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Indybay Feature

Why We're Here and What We're Fighting For (on the UC Regents protest)

by concerned members of the ucsc community
The following text was extracted from a flyer passed out at the UC Regents protest today, Oct. 18, 2006, by the organizers of the action. As the media misinformation about the demonstration hits the community, it's important for all of us to know the concerns that the students and workers were demanding be addressed.

Why We’re Here and What We’re Fighting For
A letter to the UC Santa Cruz community on the UC Regents’ visit

What are our concerns?

- The Regents are illegitimate, undemocratic and unaccountable
- Many UC workers continue to receive undignified and unlivable wages
- Our student fees continue to skyrocket as top-admins receive lavish bonuses
- The numerous social, environmental and educational repercussions of campus expansion
- The need to diversify the students and faculty, as well as provide racial & ethnic studies options
- The need to fully fund Student Initiated Outreach (SIO), retention, and academic prep programs
- The need to create a safe haven for immigrant/AB540 students
- The need to reprioritize academics, upping the quality of education (including supporting languages, writing, and journalism; ensuring teaching assistants for all classes that need them, etc).
- Immoral UC weapons research, including nuclear bombs at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos

What are we asking for?

1) Democratization of the UC system and UCSC
2) Fix It First! Before we even discuss the possible expansion of the campus, we need to seriously address the core issues that face our community (some of which are listed above). If this is not done, an expansion of the campus will also mean an expansion of the problems. If there are the resources to consider expansion, there are the resources to fix our university.

Why protest the UC Regents’ visit?

The UC Regents are the people in the UC system that ultimately call the shots. They’re undemocratic appointees who are concerned more with their personal interests than our education. When our tuition is raised, even when the UC system makes millions in profits, it’s because of the Regents. When nuclear weapons are designed in UC-run labs, it’s because of the Regents. And when affirmative action was banned in the UC system, it was because of the Regents (a ban that was only rescinded through years of struggle).

When we protest, we’re not only saying that we don’t recognize the legitimacy of the UC Regents, but that it is they, amongst others, who have caused the problems that we demand be fixed.

But why mess with the public comment period?

We know that many in our community have serious issues that need to be communicated with the Regents. But we also know that the Regents have no real desire to address our concerns. It’s been 5 years since they’ve visited UCSC – and yet they just hold a couple short comment periods, giving us mere seconds to speak? Even this they do not because they’re interested in what we have to say, but because they’re required by law to hold public comment periods whenever they get together.

We’ve been to Regents’ meetings. We’ve made our speeches. We’ve tried to make them listen. But all they do is laugh, turn their backs, take naps, and kick us out of their meetings. The public comment period is not our few minutes of opportunity, but a farce intended to hold up an undemocratic and unaccountable system. When we reject this comment period and hold our own community speak-out, we are taking back our voices, taking back our university, and showing the world how we really feel.

Next steps from here

This is just the beginning. We’ve been silent too long as our university has been systematically undermined. Unless we continue our fight, the university we applied to will not be the university we graduate from. We can’t assume that those in power will make the right decisions - it’s not in their interests. Instead we have to trust ourselves. Its time we put the university in responsible hands – our own!

In solidarity,
Concerned members of the UCSC community, including folks from AFSCME 3299, Asian/Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA), Bay Area Anarchist Council, Coalition of University Employees (CUE), Disorientation Guide, engaging education (e2), Labor Film Collective, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana y Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), Movement for Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), The Project, Rainbow Theater, Save Our Languages (SOL), Students Against War (SAW), Students Informing Now (SIN), Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ), Third World and Native American Students Press Collective (TWANAS), and United Auto Workers Members for Quality Education and Democracy (UAW-QUAD).
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Comments (Hide Comments)
Your protest felt very cobbled together at the last minute--and if you had real concerns that merited disrupting a public meeting, you had a responsibility to publicize what those were before taking action. Social movements that get taken seriously have a good, active propaganda wing to explain their perspective--I saw none of that before Thursday's events. To me, the actions of the students appeared to be a protest for the sake of protesting.

That's not the kind of action that garners you any respect from those you wish to influence.
by Palm Trees
The students at UCSC have been very clear all along about why they took action.

I'm very impressed and happy with what my my fellow students have done. I think the message is quite clear. If you don't it's probably because you're not paying any sort of attention.

I'm upset that the Regents and UC administration decided to hide behind violent police force once again. I only ask that students up there keep things nonviolent on our side. We have the moral clarity, the high ground. We are many. We are strong and can be sufficiently disruptive and crisis escalating through nonviolent tactics. And if we're really serious about integrating the issue of UC nuclear weapons development I feel that we'd be hypocrits if we didn't stick to these principles.

by gasm@sk
Impressive anarchistic rhetoric, but ultimately you're still begging the regents for systememic reform. You've given it a radical flavor, which of course makes it even less likely that you'll receive those reforms, but it's still the same shit. You already know that they won't listen to you, why do you persist in bleating like a herd of sheep? Oh wait, you're university students. The poverty of student life drags on, why don't we just put it out of its misery?
by dan o'kelly (dan_o_kelly [at]
Yesterday's protest was out of hand and for once, I'm honestly disturbed not just by the campus police but the actions of the protesters who brought instigated yesterday's mess. I'm hoping for a more intelligent meeting today.
by onegear
What happened yesterday was really important for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, its important to point out that the public comment period was in fact shut down, and a clear message was sent to the regents that they were not welcome on our campus. Secondly, concerning the above comment from dan, I'm tired of people criticizing protestors for being violent, when what really is happening is unrestrained police being violent thugs, and students holding their ground. Does the above commenter suggest that police start hitting, grabbing and pushing people that we all run away and end the demonstration? There is something to be said for self defense and for holding space. The only reason people were pepper sprayed was because it was clear the cops weren’t going to be able to push through, so they were forced to retreat. As far as g@smask's comment goes, while i agree that radical action needs to be mounted and escalated, however battles are not won overnight. If you read the letter you would know that our biggest critique was that the regents were undemocratic, and that students truly did not have any control over their education. I don't see how shutting down a meeting is begging the regents for systematic reform. We made it very clear that the protest was about the illegitimacy of the regents, not about us pleading for them to reform. See you at 12:30.
by nathan murthy
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

-M.K. Gandhi
by hotsail
well, not having been there, this description makes it sound like some of these were 'wanna bes' who didn't even go through the effort of waiting for a more focused opportunity to protest (and opportunities abound - there are many objectionable things in the Bay Area if you pull out a map), or the time to think through a slicker way to go about it.
by Palm Trees
I'm a pacifist and so I would never promote the use of any tactics that involve striking another human being at a protest.

But I wonder where this thread is leading us?

The UC Regents run an institution that commits one of the most perverse forms of violence: the research, design, production, and intellectual endorsement of nuclear weapons.

I'll leave it here and only add as a final note that the grave injustices represented in the mistreatment of workers, barring university access to working class persons of color, etc., are also institutional practices which have caused a great deal of harm to countless persons. The Regents are responsible for this in that they have the power to pay living (e.g. survival) wages, and open the university up to those who are currently barred.

They choose not to. They choose violence. So while I think it's a tactical mistake and a loss of moral authority when we (the students) hurl rocks or hit cops (which I think is still all up for debate whether it happened like this or not), dwelling on it on Indymedia leaves so much violence unrecognized.

by disgusted alumus
Thanks for deleting my comment from this morning, which was not inflamatory, invective, nor abusive in any way. Shows how wonderfully balanced you are. However, if you somehow, in your magnificent benevolence deign to allow this to remain on the site, what I wrote, in essence, was how disgusted I become at times to be affiliated with UCSC through the piece of paper that hangs on my wall. The protestors decided not to engage. That's fine. But then don't turn around and say that you had to resort to "defensive" tactics because you weren't being heard and were being told to disperse. Once again, a small group of people caught up in the adrenaline of the moment, who were already bent on confrontation, provoked a situation that they then blamed on the pigs and jack-booted thugs. Typical. Way to earn respect.
by Maggie
How is asking for democracy anarchist? This even goes in line with our democratic right to protest and petition. People assembled, some peacefully others demonstrated. The people who fought for these very ideals protested, by throwing tea back into a harbor and by signing petitions and sending them to England. If we stop talking and stop asking questions, then we've lost the very freedoms our country is supposed to be founded upon. I believe it is not effective to violently protest. Listening to the words of Gandhi and MLK have taught me that by being unviolent, but firm we cannot be dehumanized by our oppressors and, if they are worth their salt, they will listen. I think that the intersectionality of all the groups is great because we have varied interests, but it is very hard to hold an organized protest when all groups have special interests that they want accomplished. As said above, people there weren't just protesting fees and wages, there were numerous other complaints against the UC Regents. I think that a list of grievences needs to be written in form of a petition and signed by anyone in the UC system who has a problem with how things are run. As reported in the Sentinel, some of them are trying to listen- why not follow-up this event with something that is structured? This is very important to people (including me) and I am sure there are interested people at other UC colleges, but we need to organize to really make change.
by Tim Rumford
I believe this author was concerned about your deleted comment. He posted a new post about possible cenorship on indybay and it also was deleted.

I also just had a comment deleted while responding about your deleted comment. I read the policies where, they let you post comments. I posted my concerns of delted comments and posts and censhorship on indybay. You can find it here at
for about 10 more minutes.

Desenting views are part of free speech!
by _
truly impressive. the protesters rocked!
by Robert Norse
As I said in a deleted comment on this thread, I appreciate the fact that the community can weigh in on these issues and exchange views.

It's both sad and infuriating (especially when it happens to you) when some anonymous censor deletes a comment you've worked hard on without the courtesy of an e-mail advising you as to what the problem was, what policy was violated, how the same issue could be better addressed, etc.

As I mention in another post--initially deleted, but apparently restored after a critic of mine weighed in--I'll be raising the delicate issue of censorship tomorrow on Free Radio Santa Cruz at (101.1 FM will be broadcasting, but probably a taped show from an earlier time) around 10 AM. Folks are invited to call in and discuss this matter and present their concerns.

I also hope to have some more discussion of the UCSC Regents protest (which I supported, incidentally, in retrospect--hence it's doubly ironic that i was deleted)--from all sides. Some speeches from Thursday's rally will be played (the day after the demo). All of this will be archived at . Uncensored.
Folks are invited to call in at 831-427-3772.

My show will be long tomorrow (7:30 AM to 1 PM). 7:30-9:30 will feature a lot of old archival tape about a 1993 Homes Not Jails protest at Santa Cruz City Council which literally shook their windows. If there's time, I'll play the voice track from the mid-90s police abuse documentary made by local UCSC students: To Serve and Protect.

I've sent indybay an e-mail requesting to know what policy guidelines I've violated and inviting volunteers to call in as well. Some students may be in the studio.
by This site is a joke
To call yourself Indy Media while deleting any posts that disagree with your version of what happend is a JOKE.

If that's what this site is about, you should change your format; don't say "the last comments on this article were"...say "the last coments that we agreeed with and didn't delet are".

It's a weak game your playing, and the downside of it is being revealed. You can remove the posts here, but you can't shut down Robert's radio show.

And you can't remove the posts byGreg on the Sentinels site, who explains (accompanined by a picture) very clearly that he was attacked by student protesters who mistook him for a regent.

And you can't make all the videotape and pictures that show protesters spitting on people, throwing objects, and hitting police.

Truth will win out in the end.
by thoughtcriminal
After carefully observing SAW for about a year, it's pretty clear that they have a few agent provacateurs onboard - for example, the people who screamed 'fuck the pigs' at the UC Regents meeting last spring; the guy who had the bullhorn and the 'circle A' jacket at the military recruiters office - I think he goes by the name of "Matt".

This is no surprise. The Joint Terrorism Task Force, local police, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon's "Operation TALON" all have a record of attempting to influence student movements, and ACLU FOIA requests have revealed this to be the case.

If SAW really wants to put an end to this, they need to clearly state that they are a non-violent political organization, and they need to have their members sign a 'non-violence agreement'.

Otherwise, they play right into the hands of the corporate media and Liz Irwin who uses EVERY OPPORTUNITY to paint SAW as a violent organization that needs to be suppressed at all costs.

Go and read yur COINTELPRO history, folks - just Google it.
by _
thoughtcriminal, you read up on cointelpro. what you are doing
here is distracting and wrong, and it is the kind of thing that
comes straight out of the cointelpro recipe book. just
try googling "snitch jacket" and "cointelpro".

also, there are assumptions and lack of clarity in your post:
1) you assume that SAW is a violent organization and that people agree with you (there is no evidence of this)
2) you suggest that the individuals in question are violent (as opposed to militant)
3) you suggest that the individuals in question are provocateurs (whoever you are, if you think someone is a cop, you need to bring it up in a responsible setting, such as a SAW meeting? certainly not a message board where there is no accountability)
4) you assume that everyone understands what you mean when you talk about nonviolence (and if you want to suggest policy for SAW shouldnt you do that at a SAW meeting?)
5) you assume that whatever strategy you have in mind is the only way to avoid going down in flames. from an outsiders perspective, i see no crisis. i see that SAW and UCSC radicals have made gains and built momentum, and have been on a pretty consistent strategic track with what they are doing over the past 2 years. if anything, current strategy is working, so the "crisis of direction" that you allude to is possibly of your own creation.
by laf
"After carefully observing SAW for about a year..."

So whose spying on who, thoughtcriminal? Go 'carefully observe' elsewhere.
by Cynthia Fuhrman
Is there somewhere on the internet that one can read the arguments behind each one of these list items that you are fighting for? Just listing them is rather unconvincing. My mind is open, so convince me! Post the url.

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