At some point the rebels fighting behind the Orange Curtain exploded their subjectivities and took on an important position in the Crisis. We saw our reflection in the dumpsters that one day, and since then nothing has been the same. Barely 30 hours after the Fullerton Humanities occupation was raided by police, somehow breaking past double-stacked dumpsters chained to doors, and 8 days after 17 students were arrested sitting in outside Chancellor Michael Drake’s office while students outside barricaded the building; 500+ Irvine students staged perhaps the first street action in the history of the City of Irvine itself, and one of the first in Orange County as a whole. Our police had no idea how to respond, to a situation which happens weekly and twice as big most other places.
Sure, we may not be taking over the 880 (yet) or fighting riot police trying to get on the 80 (yet), but we did get close to the 73, and we feel pretty damn proud of ourselves. After all, Tiger Woods lives a few blocks away from campus, and neighboring Newport Beach is the most affluent city in the country. AND, the entire city of Irvine is actually owned by a company, and was designed to be riot-proof. We can’t even jaywalk here without being stopped by the cops, and on M4 we took over intersections.
In our experience in turning out nearly 1,000 students for militant action at a campus designed to socially atomize the student body and prevent mobilization, what has enabled the highest turnouts of uninvolved students is days of action. Students knew about S24 and M4 without necessarily even receiving a flier or being invited on Facebook. These actions should not/cannot replace actions in between; this assumption was the root of the failure of the October 24 conference. But they do supplement escalation, it’s an excuse to feel our strength collectively, at one time.
So, Irvine is calling for M4: the sequel.
May 4 is the 40th anniversary of the massacre of students at Kent State University.
The history of Kent State and the rest of the anti-Vietnam War movement is well-known (although often times incorrectly well-known). Unlike most other countries, we have no student days. We have no anniversaries to rally around, no days reserved for mourning and anger. Let’s make May 4 a day to remember, not just because of the Kent State massacre or even the Haymarket riots which happened on that day, but for the events that we will set in motion this day. Hold funeral processions and silent marches this day; tell everyone to dress in black. Let’s mourn not for ourselves but for the death of the university!