On November 22nd, 2011, the General Assembly of Occupy UC Davis agreed to a general strike of all California campuses on Monday, Nov. 28th to protest the recent cases of police repression and block the UC Board of Regents from voting on proposed fee increases and severe budget cuts. In their proposal, the students declared that “The continued destruction of higher education in California, and the repressive forms of police violence that sustain it, cannot be viewed apart from larger economic and political systems that concentrate wealth and political power in the hands of the few.”
We wholeheartedly agree with the students’ proposal and declaration. We know that the brutal pepper spraying of UC Davis student protesters is an attack on all Americans right to free speech. We know that riot police assaulting peaceful UCLA students is an assault on all of our right to assembly. We know that the UC Board of Regents gutting the California public university system is an affront to the ideal of accessible, quality education. And we know that the battle to defend our rights and protect our universities cannot be separated from the battle to get corporate power and money out of our democracy.
With the knowledge that our struggles are one, we, students on college campuses across the nation and Americans who support our struggle, pledge to take nonviolent action in solidarity with students nationwide. We will take part, within our means, in actions including, but not limited to, the following:
1) Striking and joining a protest on a college campus. Click here for a list of campuses participating in the General Strike.
2) Calling Chancellors at a UC school and demanding they allow students to peacefully strike and demonstrate without threat of repression.
- Robert Birgeneau, UC Berkeley - (510) 642-7464
- Linda Katehi, UC Davis – (530) 752-2065
- George Blumenthal, UC Santa Cruz – Write a Message
- Henry Yang, UC Santa Barbara - (805) 893-2231
3) Calling UC President Mark Yudof and the UC Board of Regents demanding they veto the proposed budget cuts and fee increases. Use this contact list for the Regents.
4) Spreading the word about the following petitions:
- Demand UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Resign
- Emergency Petition to End the Police Repression of UC Students
Solidarity forever!97 signatures
We are confronted by the corporate takeover of our education. The cost of school rises indefinitely while we, burdened by crushing debt, graduate into a jobless market with few chances to prosper and repay our loans. As our universities are privatized, the economy stagnates, and tuition rises, more and more young people are left either with an education they cannot pay for or no education at all.
To rebuild institutions of higher learning that serve students first, we need to restore a political system that is of, by, and for the people. We need to get corporate power and money out of our democracy. The student occupations at campuses across our country, organized in solidarity with Occupy Wall St., have provided youth with the space to begin solving the crises of our corporatized democracy.
Yet, the recent attacks on peaceful UC Berkeley student and faculty protesters by riot police and UCPD threaten this new and incredibly important movement on college campuses and severely undermine both the Constitution and our democracy. The arrests of UCLA students and the pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters at UC Davis that have followed reveal a deeply undemocratic pattern of abusive policing. An assault on one young person’s right to free speech and assembly is an assault on all young peoples’ rights, and a repeated pattern of assault stifles the ability of young people to solve our nation's challenges. As educational institutions allow violent attacks on our fellow brothers and sisters, we are unified in our pledge to nonviolence.
We declare solidarity with UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and all students and faculty who are exercising their right to peaceably assemble and to protest. We will deliver this emergency petition to UC President Mark Yudof on Wednesday, November 30th.1,650 signatures
To University of California President Mark Yudof,
Students at UC Berkeley have been violently attacked and arrested by riot police multiple times. More recently, riot police pepper sprayed UC Davis students directly in the face and throat, simply for engaging in nonviolent protest. As young Americans and students who are also deeply concerned about extreme inequality in our nation, and the control of our democracy by the wealth and power of the 1%, we declare that we are all Berkeley and we are all Davis. We demand the University of California schools unequivocally protect students’ First Amendment rights and ensure that there will be no further aggressive repression of student acts of free speech, nonviolent protest, and peaceable assembly. In this time of crisis in our country, university and college campuses must be a place where critical thinking, public debate, and peaceful protest are not repressed but supported and encouraged.