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UCSC Earth Summit - A Crack in the Facade
by Bicicleta Bandito
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 12:23 PM
As tempting as it would be to say the time spent attending UCSC’s 7th Annual Campus Earth Summit would have been better spent napping in a redwood grove or bird watching, this simply wouldn’t be fair. There were after all, some worthwhile highlights of the day including the adjective-loaded “Delicious, organic, locally produced lunch” and the unspoken but palpable tension between the mainstream environmentalists who put the summit on, and the more radical eco folks who showed up.
Campus Earth Summit vs. Long Range Resistance

As tempting as it would be to say the time spent attending UCSC’s 7th Annual Campus Earth Summit would have been better spent napping in a redwood grove or bird watching, this simply wouldn’t be fair. There were after all, some worthwhile highlights of the day including the adjective-loaded “Delicious, organic, locally produced lunch” and the unspoken but palpable tension between the mainstream environmentalists who put the summit on, and the more radical eco folks who showed up.

The situation came to a head early in the day when Chancellor Blumenthal, the man with a mustache and a million dollar smile, received a barrage of boos and hisses from the crowd as he attempted to give his boiler plate, “UCSC is the greenest campus around says I, king me!” speech. This scene was punctuated by one heckler who was grabbed by what appeared to be a police officer posing as a photographer, only to be thwarted by the heckler who broke free and skipped out the emergency exit, leaving Blumenthal to finish reading his speech with an alarm blaring, eyes down.

If there were any satirical newspapers in town, the headlines would read today, “Green Anarchists Assault Chancellor Blumenthal with Boos, Heckles.”

During all this commotion, the look of horror on the faces of the event volunteers and organizers sent me back 10 years when liberal “environmentalists” set their non-violent principles aside to bravely defend Starbucks and other corporate chain stores from the wrath of the Black Bloc’s bricks and hammers during the Seattle WTO protests. Perhaps James Taylor was referring to the relationship between diet-cola environmentalists and authority when he sang, “you just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running…you got a friend.”

But police officers (FBI agents?) posing as cameramen were just the tip of the iceberg. For possibly the first time, UCSC’s façade of groovy-environmental-unity began to show cracks as dissent over the Long Range Development Plan echoed throughout the day. That the administrators take this threat to the status quo seriously could easily be seen in the plain clothed police officers who stood in the background, carefully eyeing every guy with a beard and a tattered black t-shirt, throughout the 2.5 hours of introduction speeches. This is to say nothing of UCSC’s top 3 little Eichmanns of Student Affairs, Alma C. Fuentes, Adam Snook (a.k.a. El Gordo con a backpack full of surveillance goodies), and Felicia McGinty, who skulked about, whispering sweet “recognize him?” into the ears of their pepper-spray wielding goons and fellow administrators.

If there were any astute visitors from a foreign country in the crowd that day, they would have quickly deduced that the United States is more of a police state than most Americans care to recognize.

Aside from former state assembly representative Fred Keeley, who smartly avoided a repeat of Blumenthal’s fiasco by not taking any questions (contrary to what was stated on the program), the speakers were about as compelling as televised golf. Much of it consisted of patting themselves on the back for forming committees to do studies to assess the feasibility to research blah blah blah. It’s easy to picture these folks speaking more fondly of words like “co-chair,” “coordinator” and “task force” than “honey bee,” “dandelion,” and “sacred earth.”

And though they weren’t allowed any time to offer a rebuttal to the “productive dialogue about tangible ways sustainability can be incorporated into every aspect of campus life” (as stated on page 2 of the 12 page program), the coalition to resist the Long Range Development Plan was generously allowed a table space in the corner at the far end of the room.

Had there been any former boxers present who’d ever suffered the humiliation of waiting indefinitely for the bell to ring from an opponent too cowardly to show up, surely the aforementioned scene would have brought a tear to their eye.

As the morning speeches drew to a close and we were directed to partake in the specially prepared organic, locally produced lunch (it was pretty good) it finally dawned on me why my bullshit detector was beeping uncontrollably: The language. The language wasn’t conveying anything meaningful.

Instead of challenging the power structure that enables one group of people to assault another for doing something as benign as climbing a tree, the speakers offered euphemisms about technological solutions, progress, leadership, efficiency, and investment. To them, it would be perfectly fine to erect an office/research building over a redwood grove, where human beings will toil for 8-10 hours a day under artificial light as long as the light is provided by solar panels.

To that end, not once did I hear any of the following words during the morning’s speeches: Private property, exploitation, class struggle, alienation, capitalism, mental environment, hierarchy, industrialization, panopticon, healing, materialism, patriarchy, ecology, domination, equality, liberation, control.

It would almost seem that for all their stated intentions of saving this beautiful planet, the summit organizers were simply incapable of stepping outside their Eurocentric conception of nature as a resource to be managed, sculpted, and quantified. To them, the environment is something that exists apart from their own bodies and minds, a place to visit occasionally, on weekends.

If anyone had suggested that perhaps what we really need is to spend less time working for wages so we can purchase a mouse pad made from recycled tires and more time nurturing relationships, star gazing, gardening and cooking communal meals, I surely didn’t hear it.

As for the LRDP resistance folks, they got their point across – We’ve been arrested, pepper sprayed, profiled, sued, but we are not going away. Our ideas are more powerful than your bureaucratic machinery. Now put that in your file Alma C. Fuentes

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by UC Staff
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 1:04 PM

Where is the staff coalition against university expansion? Or is everyone like me, a little too afraid to speak out?

640_fotos.jpgIn December, when I went to the tree-sit site to watch bulldozers "clean-up" the site emptied the previous Friday by supporters, Felicia McGinty recognized me as staff and stuck her cell phone in my face to get a photo. She directed an officer to angle for a photo.

Within 24 hours, word had gone from Executive Vice Chancellor Kliger all the way down the 4 or 5 levels of hierarchy to my boss and involved Labor Relations and an investigation by Human Resources about whether I was there on "my" time or the university's. Clearly staff support for the tree-sit is a threat to the administration indeed.

When I talk to staff, most people are full of misinformation, inundated as they are with communiques direct from the administration full of exaggerations, lies, and innuendo. After some brief discussion and clarifications, most staff I've talked to are cautiously supportive of the tree-sit and the anti-university expansion campaign, in general.

So how do we form a staff coalition? How do we organize and speak out in the face of fierce intimidation?

by political prisoner
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 3:19 PM
The UC's exploitive habits are soon to catch up with them.

The students are struggling to form this same coalition. The workers are struggling for their say as well.

If the UC will not listen to us under methods which *they* created for effective discusion, then the UC will be forced to listen to us under our terms.

The students and workers will strike if these conditions continue; I'm not sure how the faculty will react.

Start talking to conscious staff around you. Gain support and ideas. We believe in you.

It's time to be heard; it's time to put the UC in its place. Without the faculty, the students, or the workers--the UC is nothing!

solidarity.
by Another UC staff
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 5:20 PM
The staff I speak to have a very different perspective on the tree sit. While many are not in favor of LRDP, I find very, very few in support of the tree sit.

The overwhelming sentiment I hear in regards to the tree sit is that it's a somewhat juvenile and sanctimonious protest. Same situation with the student body. I wish we could take a closed ballot vote and confirm our widely separated viewpoints. I would estimate that less than 10% of the staff support the tree sit, and don't think the general student body is much different.

To illustrate that point, look at this very thread and what happened at yesterday's earth summit. The poster is joyfully recounting how a small handful of his peers were able to disrupt the efforts of 250 student/faculty/staff who had gathered to discuss methods of improving environmental impacts at the campus. But because he/she feels entitled in his/her opinion, he considers it justification to employ some anarchistic tactics to disrupt the proceedings. Gleefuly recounting the "look of horror" he managed to place on the face of the event organizers; the two lead ones of which were students last year and leaders in the campus environmental movement.

And then he mewls that his side gets pepper sprayed, and that's not fair. Umm, isn't that the deal with anarchy? No rules?
What, you want to have no rules on your side but expect the other side to play by Marquis of Queensbury? Childish.

So do the tree sitters have the ability to disrupt, monkey wrench, and draw attention to themselves? Absolutely.

Do they have the support of the majority of staff or students? Absolutely not.

They can't even muster enough supporters to maintain a ground camp; to fantasize that they have the support of the majority of students or staff is narcissistic delusion.
by Yet Another Staffer
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 8:08 PM
Staff do not and will not oppose university expansion. Period.
"Staff do not and will not oppose university expansion. Period."

This is a patently false generalization.

Many faculty and staff are at odds with the current expansion plan, for well thought-out reasons. The issues at hand are numerous and cannot be reduced to simply being "for" or "against" university growth.

If you care to understand some faculty arguments that are critical of the LRDP, read this excerpt from the SC Faculty Association Newsletter:

Santa Cruz Faculty Association commentary on the LRDP and campus growth

from "Terms And Conditions", Newsletter of the SCFA/AAUP, Spring 2006
Spring 2006

Infrequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the SCFA’s position on growth at UCSC from 15,000 students to the possibility of 21,000 students?

A: The SCFA believes that it is very possible that carefully planned, educationally responsible, administratively accountable, transparent in process, ecologically feasible growth could be a good thing for the excellence of our research and teaching.

Q: Is that what is being planned right now?

A: It doesn’t seem that way. Therefore, it seemed to the Executive Board the right time to put together a variety of opinions and documents that, taken together, give a picture of why many people on campus and in the community are concerned about the potential for growth as outlined in the current proposed Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) and its draft Environment Impact Report (EIR).

Q: What is your position on the current plans for growth, then?

A: We believe the Administration should be accountable for its planning. It should, first of all, plan systemically, recognizing that the resources necessary to achieve the academic mission of the university and the resources necessary to recruit and retain new faculty members are all interrelated . These include affordable housing, adequate child care for faculty families, tolerable traffic and parking conditions, adequate local water supply and satisfactory infra-structural capacities that we share with the Santa Cruz community.

Sometimes it is asserted that we at U.C. have an obligation to give access to a U.C. degree to the children of California, and that therefore our campus has a moral mandate to grow. We agree we have a responsibility to educate students. However, we do not believe we have a responsibility to issue a U.C. degree if the resources to educate students at the level a U.C. graduate should attain are unavailable or are diverted to other priorities. We believe that would be irresponsible to the U.C. academic mission. In the experience of many faculty members, classroom conditions and support for the educational enterprise have deteriorated since our last growth spurt from about 10,000 students in 1999 to about 15,000 now. If the current trajectory continues, many faculty, while acknowledging that experience may differ by department or by division, believe these conditions are likely to become worse. We believe that the academic and economic planning for growth in the current proposed LRDP, if pursued as written, is highly unlikely to result in an excellent university for students or an excellent context for faculty teaching or research.

Q: I see you have printed letters from people who are not faculty members. What is the justification for including non-University documents in this newsletter, which is by and for Academic Senate faculty?

A: Since planning needs to be systemic, we need to take into account the points of view of parties who have a stake in the outcome of proposed University growth. The City Council, for its part, does not need to think about classroom sizes or whether we have enough TAs or support staff, but it does have to address whether the costs of providing water and infrastructure to the University, which is not required to pay taxes, would divert the money that the city would otherwise use for police and firefighters, for city parks, for fixing city streets. And it does need to think about whether more students will completely fill its housing stock. And the faculty, for its part, is not responsible for solving the City of Santa Cruz’s budget crisis, of course, but University growth is intimately tied to these hard facts. If the quality of life in the area deteriorates further, we will not be able to recruit and retain the best faculty, and our students will not be able to devote their time to learning if they have to spend excessive amounts of time in paid work to cover their housing and transportation, not to mention that our own pleasure in knowing we are teaching well will suffer.

Q: The new proposed LRDP has batted around for several years. Haven’t the Senate and faculty, and the City and its citizens, had enough time to comment and get responses to their concerns? Why have a newsletter issue on the topic now, at nearly the end of the process?

A: Here s what has happened. First, with respect to the draft EIR, the Administration was planning, and still may be, to treat the Academic Senate as no more than members of the public at large by releasing the final EIR and any responses it makes to queries from Senate committees at the same time it releases it to the public. (The Resolution passed by the Senate on April 24, 2006 asks it to release the EIR to the Senate well before that. Read the resolution at http://senate. ucsc.edu/resolutI2ndex.html .) While the University is obliged, under the California Environmental QualityAct (CEQA), to respond to specific comments made by the public about the final EIR, it is not obliged to release the final EIR until shortly before the EIR is sent to the Regents. The Administration is obliged to “consult” the Senate, but not obliged to take its advice. The SCFA has also had public meetings to air concerns about the LRDP, housing, childcare, and other issues. There is a widespread feeling among the faculty and many people in town that all this work in discussing and analyzing possible impacts and mitigations, such as the extraordinarily good work of Senate Committees, the Campus-Community Work Group of 2004 (read it at http://planning.ucsc.edu/lrdp/cmte/ WhtPaper/CCWG.04-05-03.pdf.), and other bodies that have analyzed issues related to growth, goes nowhere because the language of the draft EIR does not adequately analyze the impacts of the proposed growth or include provisions for adequate mitigation.

Q: Why is the EIR such an item of contention?

A: Because it is the document whose approval gives permission. More legalistically said, it is the document that, under state law, must disclose the potentially significant environmental impacts of the LRDP and mitigate them to the extent feasible. In addition, the Regents cannot approve the LRDP without first certifying the EIR.

Q: And why is it causing so much trouble?

A: The “environment” is a very broad concept, covering everything from the viability of flora and fauna to traffic delays and parking, so a lot of different groups with different concerns and different areas of expertise have studied environmental impacts and commented on them. The language of the proposed LRDP and of the draft EIR is written in such a way that it gives the University maximum flexibility and minimum legal commitment to mitigate impacts. The LRDP is, as the Administration constantly asserts, a “land use” planning document and outlines merely an outer “envelope” of the limit of growth, and it therefore appropriately does not include economic analysis. The problem is, mitigations cost money, possibly sometimes a lot, and the EIR, if OK’d, gives permission for what the LRDP proposes. If the source of money for mitigations is not included in the plan, and if the language of the document states that mitigations will be done “if feasible” rather than that they will be done, or if the University has “goals” rather than commitments, then once the EIR is OK’d, the University is not legally committed to do the mitigations or to meet its “goals.” In other words, the University cannot be legally held to what appeared to be its plan for mitigations, if the language of the EIR does not require it. Some people are no longer confident that legally-unenforceable goals and mitigations will be carried out, and they want legally enforceable language as an indication of good-faith negotiation.

The City is in a frustrating and frustrated position with respect to the environmental and therefore monetary impact the type of growth proposed in the proposed LRDP would allow. The University as a state agency is not legally required to pay taxes to the City. Legally, the City has very little say about what the University does. The Administration has given the City numerous opportunities to comment on aspects of the LRDP and to meet with administrators, but the City has not found the responses to its concerns adequate.

One of the few tools the City has to make the Administration accountable is to publicize information and opinions to the general public. The City is considering doing something else in addition: a ballot measure is being proposed for November that would withhold water from the University unless certain conditions are met.

Q: Wait a minute! Almost everything you’ve talked about could be solved or addressed with adequate monetary resources. The advocates of the proposed LRDP say that growth will bring more money--indeed, that the only way to get more funds for the University is to grow. So what is the problem? Is this some kind of nostalgia for 1968 and pristine stands of redwood trees? Are you anti-progress?

A: Funding for the University comes from multiple sources, with varied legal stipulations from each source. The long answer to your question involves accounting and documents that are too complex to rehearse here, but we encourage you to research further at some of the websites to which our authors you refer. The short answer is this: the projected growth in the LRDP would bring money in the short term because the Office of the President has a formula that pays $N for each extra student we take. The problem is that those funds may be adequate and advantageous to accept if they are to cover marginal costs of, say, 50 extra students. But if we have a big and rapid influx of students for whom we have to build infrastructure, it means that the money each brings to the campus will be eaten up for costs other than educating them. This is a very complex subject. The bottom line is that many very knowledgeable people have done careful studies and are convinced that the trajectory outlined in the proposed LRDP may put this campus into a downward spiral that has already begun, with our last and recent growth spurt.

In sum, many believe that the overall growth that is anticipated in the proposed LRDP is a roadmap for decline in the quality of student education and also a roadmap for the decline of UCSC as a context for faculty teaching and research. We’d like both the legislature and UCOP to recognize that our campus is in a crisis and needs more funding if it is to be a viable U.C.-quality campus.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The full text of this SCFA newsletter is available online at:
http://www.aaup-ca.org/scfa%20spring%2006%20combined%2016%20page.pdf
by Concerned Student
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 9:26 PM
The categorizations used in the previous post are presumptuous and simplified.

There are many staff who oppose the Long Range Development Plan. There are also many students who oppose the Long Range Development Plan. And there are students that have bought into the Universities low-blow propaganda, and there are even more students that have been co-opted by the clever moves of the administration and their directives to use the word "sustainability" at least thrice in any conversation.

But there is a more important point here. You cannot assume that the tree-sit and LRDP opposition are one in the same. While in some ways they are--the tree-sit has brought attention to the LRDP and is the first move in a chess came that has commenced--there are people on campus and throughout Santa Cruz who are opposed to the LRDP and on the verge of engaging in resistance.

These include staff and faculty, students, local political leaders, and community members of all shapes and sizes.... and that is because the LRDP is an issue that crosses lines to raise concerns from those worried about anything from ecological destruction to corporate rule of the government, from quality of education to the gentrification that will displace families who can't afford to attend a UC in the first place.

It's no coincidence, because to those who have done their research and are simply not willing to take the easy, feel-good way out and talk about 'sustainability', the LRDP has come to represent the monster that is capitalism and Western-domination of the natural world and the people it has disenfranchised.

Taken on this level, it must be recognized then that we need to look at the LRDP for what it is, and that it needs to be stopped, regardless of our opinion of the tree sit.

Yes, people may have been unruly and unproductive during Chancellor Blumenthal's speech... but that was only a small group of people, who too are human beings choosing to take a chance to work for change. There were many more people present who have serious concerns with the direction that UCSC is head toward, and were quite civil during the Chancellors speech, as well as during the remainder of the day. And there were even those organizers close to the Earth Summit who share these concerns with the LRDP.

The organizers of the Earth Summit did show a great willingness to work to what is best for the university (perhaps an underlying appreciation that someone is finally opposing this bohemith?), and allow for those resisting the LRDP to have a table at the event.. where many intelligible, straight forward discussions took place and set the record straight.

The tree sit might be an easy thing to point an angry (and envious?), but that is just one piece to the puzzle. Let's not let the administrations sweet talking and coopting get to us.
by Adam
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 11:05 PM
There are a number of problems with the tree sit strategy, and here are just a few of them.
by faculty
Friday Feb 1st, 2008 11:42 PM
It is disingenuous to quote the Santa Cruz Faculty Association as being the voice of the faculty at UCSC. It is a marginal, even fringe organization that might be confused by some people with the Academic Senate. The senate has reviewed the LRDP and cautiously supported campus growth. The faculty were pretty divided on growth a year or two ago, but the tree sitters and the anti-intellectual, anti-science rhetoric surrounding the protests have gone far towards alienating and embarrassing into silence those who might once have actively opposed growth, and the common cause between the privileged nimby eco-protesters and the nativist anti-immigration folks has been dramatically demonstrated.
No one said that the SCFA was the voice of UCSC faculty. My post prefaced the FAQ with "If you care to understand some faculty arguments that are critical of the LRDP, read this excerpt from the SC Faculty Association Newsletter". Of course the faculty is not some monolithic block and faculty members have all kinds of different perspectives on campus growth.
I don't know where you get the idea of the protests being "anti-science" and especially "anti-intellectual". Many of those involved in the protest have very actively engaged in respectful dialogue, and have put a great deal of time and research in to writing projects to express their analysis of the LRDP and the various issues it raises.
Some of those present at the ground camp, when I was around conversating, were indeed critical of Science (specifically, the tendency of the scientific world-view to deny other ways of knowing and reduce the world to what can be quantified and isolated). However, the most prevalent arguments, in writings, flyers, and conversation, are not critiquing science itself, but rather are raising ethical questions in relation to biotech/nanotech research, animal experimentation, and particularly the issue of private funding of research.
Your assertions about the protesters' "privilege" and NIMBY-ism are quite loaded with assumption and are cheap attempts at writing people off. The issues raised by protesters simply cannot be labeled as a result of NIMBY thinking. I don't think there's any need to elaborate.
by A staffer
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 8:48 AM
Staff and faculty are two different entities entirely.
by leni
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 8:56 AM
still - the state is growing, the country is growing for many complex reasons. Our previous foreign policy and economic injustice has forced many people to need to cross-borders to have a reasonable life. It would be helpful to explicitly deal with all aspects of the University expansion, rather than the super local plan. While the majority of people agree with the need to preserve the nicest places, plus minimum viable habitat for species (the peninsula has many rare serpentine soil species), I wish this group would clearly connect the local with the state level, and say where these students should go.

If we simply looked to western europe, where many immigrants came from, they have dealt with balancing a high population density with need for open spaces for centuries.

Scroll around the city of Berlin here. Most people without a car can bike to a wheat field or a large forest inside of the city, within a few miles. The key is preventing sprawl via zoning (so few people have 1/4 acre houses), and preserving parkland ahead of time, and having tons of trains and buses. The United States tends to look very different in its distribution of houses. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=berlin,+germany&ie=UTF8&ll=52.524159,13.333282&spn=0.090239,0.20977&t=h&z=12&om=0

Applications soar at University of California campuses
By Matt Krupnick
Bay Area News Group
Article Launched: 01/29/2008 01:39:11 PM PST

The University of California received a record number of undergraduate applications for this year's fall term -- perhaps at a time UC can least afford it.

Every one of the nine undergraduate campuses experienced an application bump, with a 9 percent hike systemwide. UC Berkeley freshman applications were up nearly 10 percent, while transfer applications rose 11.5 percent.

More than 121,000 students applied for admissions this year, up from about 111,000 last year.

UCLA received the most applications, followed by the Berkeley, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Irvine campuses.
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_8110467
by Dragon Lover
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 9:45 AM
If the truth be told the vast majority of students, staff and faculty don't give a rats ass about the tree sitters or the LRPD. It just does not effect most of us. Most of the students just want to get through Calculus (some of us staffers too) and are too wrapped up in their own little world to care. Staff and faculty wants to get their work done and get home with minimal disruption. To say the majority supports one side or the other is simplisticly naive.
by g.w. balteus
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 10:49 AM

the question of how to deal with the compact for higher education in spirit and in letter (this is the document that requires uc to educate the top eighth) is a difficult one, and uc's obligation to ca high school graduates is one of the common arguments in favor of the 2005 lrdp as it is. as the argument typically goes: "yes, in a perfect world we would find a way to accommodate both development (expansion) on the one hand and ecology and quality of life (traffic, water, housing) on the other; however, the reality is a growing population and a civic commitment, so we must accept some sort of compromise."
as reasonable as this position is, i do not believe it properly and adequately addresses the true conflicts and realities involved in expansion. in fact, i think this position is a false dichotomy. there are, i think, at least three reasons for this:

1. this first reason also addresses leni's concern (and a good one to have, too) about the connection between the statewide situation and that at ucsc. the uc system did not propose 21,000 or 19,500 students to ucsc; that number was (in some ways arbitrarily) chosen as a 'compromise' between the state's needs and the realities at ucsc. that compromise took a purely numerical form: "the uc system needs a lot more room; 25,000 is out of the question, but we have to help out some how: 21,000 sounds like a good compromise." that number was later reduced to 19,500, but the point here is that this number was not chosen to reflect the specific limitations and problems at ucsc. the uc system as a whole can and should accommodate students at other campuses; there has never been a uc-wide mandate that ucsc take 19,500 students. in other words, ucsc does not need to overcommit in order to solve uc-wide problems; those solutions require comprehensive, conditional, advanced planning on a state-wide level, which brings me to my next point:
2. ucsc has fallen victim to ill-conceived planning practices. since the 1989 LRDP, the method for expansion has been haphazard; an outer-limit or 'envelope' is set for land use and student accommodation (e.g., up to 19,500 students) and then that envelope is filled in. this method is what creates the dichotomy between expansion and meeting ecological and environmental standards. the two can indeed work together without compromising one or two species here, a hundred acres there. the problem is that expansion is always rushed through (this time a lot of the rushing was done by david kliger who for some reason urged the faculty not to delay the lrdp at all!) as though we were in some sort of crisis. children are graduating!!! we must hurry forward!!! meet these short-term needs!!! what i say is why not take the time to do it right?! in the end, doing it right and taking the time to build foundations upon which ecological and environmental concerns can be properly and fully addressed is the best way to meet the uc's civic requirement to the top 1/8 anyway. (not to mention, the current method for expansion creates budgetary problems that intensify those already incurred by state-wide cuts.) in short, leni's point that in eastern europe good planning solves problems is well taken here: the 2005 and 1989 lrdps are bad planning; they create, rather than solve problems by never building the proper foundations and expanding on the insufficient foundations they leave for themselves, thus expanding on problems. who needs more problems?
3. the words that uc uses to describe its mission: quality, access, and affordability. these three categories are important to the expansion debate. why expand? the growing population, the commitment to the top 1/8 etc. so the argument that ucsc should expand is not just that it ought to have more buildings and more people around; the argument is that ucsc owes quality, access, and affordability to more students. this is the key point then: what happens if quality, access, and affordability are all diminished by the 2005 lrdp, just as they were with the 1989 lrdp?

-quality: ucsc has seen decreases in student/ta and student/faculty ratios since the 1989 lrdp. why? because when it expands it sets targets and goals but it is NOT required to meet them. this type of behavior falls under the ill-conceived planning practices in point #2. additionally, many faculty have trouble seeing themselves at ucsc insofar as they can't imagine being able to afford a house in santa cruz: good professors do not want to stay at a poorly planned, overpriced campus.
-access: the environmental impact report has a lot to say about access: how will anybody not living on campus access ucsc when 11 intersections fail, when the metro can't accommodate students, when people cannot afford to live in the santa cruz metro-area...
speaking of affordability:
-with tuition increasing 10 and 12 percent each year (not quite as fast as chancellors' salaries though) and housing prices in santa cruz increasing at a rate commensurable with a rapid and severe influx of students (renters) the cost of attending ucsc will, for many, be prohibitive. this speaks to a general gentrification of ucsc, which already has the student body with the highest average family income of all the ucs. sure, lets preserve this beautiful campus and unique learning environment for the best, the brightest, and the students whose parents make the most money.

summary: the opposition between expansion/accommodation and ecology/environmental concerns is a false one for three reasons. first, the statewide situation is not demanding the current lrdp for ucsc; there are alternatives. second, good planning (if it met targets and was properly funded) could meet both sides of the opposition without compromise. third, there is in fact a contradiction within the expansion itself, one by which expansion actually circumscribes and subverts its own ostensible goals: quality, access, affordability.

these are three reasons why i oppose the lrdp, why i don't agree with the administration's analysis, why i think that this expansion was not designed to serve the public good or the public will (this last point is important--perhaps moreso than all the others--but requires a whole bunch more analysis).

by g.w. balteus
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 11:09 AM
The cheap anger and lack of analysis involved in so many of the above posts is cause for dismay. There are serious problems at play in our world, and the LRDP is deserving only of the utmost sincerity and commitment. Urgency may even be appropriate. Why? Hardly ever does anybody look at themselves in relation to the destruction of the planet and say: This place, this home of mine--I refuse to let anyone fuck with it. Period. The tree-sit is a declaration, an action that takes a clear position. Yes, opposition to the LRDP could be different; it might be better organized; there are plenty of people who don't like its tactics and rhetoric. However, insofar as the tree-sit says: This place, this home of mine--no, not some vague, gigantic planet, but this very ground--I refuse to let anyone fuck with it. Insofar as the sit says this, it is wise, it takes seriously the LRDP, it is a commitment, it understands the urgency of the here (the specific HERE) and the now. It, in my mind, cuts a sharp contrast to the Earth Summit speakers. Those folks talked about results and how they got those results through compromise. What the tree-sit exposes in that view is its inability to take a stand, to take the situation seriously enough. For all the work the Earth Summit-ers can do in order to blunt the negative effects of technoligcally advanced, industrial American lifestyle, it is, in my view, an empty strategy if it leaves no one behind to draw a line. Compromise can be effective in attaining goals; however, it can also simply leave nothing behind. People are so focused on true/false, accept/reject--these dichotomous relationships. Thinking critically (if you're at ucsc, it may be harder for you, but try anyway) must involve breaking loose these calcified binary oppositions (see my comment above). If we think in this way we may understand the sitters as allies precisely because they are doing the very thing we won't do: They are refusing to compromise. Whatever problems there may be with the tree-sit, it is a valid and significant contribution to ecological (and academic) struggles, and it should be supported insofar as it in turns supports (what should be) our goal of stopping eco-destruction. Or do people simply find ecological destruction unimportant....? That would be unwise, to say the least.
by JT
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 11:20 AM
I don't think anyone is claiming to have MAJORITY support of "the community". Except, perhaps, the administration. Every publicist love to use that word though, to cheaply (and often effectively) win over the dull minds who form their opinions based on what seems most popular or what they read most often in the newspaper.

OK, in a hopeless moment, I would agree with you that most students, faculty, and staffers may just want to get their job done and go home in the easiest manner possible. It often seems this way. That sucks! If a university is worth anything, it is valuable for creating a climate in which people care to engage with ideas and the world around them, to think critically and put their ideas into practice.
The LRDP is the lynchpin document defining the future of UCSC and the fate of the land the campus stands on. For someone who doesn't give a fuck about the forest, Santa Cruz (the town) or UCSC as a unique place, it would make sense that they wouldn't care to have any say or awareness about UC politics. But how dreadful it is, that we have a society and university where people don't care about our collective or cultural problems unless the problem is staring them in the face and preventing them from going about business.

So perhaps our first task, rather than trying to influence public policy by sitting in stuffy rooms and feeling powerless, is to come alive and discover ourselves apart from TV programs, video games and our social roles. Then perhaps we will find a reason to care and a reason to struggle for the things that we love. For the things that nurture us.

by Rico
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 12:01 PM
I won't even get into the whole top 8% thing which favors those from wealthier, more academic high schools. But granting that it is a worthy goal to offer an education to those who want it...

While the UC system might be facing record numbers of applications for admissions, this is hardly equal across the system. In fact, the newest university, UC Merced, hasn't even made it's enrollment quotas. With 7,045 acres of space there are a mere 1,871 enrolled students.

But beyond that, around every urban center in this state there are miles of underused industrial wasteland. Where is UC Sacramento? UC Long Beach? UC Redding?

It is a fine goal to offer an education to more people, but it doesn't have to be a trade-off between the environment and education. We can offer an education to more people without taxing the fragile eco-system (and in this case I'm talking about the forest AND a city with some of the highest rents in the nation) of this area.

While this might open me up to charges of NIMBYism, this is where I live, and if we don't do what can to protect our own backyard, I don't see anyone is going to do it for us.
by -
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 12:45 PM
The UC system accepts the top 12% of eligible high school students each year, or 1/8th of the students....not 8%.

UC Merced did not make it's quotas? According to the campus web page, they exceeded them.

They had 10,000 applications, up 15.4% from last year. That's the highest percentage gain in the UC system this year.

http://www.ucmerced.edu/news_articles/01292008_uc_merced_receives_record.asp


And the UC system as a whole saw huge increases in applications from underrepresented students.

"Applications from Latino and African American students, who are underrepresented on UC campuses, rose by 17.9 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively - from 14,941 last year to 17,614 this year for Latino students and from 3,527 to 4,094 for African American students."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/01/30/BAUDUOABB.DTL&type=printable




Your comparision of student body vs. acreage doesn't acknowledge the fact that the campus is only a few years old, and building facilities as fast as it can given current budget constraints.

by Rico
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 1:02 PM
They had the highest gain in the system because in 2006 their quota was 1000 students and they drew 850 eligible students. So now that they are closer to their enrollment target they have the ability to spin it as a huge success.

You are right 12%. My bad.

In any case, though my comment still stands. Instead of taxing an already overburdened community, why not develop other alternatives to make education even more accessible.

There is nothing about $800/month rents and even higher student to faculty ratios here that speaks to higher quality education for more people.
by A. Reader
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 2:58 PM
It was okay for you to choose UCSC decades ago, though, huh Rico? Face it, if UC Merced, or UC Sacramento, or UC "Urban Wastleland" existed when you went to college, would you have chosen any of those, over UC Santa Cruz? I'd bet good money the answer is "no."

The reality is that UCSC has a high enrollment because, to an outsider, Santa Cruz typifies all those cliches about California. It is a desirable place to be in. We have redwood trees, we have surf, we have hiking, we have excessive amounts of high quality ganj, dude. WTF is in Sacramento and Merced, that would entice throngs of young HS grads to move there? If I had rich parents paying my way through school, I'd have moved here too!

But the reality is, I moved here, fresh out of high school, in search of a decent paying JOB, in the environs of a post earthquake economic boom. I got here and found out all those other things about Santa Cruz, and haven't left...
by T
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 3:20 PM
I'm seeing in this thread a lot of talk about childish and immature anarchists, but these people don't seem to have an idea what anarchy means.

For example, "And then he mewls that his side gets pepper sprayed, and that's not fair. Umm, isn't that the deal with anarchy? No rules?"

You're a little confused, Another UC Staff. If you think that anarchists believe that police should be allowed to pepper spray at will peaceful protesters -- and there's not even an argument that the last pepper-sprayees were peaceful -- you must be thinking of LIBERALS. If you think that anarchy means "No rules" in the sense that anyone can do anything to anyone, you're thinking of CAPITALISM.

In reality, anarchy is about the removal of the hierarchical, dominational power structures which abound in our society and which are inherently violent, as the police so often demonstrate.

The Encyclopedia Britannica of 1910 gives a halfway decent though overquoted definition: "a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions."

If you're still confused, Wikipedia it.

This may be an argument of semantics, but if you're going to label someone an anarchist, or acknowledge their self-identification as anarchist, at least know the definition that applies. If "anarchist" means pro-pepper spraying of demonstrators, I think you're excluding just about every anarchist in history.

The thing is, moderate liberal types like to think of anarchists as childish and immature -- like those skater kids in 7th grade that wore anarchy shirts from hot topic -- because it makes them seem more wise for being "realistic," "practical," etc., for being past all that immature idealist shit. It makes them feel like grownups.

Well, shouldn't they feel that way? After all, we radicals will soon grow out of our youthful idealism, buy safe cars and live in suburban homes, and our new way of creating change will be voting for Hillary (or even Obama!). It's true, isn't it, that radicals tend to become more moderate liberals as they get older. It's also true that liberals tend to become more conservative as they age. So maybe it's the College Republicans we should be looking to as models of maturity. You know them, they're the ones that tried to stage "immigrant dodgeball" at the OPERS fair -- and they would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those pesky ethnic orgs getting offended and ruining their fun.

Here's my point, and it may be hard for some of you to believe: many forms of anarchism are complex, well-thought out, legitimate theories; many anarchists are actually intelligent, responsible, and even kind people. Even more unbelievable, I know, is that they're not all students! There are professors who are anarchists. There are workers who are anarchists. There are even old people who are anarchists! Just look at Noam Chomsky, he must be 90 or so by now, right?

I'd like to see more mainstream people think and read and talk about what anarchy, what anarchism, what anarchists really are. That way, your dialogue and critiques of us could actually be intelligent.




by kire
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2008 6:26 PM
Well written and thoughtful. As a former student of ucsc and arrestee of the elfland protests of '91, I applaud the growth and intellect of the movement to protect Earth. back then, we did no tree sits, which may have protected the circles and springs. Now they're gone. A couple of years ago, I revisited the spot where elfland was. I won't go back. Where there were sweet springs of drinkable water, nothing but a humming from the machine that is college 8&9. I have walked in the area when these plans were just but a rumour. What would the founders say?
by Another UC Staff
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2008 7:54 AM
I wasn't saying that "anarchist" means pro-pepper spraying of demonstrators,". I was saying that a small component of the protesters want to play at being anarchists, but then they turn around and complain when they get treated as such and got pepper sprayed.

The last few protests have seen an appearance by students with covered faces, deploying black bloc tactics.

They've knocked down barricades and torn down speaker setups. They've thrown things at the cops and administration. They've spit on people. They've assaulted the cops and pled to it in court. (Regents and no-recruiting protests.)

More recently, they've knocked down barricade and later attempted to rush the trees and set up a curtain to hide the identity of the persons who would be resupplying the tree sit. (And that in itself was the height of egocentricity and theatrical drama. If they wanted to supply the tree, it was easily accomplished by having one person quietly go up there at 2am with a bag of food; the cops never would have seen them. But they deployed a group of 15 in broad daylight when there was no crowd to blend into, and failed. But I guess that's how a "radical" act is supposed to look? I think they just wanted the drama. Deploying a black bloc technique in an empty forest isn't a great tactic.)


..and then when they got pepper sprayed, they seemed to want to morph back into peaceful protesters, and started crying "police brutality!"

So while I don't question that there are many, many intelligent and kind and thoughtful anarchists, I do question that there are many operating in the current radical student protests. Instead, there seem to be unthoughtful ones who can't decide if they are peaceful protesters or radicals. They appear to want to be radical until the consequences begin, and then they seem to want a "time out, I changed my mind. Now I'm peaceful. Stop spraying me, that's brutality." Changing uniforms in the middle of the game, so to speak.

And Kire? That's colleges 9&10, not 8&9. And the sound you call a machine is also the sound of 3,000 students getting a great education.


by Rico
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2008 11:04 AM
Oh those protesters. So much self-aggrandizement. Always just trying to get attention.

That's what my dad used to say twenty years ago as the community near San Luis Obispo protested against Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant that was built on a faultline in their own backyard.

And it's what I've heard for twenty years about every student protest at UCSC: Elfland, the great meadow, South African divestment, student's free speech, the two Iraq wars, UC weapons involvement, the fight for ethnic studies, previous fights against previous LRDPs.

Perhaps it is too much for some people (or entrenched liberals) to admit: That students take their passions about issues that matter deeply to them to the streets. Instead of complaining and throwing up their hands, some people will always fight for what they believe.
by Another UC Staff
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2008 11:13 AM
Whether I agree with their political viewpoint on the issue of the day or not, I support their right to protest....in a non-violent way.

But I don't support that tiny percentage who incite violence, and there has been a disheartening consistency of involvement with them lately.

I note the previous list of protests you metion: Elfland, the great meadow, South African divestment, student's free speech, the two Iraq wars, UC weapons involvement, the fight for ethnic studies, previous fights against previous LRDPs.

With the exception of Elfland, I don't recall their being any violence, from either the cops or the protesters, at any of those demnostrations. And the message was heard just as loudly. I

In comparison, it seems that the last two years have gotten increasingly violent. The one to block military recruiters. The Regents. The tree sit. All having a violent element, but none making their point any the more compelling with the addition of violence, IMO.

And that is the anarchistic element I refer to; not the other 99% of protesters.

by UC Staff
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2008 6:48 PM
This is exactly what Jim Burns UC spokesmen said to me, "I support their right to protest, but it is HOW they are doing it that we have a problem with." In fact, he cited to me the South African divestment protest as a struggle that was both effective and, as he saw it, civilized and polite. Non-violent, might be how you would put it.

A little research on that today and I read that during that 10-year long struggle, students occupied Hahn Student Center. Took over the whole building! And numerous times occupied the chancelor's office in McHenry. I'm sure that was hardly considered polite and civilized at the time.

During the Elfland protest, some people WERE masked up, especially those that had participated in other forest campaigns before and knew the length to which gummint agents, logging companies, and university officials would sometimes go to intimidate people committed to forest protection. Many people locked themselves to bulldozers and to trees. At the time, of course, the administration no doubt cried foul and claimed "outsiders" were here playing dirty.

But there's the rub. Protest, particularly effective protest, is ALWAYS labeled impolite, uncivilized, out-of-bounds, unsafe, and violent as it is happening. Afterwards, of course -- if it was effective in making change -- the administration, any administration, is going to imediately reshape the history of the event to tell how they worked hand in hand to make change for the betterment of all.

And watch, that will happen here too. After UC expansion is curtailed (as much from the looming budget crisis as from protest), the administration will talk about how they worked with and listened to concerned students, staff, faculty, and citizenry to address the impact on the town, preserve undergraduate education, and save the upper campus forest.

And many of the incidents you cite I've heard nowhere else, even the administration which grabs at every individual action and reports it as the work of the entirety of the anti-LRDP protesters. So I would like to cast some doubt on what you offer as proof. In fact, I will just say that the things you've alleged are completely outrageous. It is unusual to see someone's lies go well beyond the official lies of the administration.

But I want to give you a chance to back what you said up, so please point to some documentation of these alleged incidents.


1. When did protesters remove any barricades beyond the actions on Nov 7th where protesters were trying to get food and water to people in the trees? You said this happened recently, but I think perhaps you are confused.

2. Torn down speaker setups? Did you MOSTLY make this up, or make it up completely?

3. Thrown things at the cops? When?

4. Thrown things at the administrators? When exactly? Is that documented?

5. Spit on people? When did this happen? Spitting is actually considered assault, so we would expect to have heard much of this.

6. People HAVE been charged with assaulting cops, as have a few of my friends when cops attacked them in other protests. But do tell when someone associated with the tree-sit plead to that in OR out of court.

7. Though you seem to know all about what the tree-sit protesters are up to, perhaps you were unaware that, in the several nights prior to the masked action in which cops pepper sprayed a group of peaceful (though masked) protesters, police had arrested or detained people who had tried to feed and water people in the trees.

8. Where is the "violence" in blockading a building, or shouting at recruiters to leave campus, or tearing down plastic fencing to feed people in trees? On the other hand, I see police clubbing people with batons, pepper spraying unarmed and nonthreatening protesters, trying to starve out tree-sit protesters, and using pain compliance holds on Tent-U participants. You made a point about increasing violence, but perhaps you are referring to UC police's increasing willingness to use violence against student protesters.


So I can't tell from your post whether you are drinking too much of the cool-aid and talking to a bunch of bullshitters, or whether you are just making up your own steaming, heaping pile of bullshit yourself.
by observer
Monday Feb 4th, 2008 1:50 AM
To add to point 8 above....
it is important for us to ask "From where is the real violence coming?"

The UC is engaged in environemental destruction in many varieties (threatening to destroy upper campus, building atop sacred burial grounds in Berkeley, to name a few)

Is building Nuclear Weapons who have the potential to be used on who knows in the coming decades....
.... which includes the mining of uranium, mostly done on Native American reservations, which has a history of incredibly high cancer rates among those pulling out the yellow cake.
Also,in the enrichment of uranium produces only a minute amount of usuable material for the nuclear bombs... where else does the rest of it go?
Massive amounts of depleted uranium 238 is used in bullets and armor that is then shipped over to Iraq, where the radioactive material is killing thousands and thousands of people...both as bullets and by leaving by radioactive contamination in the ground and water.... waste from the Gulf War has been cited as causing cancer and other diseases in the people of Iraq.

These facets of the deadly paradigm that is the US is supported and legitimized by the University of California...

These are just a small portion of the ways in which the University of California acts as an incredibly violent institution.
The police are the militia for the Regents and their war-profiteering cronies.

Just check out the record of Brian Hughes, and then tell us that the protesters are too blame for the violent clashes we have seen in recent years. http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/11/08/18459337.php
by Another UC Staff
Monday Feb 4th, 2008 8:58 AM
1) Barricades have been torn down at several protests. At the 06 Regents visit, pipe and rope ones (akin to movie theater lines) were tossed aside as protesters arrived.

2) Speaker systems were in place at the Regents protest, to broadcast the proceedings. Student protesters tore out the cables so the speakers couldn't broadcast the meeting. In the protesters words, they didn't want to hear the regents lies. You can see those speakers on Indy's photos. Bottom picture, right side.
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/10/20/18321742.php

3,4,5- Masked kids were throwing fruit at cops in the doorway at the Regent's protest, and they were spitting on members of the public as they departed the building. I know other staff who were spit on.

A local chamber of commerce worker wrote into Indy-b and identified himself as the person in the picture; he said he was spit on, and the person with him hit in the head hard by a thrown projectile. Here, in his own words:

"
From: greg [at] santacruzchamber.org (Thu Oct 19 23:07:40 2006)
It seems to be all about perspective - everyone involved has one and no one is interested in anyone else's. I'm in this photo - trying to leave the meeting after presenting to the Regents - needed to pick up my daughter at daycare. Ironically, my message to the Regents was of the contributions UCSC and students make to our community and the need to partner on all issues going forward. The woman beside me is a librarion who was there to request more funding for student research materials - she was hit in the head with a thrown projectile. As I tried to leave, I was spat on by strangers - persons who neither knew nothing of me or my politics. I was hit in the head with sufficient force to dislodge a contact lens from my right eye - by the very persons I would have ordinarily considered my allies in political spirit. Their shortcoming was in labeling all persons in business attire as their enemy. Mine is labeling each of them as poorly informed and shallow in their issue resolution. The greater truth for both of us is that we need to work harder at finding common ground and not be satisfied with our efforts until we do. Their resorting to violence before all other courses of action have been attempted is exactly the tactic of this administration whom they hold in such contempt. "

Photo and link: http://www.santacruzphotogallery.com/gallery/protest/ucsc_protest2


6 - I didn't say anyone pled guilty over the Tree Sit. They pled guilty over the Regents protest. Alette pled, as did the other two charged students.

The facts don't lie...so enjoy that steaming meal you've prepared for yourself.
by Vertigo
Monday Feb 4th, 2008 9:10 PM
Seven years of building bridges and opening perspectives haven't changed the ways I've organizaed and advocated my beliefs, tasted mountain spring water, read under a mixed forest canopy, or climbed amidst massive evergreen branches...yet I have noticably seen impatience build, tolerance dissipate, and a dark fludity of proud privileged action take the fore. Yes, Abbey & Foreman were onto something when they recognized action needs to be taken when no one is there to speak for wildlands and sacred spaces...however there are varied groups present.. speaking all at once...acting all at once...not listening to one another, and in fact driving a wedge between many who've come before there own hearts and have lit passions and motivations in there activism.

While some "activists" remain conveniently tucked into mainstream discourse, others helplessly run amok in poorly thought and inadequately construed direct action. I am one for finding a middle ground, recognzing where our common strengths are and exploring how to support a movement that battles with constant paradoxes and challenges from within. We need to start communicating with one another...though our goals & tactics may differ, we have greater creativity and soldarity when our eyes truly see each other and we create spaces where we can truly hear each other.

Such action is not easy, nor is it quick like a light switch or microwaved goodies...it requires work. time, and commitment. I have great admiration for those that have commited themselves to land which reflects deeper values and species than just their own...yet I am perplexed at how such brave actions are bridled with unclear statements, multiple figureheads screaming and shouting points irrespective and indifferent to how those who would try and listen...actually would really try and listen to what they have to say.

We need all kinds of activism and action in our endarkened times so I wouldn't be so quick to play judge on "mainstream environmentalists" and "collaborative goal setting" that might not be as resolute, radical/real, and progressive as arises in the ideals of young and old alike whom want to see the constructed world flipped upside down and sedentism in this techno-industrial state vanish. We all dream for a world which is more "sustainable..." I would advocate to keep people seeking a more substantial commitment to this movement and be able to honor each other rather than condemn, separate, and in finale dichotomize.

Let's try and keep it real...I have much respect for the students who want to continue a stakeholder meeting/Summit design that allows break-throughs, integrative dsicussions, and safe spaces....I would be hard pressed to feel secure in speaking with those that demnify and hold everyone but themselves accountable to our current state of affairs....

Surprisingly, once all the coffee mugs were gone & lunch devoured, the event was concluded in the minds of those that came to critique....but it just began for those that wanted to sit together, explore opportunities, and commit to a process to address challenges and barriers toward sustainability together. That is what the Earth Summit stands for: a living, dynamic space, where thoughts can flow freely in round tables of discussions. Yes, a better morning format, where contrversial keynotes might be put aside for more time to proble-solve however there is no need to short-change a process you're not committed to. But I guess all sides make the same err...let's try and learn from one another shall we?






I have seen great change in the "mainstream" students who commit to educating, dialoguing, and building common visions together and facilitating them to unfold.



by G-Unit
Tuesday Feb 5th, 2008 12:33 AM
hey, while i agree with some things you say, i want to point out that you have no grounds on calling that person with a camera a police officer, much less an FBI agent. After all the media does with fear and paranoia, you're pretty much proliferating the same. ..and how can you really compare an event like the annual Campus Earth Summit to America's police state?! that is just absurd.

secondly, George is just a puppet. He doesn't actually have the real authority on the LRDP.

Thirdly, while I personally support people sitting in trees, I have to point out that they developed that plot of land into a tree house way before the administration even had the capability to do so. ..Is that platform even a "green" platform? what about the rights of the birds and the squirrels who would have loved to inhabit those branches, but now can't because a bunch of hippies have marginalized them? ...so speceisist...

..i have some more things to say on your article, but its late, i really should by studying, and your angry, nonconstructive, and one-sided article is just not worth it right now...
by Got sorta quiet once facts came into play.
Thursday Feb 7th, 2008 7:28 PM
Happy to continue discussing your opinions vs. my verifiable facts, links, and first person quotes....but you appear to have slunk away when confronted with some actual facts and reality vs. your subjective opinion.
by UC Staff
Friday Feb 8th, 2008 12:28 AM
Nope. Just got bored arguing over a generalization based on details from one protest that I can't confirm. I wasn't at the Regents protest.

But if the "facts" about the regent protest have any similarity to the load of bullshit coming out of Jim Burn's bullshit factory, than most of the details you provided were twisted, exaggerated, or made-up. I assume you weren't actually AT that protest either and are basing your facts on details you read here or in media reports.
by Another UC Staff
Friday Feb 8th, 2008 9:36 AM
I was there before the protest started and long after the 3 students were released and the Regent\'s driven away. My co-worker was spit on. I was pushed.

And that\'s why I\'m so firm in my stance on what happened. I\'m not basing my opinion on second hand info; I saw it.


You asked me to show you proof that people were spit on, that cops were shoved, etc. And I showed you. I linked you to photos and first person statements by individuals who were hit, spit on, or shoved. There is no exageration in the fact that the kids accused of violence at that protest pled guilty to charges.

It\'s disingenuous for you to be calling \"my\" details twisted or exagerated, because they aren\'t my details; they\'re verifiable facts, on public record, and there for all to see.

And I\'ll close the way I opened: \"Whether I agree with their political viewpoint on the issue of the day or not, I support their right to protest....in a non-violent way.I don\'t support that tiny percentage who incite violence, and there has been a disheartening consistency of involvement with them lately. It seems that the last two years have gotten increasingly violent. The one to block military recruiters. The Regents. The tree sit. All having a violent element, but none making their point any the more compelling with the addition of violence, IMO. And that is the anarchistic element I refer to; not the other 99% of protesters. \".





by UC Staff
Friday Feb 8th, 2008 2:59 PM
I realize this thread has pretty much closed down for the night. Maybe we can turn the lights off when we go, or since we are both UC staffers, we'll go meet at the Whole Earth restaurant for a cup of coffee, oh wait, maybe Stevenson Cafe.

I'm glad you are reporting on first hand details, not what was repeated by the administration and the press.

I've been following the tree-sit protest from the Nov 7th rally, and have seen a ton of innuendo and exaggerated claims of violence both here, in the mainstream press, and in email letters that for a while I was receiving weekly from EVC Kliger or Satan's minion Felicia McGinty. In short, I haven't seen the "violence" that has been reported.

And while I appreciate your point of view that you do not support all of the tactics of every protest, and believe that some are even counter-productive, to some degree this is a semantic argument.

What you might call violence on the part of protesters, I might consider direct action. What I might call violence on the part of police, you might consider police doing what they need to do to maintain order or safety. But be that as it may, let's not argue semantic shizzle.

When people are taking direct action to protest the forest and stop out-of-control university expansion, I'm going to support it. When police pepper spray, taser, and baton protesters (even ones taking direct action) I'm going to oppose it. When people (cops or protesters) hurt others, I oppose it -- exception perhaps is self-defense, but mileage varies on that.

I don't equate protester "violence" -- graffiti, removing barricades, pulling fire alarms -- with police "violence" -- pepper spray, tackling, and using batons.

And as explained earlier, anarchism doesn't equal violence. In fact, violence is controversial even among anarchists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism But on the whole, the mad bomber view of anarchists is a long-running holdover from 19th and early 20th century campaigns to discredit anarchist thought -- a time when anarchists were very influential in politics and social change.

Anarchism is simply the idea that we can make choices in our life and in our society without having to rely on authority over us. Common anarchist ideas are mutual support, collectivism, autonomy, and self-reliance.

There is a whole section about anarchism are on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
by CrimethInc
Friday Feb 8th, 2008 3:12 PM
Dear Aunt Joyce,

You may already be an anarchist.

It's true. if your idea of healthy human relations is a dinner with friends, where everyone enjoys everyone else's company, responsibilities are divided up voluntarily and informally, and no one gives orders or sells anythings, then you are an anarchist, plain and simple. The only question that remains is how you can arrange for more of your interactions to resemble this model.

Whenever you act without waiting for instructions or official permission, you are an anarchist. If you don't trust the government, the school system, Hollywood, or the management to know better than you when it comes to things that affect your life, that's anarchism, too. And you are especiallyan anarchist when you come up with your own ideas and initiatives and solutions.

As you can see, it's anarchism that keeps things working and life interesting. If we waited for authorities and specialists and technicians to take care of everything, we would not only be in a world of trouble but dreadfully bored -- and boring -- to boot. Today we live in that world of (dreadfully boring!) trouble precisely to the extent that we abdicate responsibility and control.

Anarchism is naturally present in every healthy human being. it isn't necessarily about throwing bombs or wearing black masks, though you may have seen that on television (Do you believe everything you see on television? That's not anarchist!). The root of anarchism is the simple impulse to do it yourself: everything else follows from this.
by Another UC Staff
Friday Feb 8th, 2008 5:47 PM
I don't differentiate the types of violence as you do, forgiving one side while condeminng the other. Particularly as my first hand experience was that the violent actions of the protesters have been the instigating cause of the violence of the police.

And I don't choose to look at only the "acceptable" forms of violence that are occuring (pulling alarms, vandalism, barricades) from the "unacceptable kinds" (Spitting, pushing, throwing items, biting a cop)....especially when they're occurring at the same time and place.

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