We are the Lumumba Zapata Collective, an intersectional (multiracial, multigendered, multiabled) coalition of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students at the University of California San Diego who have coalesced around the struggle for a truly public university that centers social justice, both in pedagogy and practice. We trace our genealogy to the 1968 UCSD Third (Lumumba Zapata) College struggle, during which students fought for an alternative education model that focused on the liberation of domestic and global communities of color, one that centered a critical analysis of racialized global capitalism and its discontents.
We first came together in Spring 2016 after the first incident of Trump-inspired racist chalkings on our campus. Formed out of regional and campus-based organizing networks within the UAW 2865, IWW, CHE Cafe Collective and Public Education Coalition, among others, LUMZAP seeks to move forth a structural analysis of power in the UC system. We began by critiquing the neoliberal multicultural university located within a neoliberal multicultural political economy. With Trump’s November 2016 election, we are now forced to develop a new analysis of the neoliberal multicultural university within a neofascist state.
As students and employees of the University of California, we are located within a nexus of federal and private (both national and international) capital flows. Our work is to identify where power is located on our campus and how it manifests, and to develop strategies and tactics for intervening in it to force UCSD Administration, UC Office of the President, and state and federal officials to concede to our demands for a new university.
We believe in using collective direct action tactics to confront those sources of power and oppression on campus. Through use of direct action, our power, we recognize ourselves as protagonists. We act alongside one another because the only means to confronting collective grievance is through collective action. We act alongside one another to create the conditions by which outstanding demands made by historically marginalized students on campus must be fulfilled because administration’s failure to do so will only result in a larger, more deviant, and united student body – a proactive, permanent solidarity in which we are all accomplices. Finally, direct action offers empowering experiences through which we develop our own political consciousness and (counter)subjectivities by struggling alongside one another. We act to win; we act to learn!