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The UC strikes and beyond

Organizing Committee:

Part 1 

Reading and analysis and strategy discussion. This session took place on 12/05/06.


Part 2 - Occupy Everything! [scheduling]

A continuation of the UC Strikes and Beyond discussion. There seems to be a lot of energy for these discussions, so lets keep them going! We just scratched the surface of a discussion on what we might do collectively, so lets start there next time.
Perhaps we should do this twice more and continue the trajectory of half theory discussion and half organizing discussion...
Communiques and texts continue to pour out daily as situations unfold, such as the Irvine occupation of the library where the administration changed their policies in response to only an announcement of an occupation:
Some of the issues brought up today that we should follow up on: future workshops at tent cities, the public school going on strike, critiques of the occupation strategy and other possible actions, exiting the university, the end of liberal humanism...
We still have yet to get very far with a discussion of how to branch out of the UC system. 


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Hello Zen,

I am a grad student at UCLA and I know this is an old post but I had a question regarding the protest. Can I email you? I can also ask my question here, if you prefer. Thank you.

TPS's picture

Next Sunday will be the first session of "Neoliberalism and Human Capital" and it may be of interest for you all.

Here is a note from Ken about the class:

Dear All:

Really looking forward to getting started on this material. Feels like the timing for this class is just right.  After the Continental Drift last weekend, which contained a number of related conversations on precarity, finance capital, speculative economy, neoliberalism, and the excesses of privatization; February’s TPS seminar on Immaterial Labor, where Jason Smith led a very rigorous discussion about Autonomia, as well as outside events like Brian Holmes’ presentation on neoliberal subjectivity at UC, Riverside on March 3, there seems to be a number of ongoing threads that can be extended through this class to give it richness and complexity.

The idea for the class is this: the current financial crisis has broadened and intensified an analysis of neoliberal economics as it has been and continues to be critiqued from the left.  But these analyses are usually founded upon the refrain of positions taken up in secondary sources without any direct reference to the primary source material that helped establish and legitimize the economic logic itself.  Many of us on the left--I include myself here--are quick to engage in a critique of neoliberalism without a deeper understanding of what that word actually means in its own native sense. Thus “Neoliberalism” often vaguely stands for anything that generally seems bad about our contemporary political, economic, and cultural situation; this tends to dilute the force of the critiques behind it. With this in mind, one might say that the objective of this class is to know your enemy, to work through some of the key primary texts and discuss the generative historical context of the development of neoliberalism by carefully attending to the writings of the Chicago School, a group that was instrumental in shaping the implementation of the economic doctrine in global economic and social policy ca. 1980.

I still think we should continue to read some secondary sources to fill in the critical analysis side of things, and this brings me to the other piece of fortuitous timing of the class.  It so happens that the scheduling for this class falls on the exact same dates as Foucault’s weekly lectures on American neoliberlaism 31 years ago and which can now be read in English with the recent translation of The Birth of Biopolitics.  Whether written in the stars or simply a serendipitous accident, it seems a perfect time to revisit Foucault’s lectures over the next three weeks, getting his read on neoliberalism in its incipient form.

So the reading for this first class on March 14 will be the following:

Michel Foucalut, The Birth of Biopolitics, pp. 215-237. (March 14th lecture)
Gary Becker, Human Capital,  pp. 1-11.
Gary Becker, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, Part 1, pp. 3-14

Next week we will read more Foucault along Hayek, Friedman, and possibly some more Becker and/or Andre Gunder Frank and perhaps something about the fascinating cultural history of the Chicago School in Chile. But this is all up for discussion.

All readings are on aaaarg of course.



The CA strikes and occupations of March 4th are now moving outwards.

Ideas for action in NY, Boston and Lousiana

All of us have also been trying to connect with community orgs. & local artists. I hope this will show on M4 too.

For those interested in what's going on at UCLA in the first week of March:

Right now we are set to have a two day event on March 2nd and 3rd called NewCLA, an alternative university project, between 12 and 4 on both days. The emphasis will be on discussions, workshops, art and art activist works. Some possible themes to deal with are:

The Limits of Capital at the University Front
Precarity & Student-Worker Consciousness
Occupation as an Artistic Strategy
"Unproductive" or Inoperative Education
Histories of Art Activism / Living Art Activism
Artists + Students + Workers + Community Orgs. (How to build solidarity?)
Foreclosure & City Space

(again, much overlap with the Drift)

Plus if anyone is interested in the official schedule of the protest here it is:

March 4th Schedule!

3-5am Undergraduate Dorms; Grad Student Housing
Dorm Storming

6:30-Noon Campus-wide
Picket set-up and student led pickets at campus entrances.

7-11am Campus-wide
Students reclaim campus with outreach, activist art, chalking, flyering, drums, music, etc.

11am-Noon Ackerman Turn-Around
Student and Worker Picket

11:30am-Noon Campus-wide
Any students still stuck in class are encouraged to WALKOUT!

Rally followed by March around UCLA campus; Speakers, media coverage, chanting, opportunities for circulating petitions, etc.

1-3pm Bruin Plaza and Campus Wide
Revolution Dance Party- DJ, musical acts, hip-hop artists, student-led teach-ins, etc.

3-4pm Bruin Plaza
Teach-in with various faculty members.

4:30-5:30pm Bruin Plaza
Rally; Speakers, media coverage, chanting, petitioning, etc.
UTLA, CFT, CTA, LAUSD, Community Colleges, and California State Universities join.

5:30pm Westwood
March to Westwood and Wilshire

For those from the public school interested in collaboration, you can check out NewCLA and these events, the first on Feb. 22, and the next on March 2 & 3.

I am at UCLA and helping organize them.

The first event will focus on UCLA student based performances & art activism, but March 2nd and 3rd should be more open to workshops / critical projects / experiments from outside the university. If anyone wants to talk more about possible collaboration through NewCLA or elsewhere, let's get the ball rolling! Only 4 weeks left.

NewCLA [nü⋅c⋅l⋅a] is hope for the UCLA community.
It is a multi-perspective group started by students to provide a free space to re-imagine the University. It spans from art activism to alternate models of peacefully demonstrating that we want change. The budget crisis affects everyone at UCLA and instead of holding us down, it will bring us together, in the form of NewCLA.

This related class is meeting TODAY at 3pm:

ai's picture

any more meetings? i couldn't make the last one.

Hi all,

We haven't met yet, but my name is Zen Dochterman and I just found out about the class today.

I am a grad student at UCLA and have been involved in the occupation & Nov 18-9 protest there, worked with the unions, Crisis Fest, and run the (very tiny and in need of much updating) blog "We are the Crisis" on blogspot.

I'd be interested in getting involved in your class in whatever way seems fitting. I would love to share what we are doing at UCLA now and what we've learned from our friends in Berkeley, Santa Cruz and CS Fullerton. I'm also glad to see you are compiling a list of readings, including the "Communique from an Absent Future," and some of the fact-based articles on the economics behind the "crisis." I'm working on compiling many of these readings as well, so it would be great to collaborate. Right now we are also holding an "alternative university" class with grads and undergrads with a focus on arts activism that will also engage some of these readings.

At bottom however, it seems that this class hopes to frame the studnet-worker movement in California in terms of the larger crisis in Capitalism. This makes me especially happy, and is something I am especially trying to do since our on-campus discourse can often get mired in talk of the 32% cuts, or the decline of education, rather than focusing on how this is merely one aspect of increasing privatization and cuts to public services demanded by neo-liberalism.

Anyway, sorry for the long intro, but I am enthusiastic to learn more.

Feel free to email me:

Hi -- I am going to propose a class about Korean guitar manufacturing workers who have been occupying their factories in Korea for years -- struggling against displacement after being fired for unionizing, after which the company abruptly moved its factories to China and Indonesia. Then I saw this class/discussion - which sounds like it would be a good collaboration between the two- students who occupy institutions that are supposed to be 'public' and workers who occupy a factory that had employed them for decades but threw them off as soon as they wanted basic rights like minimum wage. I wonder if perhaps at the Jan. 9 class anyone in this class would want to hear from these workers who have been conducting an occupation for years. They will be coming to LA in January and will be there at this time for the NAMM Show 2010.

sean's picture

Just a reminder that we'll be meeting tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 2pm!
We're meeting at 951 Chung King Road (same place, only this week we'll be in the back part, where the kitchen is).



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