate farming operations that you see along highway one and organic operations. I think you summed it up in your attempt to be funny when you said, "simply because I have never seen something does not mean that it doesn't exist." The problem with that line of thinking is that you can use that to justify anything. Affordable rent, "simply because I have never seen something does not mean that it doesn't exist" .

Next, it seems I was unclear in explaining micro economic theory. First rent prices are not “controlled.” They are (at least here is Santa Cruz) a function of supply and demand. There is no shadow government that sets rental prices. They are set by multitudes of people who own rental properties. My father owns one and he charges a lower rent because he does not want the renters to move out. Thus, people like my father, if their rental units were left unoccupied, would quickly lower rent to be sure they were occupied. Why would a person who wanted to rent out property (to continue to make mortgage payments on it) keep an empty property just to keep city rent average high. They would not and do not. As I started in my prior post, this is a function of micro economics and not government (and I guess in part my father).

The concept of building of new rental units would reduce rent so long that the number of renters remained constant. Yet there are always more people moving here. Next you stated that , “fact that an abundance of new apartments have sprung up downtown and ucsc has already expanded its student housing so much they can't even name the colleges fast enough to keep up with "development?" First, there is no abundance of new apartments in Santa Cruz. UCSC has not added significantly to student housing for years (ask a student). Yet, UCSC does admit more students each year. UCSC took over the hotel next to San Lorenzo park for freshmen housing a few years ago. UCSC does not guarantee housing for any student past first year. The city and school are constantly in that fight. The city is mad that UCSC is affecting the city by increasing the student body therefore, affecting the city of Santa Cruz. Further, building of more campus buildings and remodeling other to accommodate more students registered does not create for them a place to live.

Lastly, “your inclusion of the threats to damage subrosa” leads me to think you do not understand what a threat to damage is. My argument was that damage to sub Rosa would not have the desired effect upon you that the Original Poster desired upon others. I was asking people to think about the actions in a global perspective. You are correct I would not damage property. Yet because I express my opinion against the damage done that is set the cause of helping people who need the help back, I am labeled “morally upstanding upwardly mobile.” I labeling people has little place is a free discussion of ideas. My opinions are genuine, thought out, and have made differences in peoples lives on a daily basis.

I never thought that Indy Bay was a forum only for violence. I though that this was a forum to discuss ideas and to share information. I am sorry that you perceived me as lame, snide, and you are tired of people like me. The problem is that there are many more people like me on the fringes of the movement that are being alienated from the goal of equality. If the cause is to be an uprising of the masses, we need to work in ways that the masses can agree.
by Virindi
Monday May 10th, 2010 5:52 PM
This is so beautifully well written. Well done.
by MetalNun
Monday May 10th, 2010 9:49 PM
Matt,
You raised some excellent points, especially:
"Democracy is the essential element in all of these Political formats-if ya think about it-even in Anarchy (By the way We dont actually have effective participatory democracy here(USA) and we dont export it as is claimed just FYI-Think its couse ya gatta have LOTSA Money to run for election and then you rep the source of the $ Duh"
You are quite right, we do NOT have effective democracy here, for the reasons you pointed out! We also do not have a true "free market" by any means; we have a system of "corporate welfare" where the government allows the multinationals to thrive at the expense of ordinary working people. The Libertarian perspective is simply that the proper function of government is to protect citizens from force and fraud, period, and otherwise to allow people to live their lives as they see fit without undue interference. Our government is failing to fulfill this function; the city streets are unsafe to walk down at night, while the corporations, insurance companies, banks, etc. exploit peoples' labor and fail to keep their end of the bargain, rip people off every day and get away with it (even get bailed out at taxpayer expense!), meanwhile ordinary people are arrested for absurd reasons like "DWB" ("driving while black"), being in the wrong place at the wrong time, being unable to pay their taxes, or smoking herb, while struggling just to make an honest living. Our government is like a big, expensive, incompetent babysitter who talks on the phone and raids the public refrigerator and yells at the children, while failing to protect them from molesters; in fact, the babysitter may even be paid off by the molesters. Anyway, point being, I am in favor of limited government which truly serves the people (or ultimately, no government, if that were possible), but how do we get there from here?! Right now everything is essentially upside down. While I do not condone rioting and breaking stuff, I can truly sympathize with people who feel inclined to do so. Since we do not have real democracy, people are very understandably frustrated and feel they have no other way for their voice to be heard. If nothing else, the riots send a message that something seriously needs to change. I just hope and pray we can do so peacefully, working together. I do believe we have common ground (regardless of our particular political philosophies) in that all beings desire to live in liberty and happiness. How that can be accomplished under our current system is dubious, especially since, as you and others have pointed out, the voting/legislative process is corrupt.
by brentugly
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 5:50 AM
The riot the other night has brought up a lot in me, and clearly in many others too.
For me, I've been studying lots of the "isms" in more depth than I had before. I've been challenged personally to find with which, my ideals resonate. I've been reading a lot about non-violent protest and the various types and effectiveness vs. violent protest and sabotage and the various ways they've been used.

I'm learning about what a revolution is.. why we may need it and where it has worked successfully elsewhere. And what comes after.

These riots have not made me feel afraid.. except that town will become evermore like a police state.
I believe cop cars were 1 in 10 cars on the road downtown today. WAAAY too many!
It has many of us thinking, learning and considering the events again and again. And I say, "hmmmmmm." The original poster above has helped awaken something fresh within me and I'm grateful. The dreamsleep is beginning to end and we're waking up.
Good morning.
by dfresh
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 11:43 AM
interesting debate/discussion happening over this action...it is slightly unfortunate to focus on new leaf, one of the few downtown businesses to actually provide something of worth (organic greens, bulk goods, etc.) downtown. plenty of other businesses to say they suck: suburban underground, the crappy art stores, etc. Yes, where are the places where the lower class can hang out on the strip besides the taqueria vallarta & subrosa/bike church (if it counts as pacific, being way up the norte)? Any attempts to ever shut down pacific, even temporarily, are resisted by authorities, even for a community event like new year's parade...yes, it does suck that the police are always telling you where to sit. mr. coonerty, you and your silly rules are partially to blaim for this. not everybody wants to go to the city council to protest. honestly, they often treat you disrespectfully if you do go, like you should have something better to do. so, where are people supposed to go, do? if there was a better city council, it would be heaps better, but who has the money & patience for that???...slowly and incideously, santa cruz has been taken over by upper class & corporate interests. is this an attempt to reclaim that space? to whom do the streets of santa cruz/pacific belong? the insane, the homeless & the upper class (street parties excepted)...
by unamused
Wednesday May 12th, 2010 8:06 PM
forget about organizing the masses for the seizure of power.. lets get fucked up, listen to dubstep, and loot urban outfitters. why rally the working class in the fight for better wages and living conditions toward a socialist revolution when you can piss off the ruling class and get them to hire more cops? worse is better right? once mike rotkin hires 800 more cops, the immigrants will start coming to these revolutionary dance parties and the revolution will just happen like that. only a leninist party pooper would say otherwise
by anti-lame
Thursday May 13th, 2010 8:09 AM
let's post pathetic sarcastic on indybay, that'll really shake up the ruling class elite maoist power structure etc etc...
by lil prole
Thursday May 13th, 2010 9:28 AM
"forget about organizing the masses for the seizure of power.. lets get fucked up, listen to dubstep, and loot urban outfitters. why rally the working class in the fight for better wages and living conditions toward a socialist revolution when you can piss off the ruling class and get them to hire more cops? worse is better right? once mike rotkin hires 800 more cops, the immigrants will start coming to these revolutionary dance parties and the revolution will just happen like that. only a leninist party pooper would say otherwise" -

As someone that is working class I don't want to rally or organize others, I want to get organized with them.

Who said anything about using dance parties as a way forward? I made it pretty clear that I thought workplace occupations, strikes, etc was the way to go.

Being that ICE has been brought into Santa Cruz since a white surfer was killed, I think it's pretty obvious that the state will always find excuses to do what it wants. What are you saying? Don't resist because it will piss the state off?

I'd rather have immigrants come to dance parties than read the shit you probably write.
by Ostracized by the ostracized
Wednesday Aug 4th, 2010 7:15 PM
"Today, a riot of 200. Tomorrow a general strike of 5.9 billion?"
Oh come on, get real. We thought that after the WTO protests (which, unlike the Mayday riot, was even well organized and intelligently publicized), and look at what happened after that. The Bush years.
Nobody outside of your insular punk rock clique thinks like this. All the riot did was create more upper middle class support for draconian police tactics.
I realize you're really angry about the beer prices or whatever.... Just another example of anarchists being their own worst enemies: while some of your critiques of city politics are valid, the "look-how-angry-I-can-be" and rhetorical style is a real turn-off to most people outside of the echo-chamber of your angry, alienated, hateful circle of friends. Instead of defining your politics in terms of being against the things that your perceived enemies represent in your mind, we not try to figure out how you could make your agenda palatable to people who actually have influence in town politics?