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Former Sit-Lie Law Mayor to Teach Yet Another Course on Marxism at UC Santa Cruz
by ucsc (a)lum
Tuesday Apr 24th, 2012 1:05 AM
Recently posted fliers have been spotted around the University of California Santa Cruz campus advertising a Summer 2012 introductory course on Marxism to be taught by former Mayor of Santa Cruz and UCSC professor (former?), Mike Rotkin. The assignment of Rotkin to teach this course is, as always, laughable at best. The actions he has taken as a long-time public official in Santa Cruz have been characteristically anti-Marxian, though he has earned quite a bit of political clout by promoting himself for the last 30+ years as a so called feminist-socialist and teacher of Marxist theory.

In 2010 Mike Rotkin traveled to San Francisco to support Gavin Newsom's sit lie law by testifying in front of the SF County Supervisors, and the law was later approved. Santa Cruz has had its own set of sit-lie laws in action since 1994, and Rotkin testified in SF as to how those laws worked well in Santa Cruz. Ironically, the Wikipedia page for Mike Rotkin says he has, "taught Marxist theory at UC Santa Cruz for over 38 years," but lists none of the extensive critique available on the man's profoundly anti-Marxian political activites.

Here is the text of some of the Santa Cruz sit-lie ordinances:

9.50.010 OBSTRUCTION OF MOVEMENT IN PUBLIC WAYS
No person shall occupy any portion of a public way or public place so as to obstruct or interfere with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic thereon, whether such person does so alone or together with one or more persons, or with equipment or personal property of any nature, and whether such person does so by standing, sitting, lying, or in any other manner.

9.50.011 LYING DOWN ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS IN DESIGNATED CITY ZONES
No person shall lie down upon a public sidewalk or sidewalk curb in the following zone districts: C-C community commercial, C-N neighborhood commercial, C-B commercial beach, CBD central business district, and R-T tourist residential.

9.50.012 SITTING DOWN ON SIDEWALKS IN DESIGNATED CITY ZONES
In the C-C community commercial, C-N neighborhood commercial, C-B commercial beach, CBD central business district, and R-T tourist residential zoning districts, no person shall sit upon the following enumerated portions of a public sidewalk: (a) At any bus stop; (b) Within 14' of any building. Where any portion of a building is recessed from the public sidewalk, the fourteen feet shall be measured from the point at which the building abuts the sidewalk; (c) Within 50' of any ATM machine or cash disbursal machine, or any other outdoor machine or device which disburse or accepts coins or paper currency except parking meters and newspaper vending machines; (d) Within 14' of any fence that abuts a public sidewalk; (e) Within 14' of any drinking fountain, public telephone, public bench, public trash compactor, information or directory/map sign, sculpture or artwork displayed on public property, or vending cart; (f) Within `14' of any street corner or intersection; (g) Within 14' of any open air dining area or cafe extension; or (h) Within 14' of any kiosk.

9.50.013 SITTING DOWN ON PUBLIC BENCHES IN DESIGNATED CITY ZONES
(a) In the C-C community commercial, C-N neighborhood commercial, C-B commercial beach, CBD central business district, and R-T tourist residential zoning districts, no person shall sit down upon or otherwise occupy a public bench or use a public bench to store property for more than a total of one hour during any given twelve-hour period. (b) No person shall be cited under this section unless he or she has first been notified by a police officer, public officer or downtown host that he or she is in violation of the prohibition in this section, and thereafter continues the violation.

9.50.014 EXEMPTIONS TO SECTIONS 9.50.010, 9.50.011, & 9.50.013
(a) Persons standing or sitting on the curb or portion of any sidewalk, street or public bench while attending or viewing any parade, festival, performance or similar event permitted under the provisions of this code; (b) Any conduct which is in conformity with the terms of any permit granted pursuant to this code; (c) Any conduct in public places that are privately owned where such conduct is in conformity with permission granted by the owner of said premises or by the person entitled to the possession of said premises; (d) Persons sitting or lying down due to a medical emergency; (e) Persons who, as the result of a disability, utilize a wheelchair or similar device to move about; (f) Persons who place chairs or stools on public sidewalks in conjunction with display devices or noncommercial uses permitted under
Chapter 5.43.

9.50.020 CONDUCT ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, MONUMENTS, AND LAWNS
No person, after having been notified by a police officer, public officer or downtown host that he or she is in violation of the prohibition in this section, shall: (a) Walk, stand, sit or lie upon any monument, vase, decorative fountain, drinking fountain, bike rack, trash receptacle, median, fire hydrant, street-tree planter, berm, utility cabinet, railing, fence, planter, or upon any other public property not designed or customarily used for such purposes; (b) Walk, stand, sit or lie upon any public lawn or planted area which is posted with signs that forbid such conduct; or (c) Walk, stand or lie upon any public bench. (d) In the C-C community commercial, C-N neighborhood commercial, C-B commercial beach, CBD central business, and R-T tourist residential zoning districts, intentionally throw, discharge, launch or spill any solid object (including but not limited to footballs, hackysacks, baseballs, beach balls, Frisbees, or other similar devices) or liquid substance or otherwise cause any object or substance to be thrown, discharged, launched, spilled or to become airborne. (e) Notwithstanding subsection (d), individual bubble street performers and individual jugglers who otherwise comply with all applicable statutes and ordinances are authorized to blow bubbles and juggle in the C-C, C-N, C-B, CBD and R-T zoning districts. ... This subsection shall not be construed to authorize hackysack activity in the referenced zone districts.


Rotkin often argues that his support of the sit-lies laws is a pro-public stance, but the downtown Santa Cruz he has helped create has become a more exclusive private space than it was before his arrival on the political scene.

"Under private property ... Each tries to establish over the other an alien power, so as thereby to find satisfaction of his own selfish need." Karl Marx, Human Requirements and Division of Labour (1844)

"The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general." Frederick Engels, Principles of Communism (1847)


Introduction to Marxism costs $1638 for the five week summer course. In addition to UCSC students, enrollment in the course is open to members of the public who are not registered at UCSC.