A Cal dance party gets political.
The No Cuts movement in California, opposing the violence inherent in shifting the burden of the financial crisis to the working class (including students at public schools), is gaining steam all over, it seems. The next local fight I’m excited to focus on, after the March 4th day of strikes and actions to defend public education, is the oppressively expensive public transit system in the Bay Area — especially as higher-ups falsely pit riders against operators, claiming that since bus drivers don’t want to give up their pensions, users have no choice but to swallow higher fares and fewer routes. Gross.
More on that later, but in the meantime, check out this cheeky analysis of the UC Berkeley administration’s reactions (and non-reactions) to recent University of California controversies, including the street-dance-party action above.
Dear UCMeP Faithful,
We here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization are morally outraged over recent events at the University of California.
No, we aren’t (just) talking about the racist actions at UC San Diego or the homophobic vandalism at UC Davis.
We are talking about the band of terrorists disguised as students dancing to defend public education who, in the early morning hours of February 26, struck a vicious blow to everything UC Berkeley holds dear: its dumpsters and trash cans.
Within hours of this despicable event, Chancellor Bobby Birgeneau – writing from the same undisclosed location he has been bravely hiding in since December – sent an email to the entire campus community titled “Vandalism at Durant Hall.”
In this powerful missive, Birgeneau, “condemn[ed] in the strongest terms the overnight criminal vandalism in Durant Hall that spilled over onto Bancroft and Telegraph avenues.”
As increasingly belligerent acts of racism and homophobia shake UC Berkeley’s sister campuses, UCMeP would just like to commend the leaders of the UCB administration for their bold decision to not speak out against racism and homophobia this past Friday. We are proud that they have instead highlighted the real threat facing the UC: all those students, faculty, and employees vainly struggling to defend what’s left of public education.
That Chancellor Birgeneau has yet to publicly condemn the hanging of a noose in UCSD’s library or the vandalism of UC Davis’ LGBT center is more than appropriate. After all, why should the leader of UC Berkeley be concerned about goings-on at other campuses of the UC when he has burning trash cans on his own campus to contend with?
Friends, as Chancellor Birgeneau has recently demonstrated, racism, sexism, and hate speech are not the biggest enemies the University of California faces. The real foes are free speech, the right to dissent, and the tolerance of minority opinion.
We must battle these democratic evils with everything we’ve got.
It is toward dance parties and brief midnight occupations of construction sites that our moral outrage should be directed, not nooses and homophobia.
Facebook: UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)
Update: Black students at Cal block a main entrance gate to campus, in solidarity with UC San Diego and UCLA. Solid.
I like how the pictures sort of look like a twist on a class photo.
“the oppressively expensive public transit system in the Bay Area — especially as higher-ups falsely pit riders against operators, claiming that since bus drivers don’t want to give up their pensions, users have no choice but to swallow higher fares and fewer routes. Gross.” They pulled this one in the Twin Cities here (St. Paul/Minneapolis) seven years ago. After a four week strike, the driver’s contracts got ripped, and riders have been treated to two fare increases in the last six years. And route cuts galore for about 10 years, before they finally added some routes back in the past few years.