STATEMENT ON THE OCCUPATION OF LANGSON LIBRARY
To Librarians and Library Staff
To the UCI community of students, faculty, and workers
To the media
By now you have surely heard about the actions planned for the evening of December 4, which seek to keep the library open overnight. We want to clarify our purposes and respond to possible claims by administrators and your bosses.
As students, we believe we should have full access to books, computers, and library materials before and during Finals Week. We also know that the funds exist within the UC system to maintain a fully-staffed, adequately paid 24 hour library on campus. Close to 8 billion dollars of discretionary funding is sitting untouched, and the UC has taken out over 6 billion dollars in construction bonds. This money comes from our tuition and our and our parents’ taxes, and we want a piece of it. Similarly, we are disgusted by the University’s negotiation process, offering library staff representatives the “choice” of layoffs or pay cuts; we want neither!
In taking over the library and keeping it open overnight Friday and perhaps indefinitely thereafter, we are exerting our agency as students and members of the UC community. We do not expect anything of you beyond your normal work requirements, and despite administrative claims to the contrary, we are not asking you to stay beyond your regular work hours. We only ask of you, and of the University, that we retain access to automated check-out machines, computer labs, and other basic unstaffed resources. We additionally condemn any attempts by the administration to shut off power or Internet access or lock the main doors.
Our only barricades will be our bodies so long as authorities respond peacefully to us, and it is our intent to leave the library cleaner than how we found it. We intend to use the space for teach-ins about the budget crisis, exam review sessions, study groups, and quiet study. On Saturday at 1pm, we will be holding a General Assembly for the UCI community to assess our ability to remain in Langson Library and consider our capacity for further action. Should you or your coworkers voluntarily choose to stay in the library for any period of time in order to assist us in any way, you have our humble appreciation.
This action is being carried out in solidarity with 15 prior occupations in the UC and CSU systems this quarter, and with the occupations throughout the world, most recently in Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Great Britain. While this may be the first attempted occupation at UCI, it will not be the last. We will occupy the entire campus, building by building, until everything that has been taken from us is ours again.
Don’t let your bosses force you to work longer than you want to. Don’t buy into their misrepresentations and distortions of the facts.
LONG LIVE THE OCCUPATIONS!
Students, faculty, and workers of UCI