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,
still.

Visit the Family Tree’s Facebook here.

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As Workers Celebrate May Day, Union Officials Attempt to Steal Internal Leadership Election

Grad Union Reformers Call on UAW 2865 to Count Every Vote in Union Leadership Election

The UAW 2865 internal union Elections Committee has been conducting a vote count since Friday, April 29th for a contentious election for the Local’s top elected leadership. As the count proceeded, it appeared possible that a slate of reformers, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (www.awdu.org) would win the election. Then, at 8 pm Saturday, April 30, the incumbent- controlled Election Committee abruptly decided to terminate the vote count, leaving 1500 ballots uncounted — nearly half the ballots cast.

In a blatant effort to hold on to the power and privileges of their high paying positions, paid union official Daraka Larimore-Hall and his incumbent slate have tried to spin this egregious violation of UAW election procedures. Many of the incumbent candidates are not graduate students, including three of the incumbent candidates for top officer positions. With the vote count, together these candidates stand to lose the hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and benefits they give themselves annually with graduate students’ dues dollars.

Cheryl Deutsch, AWDU candidate for President, said, “We won’t know if AWDU won the election until all the votes are counted, but it’s hard to understand why else the current union administration would abandon the vote count without having counted nearly half the ballots cast in the election.”

All but three of the Elections Committee members abandoned all of the election materials in the union’s LA conference room, including boxes of more than 1500 uncounted ballots from UCLA and Berkeley union members.

A group of more than 20 UAW 2865 member reformers and three Elections Committee members still present left all materials in the conference room exactly as they were when the Elections Committee abandoned the vote count. The group then locked the conference room to preserve the integrity of the ballots, after photographing and videotaping the room and its contents in detail. UAW 2865 members remain at the LA office to monitor the ballots and ensure they are not tampered with until they can be counted.

AWDU has demanded that our UAW 2865 Elections Committee count every vote and have called on Mr. Larimore Hall and all candidates on his slate to join us in our demand.

###

Academic Workers for a Democratic Union was formed by graduate students who had been actively organizing against the implementation of budget cuts in the UC since summer 2009. We felt it inexcusable that our union was not at the forefront of this fight for public education–everywhere grad students were self-organizing, working with undergraduates and other workers in the UC, but without the benefit of support from our union.

For background on the election, and what’s at stake, please see the following links:

http://www.dailybruin.com/index.php/article/2011/04/union_needs_internal_democracy

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_17924741

http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2011/04/california-grad-students-seek-bottom-union

http://www.dailycal.org/article/112993/concern_over_voting_fraud_grows_in_union_elections

Read more about AWDU here: http://www.awdu.org/about

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Irvine 30 legal updates and Jesse Cheng’s conduct charges

Both the UCI 17+2 and the Irvine 11 appeared in court this week.  The 17+2, facing a cumulative 57 misdemeanor counts for a sit-in last February 24, had their pretrial hearing, initially scheduled for Monday, postponed until May 6.  It was revealed by lawyers that the Orange County District Attorney is subpoenaing the students academic records and their UCI email accounts, including privileged communications between the students and their academic advisors, and between several who taught and their own students.  The DA has also offered at least the 17 with a deal, which the lawyers rejected: 3 years formal probation, with no jail time.  Hell no, drop the charges!

The Irvine 11 appeared today, and had their arraignment continued another month.  The students are asking the California state Attorney General to take the case, after discovering leaked emails between DA Tony Rackaukas and others referring to it as “the Muslim case.”  While some of the local Zionist financiers have been meeting face to face with Tony to convince him to silence the anti-Zionist movement, we support the Jewish Voice for Peace letter to the DA, asking that their members be charged for similarly disrupting speakers.  (See our other post for more examples of unpunished disruption)  And we also appreciate calls by Mark Petracca and the majority of the local Zionist organizations to drop the charges as well–in their case, the more the 11 and Palestine are in the news, the less they are able to silently support ethnic cleansing and forced migration in the West Bank and Gaza.  Perhaps in that regard, we should applaud Tony for keeping the media spotlight on Palestine!

Student rapist Regent Jesse Cheng was found guilty by UCI’s Repression Kommissar Edgar Dormitorio of “unwanted touching” and is sentenced to “probation.”  What this means is that by the time the appeal is over, Jesse will have already graduated, without final charges.  It also means that the UC Regents will not be removing him from his position of representing students.  However, it should be said, conduct charges do not equal justice for Laya, and instead make a mockery of her case.  By charging Jesse through the Office of Student Conduct, UCI is trying to both validate their past repression of 30 students while also letting him off with a slap on the wrist.  We want Jesse to be held accountable for his actions–whether or not he did it–BY STUDENTS, not by a politically driven kangaroo court.  Not to mention it’s downright ridiculous that students be suspended, assigned community service, and have their organizations banned for participating in nonviolent protests, while a student is given probation for sexual battery.

Meanwhile, NorCal students have been hard at work outing informants and spies on their campuses.

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“AFSCME: The fuckin’ union that works for you!”

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Protest cuts to pensions with AFSCME March 16

UC executives getting bonuses while laying off front line workers and cutting wages and benefits?

SAY “NO” on MARCH 16 –

STATEWIDE DAY OF ACTION TO DEMAND RETIREMENT WITH DIGNITY!
THURSDAY, MARCH 16
(campus information below)

Where in the country are front line workers being forced to take layoffs, paycuts, and benefit cuts while top executives are getting
bonuses?

When these workers join together to fight this, where in the country are public officials calling for an end to collective bargaining?

Did you say Wisconsin? Think again.

University of California Regent David Crane is demanding to END the right for public sector workers to join together under one voice to advocate for our students, patients, and families. UC executives have spent $3.5 million on a union busting law firm to take away basic rights – such as the right to strike. UC has banned union buttons and stickers at the UC Irvine Medical Center.

While UC officials continue to give extra pay and retirement perks to executives, they want to cut vital services by laying off staff, and rolling back wages and benefits. Some workers make as little as $26,000 a year and fear being forced out of their homes because of the drastic cuts.

We must stand together March 16 to fight these unjust cuts.

UCSF
8am – Mission Bay (1675 Owens St)
12-1pm – Parnassus (513 Parnassus Ave)

UCD
12-1:00pm – UCDMC (2301 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento)
3-5pm – UCD Campus (Russell & Larue)

UCSC
3-5pm Quarry Plaza, Baytree Bookstore

UCLA
11:30am – 1:30pm, and 2pm-4:30pm RRMC on Westwood

UCSB
12-1:30pm Chealde Hall

UCI
11:30am – 1:30pm – UCIMC (City Dr/Medical Ctr Dr)
(Campus action – March 15, 11am-12:30pm by the flagpoles)

UCR
11:30-2:30pm Pentland Building “A”

UCSD
11:30 – 12:30pm – Hillcrest Hospital
11:30 – 12:30pm – Thornton Hospital

for more information call 888-856-3299

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