On Tuesday, February 12, representatives from the University of California Office of the President will be convening UCI to discuss the future of health care across the UCs. 
Several issues are at stake for all UC students, graduates and undergraduates alike. For one, UC management is pushing to remain exempt from Obamacare standards in order to maintain lifetime caps and annual prescription coverage caps on student insurance plans. This means that any student whose patient care exceeds $400,000 a year or whose prescription needs exceed $10,000 a year will have no coverage, denying students the life-saving care they need (see http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_22453645/health-care-limits-leave-some-students-few-options for a news articles regarding this issue). On top of this, UC management plans to stick students with fee increases by an average of 25% across campuses – up to $600 a year – to pay for a deficit caused by financial mismanagement of the UC student health insurance plan.
Join your fellow students on Tuesday in front of Aldrich Hall at 10 a.m. to demand: 
  1. No fee increases.  UC’s $900 million in medical center profits should be used to pay for financial mismanagement of the health plan.
  2. UC should meet all Obamacare standards for covering life-saving care and free preventive care services. UC should eliminate all life time caps and annual prescription caps. 
UC needs to see how crucial these issues are to us as students and workers, and the best way to do that is to come out and be heard


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University of California, Irvine: Stop the conflation of Physical Abuse charges with Sexual Assault and Rape

(Reblogged from Radical Feminist Collective Blog)

Sign the Letter here:


We  the undersigned, are ashamed that our university has charged a student activist with physical abuse with no evidence to support these charges.  At the same time, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is failing to admit responsibility of the physical harassment that this student activist experienced by UCI administrative staff. Even more shocking, the verbiage of the policy that he was accused of violating trivializes acts of rape and sexual assault which occur with frequency at our school.

On  November 8th 2012, a student activist was charged with violating Student Conduct Policy 102.08. This charge resulted from the student’s participation in a peaceful march through the UCI bookstore to highlight the ongoing privatization of the California public university system.  As protesters entered the bookstore, several students were assaulted by administration and staff.  Shamefully, the UCI administration continues their silence about the incident, failing to admit responsibility of the physical harassment that student protestors experienced at the hands of staff and administration.  Furthermore,in an attempt to white-wash their actions, the University charged a peaceful student protestor with physical assault.  This underscores the true intent of the UCI administration: to silence students who oppose the privatization of public education.  According to the UC Irvine administration, students do not have the right to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble.

A further disregard of the student body is the administration’s use of theStudent Conduct Policy 102.08 Physical Abuse charge towards the student activist that states:

Physical Abuse – “Physical abuse including but  not limited to, sexual assault, sex offenses, and other physical  assault; threats of violence; or other conduct that threatens the health  or safety of any person. (See Appendix 3).”

(Appendix 3 is available at: http://dos.uci.edu/conduct/appendix_3.php  and describes the UCI Sexual Assault Policy: “This UCI Sexual Assault  Policy encompasses the applicable California state law on sexual  assault, rape, sexual battery, and unlawful sexual intercourse.”)

By lumping together all sexual and physical abuse into one charge, theStudent Conduct Policy 102.08 Physical Abuse trivializes and erases the experiences of sexual assault victims. It is problematic that the  University is grouping all physical abuse, and in this case – resistance of the forcible, unjust attempt to remove student activists from the University bookstore – with all  forms of sexual abuse, which is intended to dehumanize and destroy the  mental and psychological stability of those sexually assaulted.  This  dilution of both the meanings of physical and sexual assault gravely undermines the seriousness of these offenses, in  turn reinforcing violence against women and the LGBTQ community. Individuals who have experienced sexual harassment, abuse, and rape have to be taken seriously.

We, the undersigned, are indignant that UCI treats sexual violence as a light matter and feel comfortable to charge a random student activist with a serious offense they did not commit.  At the same time we are outraged that the university has ignored instances of assault by its own administrative staff.  This charge is a political manuever by the University of California which has been historically used to punish politically active students.

In addition to minimizing the struggle of survivors of sexual assault, by using the allegations against sexual assault, the University serves to appeal to the  affects of the community in rendering legitimization of unsubstantial  physical abuse charges against political activists.  We refuse to allow charges of sexual assault to be used as political tools to serve the agenda of  the University administration.

The University of California Irvine Student Conduct policies are archaic and do more harm than they do justice.  It is clear that these policies are used to punish students engaged in political activism by capitalizing on the experiences of sexual assault survivors.  Lastly, the only way to effectively deal with sexual assault and rape culture is to offer safety and assure accountability for survivors rather than trivializing their experiences.  It is now obvious that this can only happen through structural changes to the university and society at large.

*This  letter stands in solidarity with the women of India who are still  fighting for justice for the rape and murder of a young woman in a Delhi bus by six men using an iron rod.  It stands in solidarity with the  women of Juarez who we have still not forgotten, with Cece McDonald, a  student from Minneapolis who sits in jail convincted of second degree  manslaughter for surviving a racist and transphobic physical assault,  and with all the survivors of sexual assault in the U.S. and around the world.


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The FBI is seeking information from UCI activists, again.

Today a UCI activist comrade was approached by the FBI:

Two FBI agents showed up at the parent’s house wanting to know information on another activist on campus.

This is how the conversation went:

FBI: Do you know X?
Comrade: I do not want to talk to you, I want to talk to my lawyer.

Under NO circumstances talk to the FBI or any cops!  ANYTHING you say can implicate your friends and yourself.  Do not attempt to say something smart thinking that you are being clever in responding.  Even saying “I don’t know” can result in perjury charges.  Additionally, do NOT invite them into your home.  This is leaves open the opportunity for the FBI to search and gather clues lying around your home.  If they come to your doorway step outside, close the door behind you and say “I do not want to talk to you, I want to talk to my lawyer.”  Tell them a lawyer will get in touch with them.  If they do not leave ask “Am I being detained.” if they say No, WALK AWAY.

This is all intimidating, they want you to be intimidated! Do not let them coerce you into talking, you have the right to remain silent and not implicate your friends and yourself in anything.  They do not look as scary as they seem, they in fact look a little douchey, twenty-something, right out of the academy.  If you weren’t looking any closer, you could mistake them for Jevoha’s witnesses, or Mormons.

Regardless, treat the FBI like vampires, do not invite them in, do not talk to them, do not let their charms fool you! 

Here is an excerpt  Not Yr Cister Press, in response to Leah and Grand Jury subpoenas in Portland:

“Whether or not Leah provided information substantial to indictments, her cooperation facilitated the grand jury investigation. Frequently stated in grand jury resistance trainings is that answering even “harmless” seeming questions can have highly damaging outcomes. What appears insignificant could be an essential link in the prosecutor’s case. Further, stating “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” could potentially open you up to perjury charges. Finally, the State had, until October 17, encountered a mostly solid wall of resistance. Their strategy had failed to break solidarity among anarchists. In coercing testimony from Leah, the State damaged the credibility of those who publicly resist.

This point—that even limited cooperation is harmful—cannot be emphasized enough. Saying anything to a grand jury is a problem. Say nothing.”

Solidarity with all Grand Jury Resistors, Solidarity with all activists facing political persecution.  Solidarity with all prisoners.


Here are also some good readings: 

Occupy Legal (Mainly serving the Bay Area) 

NLG: You have the right to remain silent (PDF)

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Progressive Labor Party Harbors Rapists

In 2006 Progressive Labor Party member Seth Miller raped an anarchist activist who had been his close friend and a fellow organizer for many years in the Los Angeles area. The activist found no recourse in the legal system but hoped that PLP leadership would intervene and do something to hold Seth accountable for being a rapist. The party leadership did nothing despite the activist reaching out multiple times.

Early in 2012 the activist found renewed support for holding Seth accountable after learning that he had recently been part of some organizing spaces with the activist’s allies. The activist, along with a small collective of allies, approached PLP again in May 2012 to remind them of the rape and demand a process of accountability. After several weeks and a meeting between the activist, her allies, and a member of PLP leadership, the party seemed to acknowledge it was harboring a rapist but refused to act unless the activist provided “conclusive evidence” that Seth had raped her. Instead, the party leadership engaged in victim-blaming and insinuated that the activist was merely feeling guilty about consensual sex. While party leadership agreed to take up the issue, they opposed any process that didn’t conform to their terms and obstructed progress on holding Seth accountable by canceling meetings at the last minute and issuing unreasonable expectations for rescheduling.

It is now several months after those initial conversations with PLP’s new leadership, and Seth remains an operating member of PLP, though he is now based in New York City. Recently the activist found through her own investigation that the party held a secret meeting in New York in July or August during which they agreed that while there was no “conclusive evidence” to their standards proving that Seth is a rapist, they would require him to drink with a buddy from now on and write a self-criticism about his relationship to women and patriarchy. These so-called solutions do nothing to protect our communities from a known rapist.

PLP leadership has failed to acknowledge this meeting just as they have failed to protect our communities from this predator. The party has, however, asked that the activist and her allies stop spreading “gossip” about Seth because they see the activist’s rape as a private matter rather than a political matter.

PLP is incapable of promoting truly revolutionary politics because it refuses to acknowledge individual and systemic sexual violence. In response, we ask a few things of you. The first is to exclude PLP from all activism and organizing spaces. The second is to warn your allies of the fact that PLP is defending and harboring at least one known rapist. The third is to examine and address the patriarchal behavior throughout all of our activist communities that protects and promotes sexual violence. The fourth is to actively support and defend the many individuals in our community that have suffered sexual violence. Finally, we ask you to address these matters in the best way you see fit – you do not need our permission to act.

 from a UCI comrade at: http://necessarymeansfight.blogspot.com/

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Student Conduct Charges from Nov. 8th Rally + March

In response to the previous letter the lawyer sent to the administration (see here: UAW Lawyer’s email to the UCI admin), the Office of Student Conduct has released their first charge against a student-worker that organized and participated in November 8th’s Rally and March against UC privatization.  Sure enough the charges are absurd, given that these are the same charges we accused the administration of taking against several student activists that same day.   (Notice how conveniently they changed the time to say ‘you started it first’… we’ll see about that).  This is how the UC chill’s student activist on campus.  First brute force and then “conduct sanctions.”

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UCI uses force to silence students right to protest.

On November 8th, about 200 students gathered at the flagpoles in dissatisfaction of the misplaced priorities of the University and the state in funding public education.  “Prop 30 Won’t Save Us” because we have already suffered enough.  Our situation as it is is not acceptable.

After the march, students and workers peacefully attempted to march through the campus to notice the heavy amount of repressive forces placed at every.  Guards stood at every door of the administration building and public spaces such as the student center and the food court.

Check out the letter the UAW’s lawyer sent to the administration later on that week.

UAW Lawyer’s letter to UCI admin



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November 8th: Prop 30 Won’t Save Us


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All Out to the Regents Meeting!

It’s time of the year again when the Regents decide your future.

The Regents would like us to believe that they are not going to touch our tuition this year, or our resources, or our buildings, or UC workers and instructors.  The Regents have promised that if Prop 30 passes, there will be “no midyear tuition fee hike.”  But this is merely a promise… Prop 30 doesn’t change anything, and it sure as hell does not guarantee us more money…

Prop 30 passed in September of 2012, the third year anniversary since our first major cut.  Did we forget about that 32% fee hike in 2009? Or the subsequent double digit fee hikes every year after that? Did we forget about the first time the library hours changed on us? Or the workers that used to be here but no longer are?

As a comrade has said in regards to the November 8th rally:

“Prop 30 won’t save us… seriously, it won’t. Do you really think that the Regents are going to direct funds to roll back a decade of tuition hikes, restore manageable class sizes, re-fund departments, re-hire laid off workers, bring back the bookstore, restore library hours and student services, and stop privatizing education? Think about it for a minute and show up tomorrow at noon.”

Prop 30 has managed to place us in suspended animation.  It caught us in the middle of a struggle and expects us to stand still…

But we know that one proposition, two propositions, three propositions won’t save us! No proposition can save us from the grasps of a master plan.  The ultimate goal of privatizing every sector of the entire world is failing miserably!  Privatization is supposed to solve our problems, but this idea of making investors out of “everyone,” is only an excuse for the rich to get richer…and austerity is just another word for the structural readjustment in the “developed” world.  When you look at it this way, there is absolutely no way that the Crisis of Public Education is happening in a vaccum, or only in California and it is naive think Prop 30 will solve our problems.

Prop 30 Won’t Save Us. Because Prop 30 seeks to make us think of austerity as an isolated problem within the State of California. But we know this is not the case- the same (shit) is happening in New York, Puerto Rico, Chile, Greece, France, Spain, the U.K., Vienna, and on and on.  This struggle is larger than any one of these parts, and it is no reason to feel as if we have won, because we have lost so much more than that.

Prop 30 Won’t Save Us.  And it sure as hell won’t silence us.

So now let’s hold the Regents accountable!  Let’s see what they can do with that newly found money.

[Occupy the] Regents Meeting
November 13-15, 2012
Community Center, UCSF Mission Bay

*On the Regents agenda: retirement security cuts and votes on professional degree fee increases
Sign Up for Carpools Here: http://www.uaw2865.org/november/

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November 8th Rally – Take Back UCI – Protest the Cuts

Prop 30 won’t save you!

The Regents hope to funnel our fears and anger towards the legislature while they continue to fund construction projects, profit from student debt speculations and increase the already bloated UC bureaucracy.

Last school year, with the UC in the throes of the drumbeat of austerity (“Tighten your bootstraps! Pay higher fees! Accept cuts to services!) the number of administrators exceeded faculty–for the first time in UC history! The Regents say we need to keep administrator sala

ries rising in order to “attract the most qualified candidates.” To this we must ask with the thundering of student power, “What good are these candidates if their only role is to manage the cuts to California’s future?”UCPD further entrenched their brutal callousness at UC Davis last year when Lieutenant Pike infamously pepper sprayed unarmed, peaceful students sitting in a walkway. The Regents found their scapegoat: Pike was terminated and the UCD police chief resigned. The Regents took this opportunity to suggest increased funding (and, surprise surprise, salary increases for police officers) for UCPD and to increase surveillance of student protests. To this we must demand with the authority an debtor class consciousness, “Why do we continue to fund a brutal, corrupt police force which stands behind every line of fee increases and as an obstacle to any expression of student independence?”

These are just a few questions that we must ask of the Regents. They will likely not answer. Theirs is a rhetoric of deflection and deception. “It’s not us, we’re on your side.” They are only on the side of our debts and increased impoverishment.

We will not be channeled into mindless electoralism. We will make ourselves present and challenge the neatly shaped (ballot) box they encourage us to squeeze ourselves into. But our blood seeps through and threatens their carefully constructed fantasy of an alliance with the plight of students.

Nothing can suppress the rage.

Be seen. Be heard. Take Back UCI.


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The Morton Bay Fig Tree gains a family

In an  attempt to challenge conceptions of public and private on University property an occupation of what has been dubbed “The Family Tree” began last night. But let me start from the beginning…
Throughout the school year of 2010-11 a small collective of people began hanging swings throughout Aldrich park to liven up the park and make it less austere. The favorite target of this swing-hanginging venture quickly became the Morton Bay Fig Tree located roughly between the Humanities and the Cross Cultural Center. As interest increased and the swings proliferated those who take care of the park (encouraged, no doubt, by some fun-hating administrators) removed said swings one by one. This battle for fun came to a head when the best swing-hanging branch of the Fig Tree was unnecessarily cut down.
In response to this uncalled-for act of violence a few artists began building a 15 foot Phantom Limb to replace the fallen branch. It was finally installed on Monday May 23rd and looked something like this:

The man standing beneath the Limb is one of those who (apparently) is charged with protecting the Fig from any well-intentioned swings or art pieces. In order to preserve this aesthetic act of love the artists and their friends and allies began an occupation of the Morton Bay Fig. Nevertheless, the Phantom Limb was removed at 7:30 this morning, the dubious explanation being that it was “hurting the tree”. Of course, how a piece of diligently hung sculpture could hurt the tree more than the blatant sawing off of a branch is beyond me.
Some of the Tree’s Family members placed a memorial at the former site of the Phantom Limb:

It seems to be a canvas cloth, intended for use by those who wish to congregate around the base of the tree to study or simply enjoy the peace of the park.
As tuition increases (and may increase rapidly in the near future) the idea that students cannot inhabit and enjoy the campus they pay so much for becomes more and more absurd. If you believe in the right to love/hug/climb/swing on trees then feel free to stop by the Morton Bay Fig, have a conversation, find an interesting bug, and support the idea of public art and public joy. I’ll sign off this post with a poem about the tree from our cohorts at UC Rebel Radio.

It was that they took down a limb
where people used to swing
that made the ghost limb
appear on that tree;
ephemeral but extravagant,
like a ghost or piñata.

The limb will be missed,
but swing they will,

Visit the Family Tree’s Facebook here.

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