UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA STUDENTS AND WORKERS, WE MUST STRIKE AGAINST TRUMP!
WE MUST STRIKE AGAINST ADMINISTRATION!
20 JANUARY 2017 INAUGURATION DAY
1) UC Administration’s denunciation of Donald Trump’s government
2) Sanctuary school status
3) Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status
4) Free education
5) Full demilitarization and divestment from toxic UC investments
Why We Strike against the Trump Government
We strike as students, workers, faculty, and staff against the racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and ableism that Trump has normalized in this country, both structurally and rhetorically. We (un)welcome him to office with a culture of noncompliance! We will not produce for fascism.
Our labor as students and workers plays a key role in providing Trump with a material basis for his power in the presidency, most evident in the military research and production that takes place throughout UC campuses. This military research and production plays a crucial role in the national economy, but also lays the foundation for the state’s monopoly on violence. When Trump is talking about mandating Muslims to register in a national database, deporting undocumented migrants, bringing “law and order” to “inner cities,” and “bombing the shit out of ‘em,” he is talking about utilizing the machinery that is produced as a result of our own labor.
We strike against the Trump administration to declare four years of noncompliance.
We say, “NO!”
Why We Strike against UC Administration
The University of California (UC) administration has been complicit in creating the conditions for Trump’s rise to power. UC admin actively courts military contracts, invests in private prisons, collaborates with surveillance firms, and more, all of which are now managed by Donald Trump. UC Regents and administrators are the who’s who of America’s billionaire class, and like Donald Trump, have made massive sums of money through fraud, laundering, and ponzi schemes. Our current UC President Janet Napolitano has served as Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-13) during a period in which this country deported the highest number of people, both documented and undocumented.
Meanwhile, the UC administration has cried broke and tripled the cost of education over the past decade. The tuition hikes have only further excluded students from historically underrepresented communities from attending school at our universities: while Black, Native, and Chicanx/Latinx students make up 48% of the total state population, they comprise less than 20% of the UC student body. Administration has structurally excluded youths from working class communities of color from attending the university for the sake of profit by upholding a historically-rooted unequal access to resources along racial lines. What was once legal segregation is now racialized economic segregation. Meanwhile, savvy administrators have appropriated social justice language to offer an illusion of progress. Without having affirmatively intervened in these historically-rooted conditions, the UC administration has minoritized Black, Native, and Chicanx/Latinx students on campus, leaving these populations vulnerable to the types of escalating hate crimes suffered UC-wide in the past year, all while using students of colors’ faces in promotional brochures and alumni fundraising pamphlets. In the first week after Trump’s election, dozens of reports of physical and verbal attacks on UC students from historically underrepresented populations have surfaced throughout social media. UC administrators have not adequately responded.
It is time UC administrators intervene affirmatively in the interests of our most vulnerable campus, and local, populations.
We strike against administration for the purpose of achieving five immediate demands:
1) UC Administration’s denunciation of Donald Trump’s government as racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist. We demand that such clear and unambiguous messaging be endorsed by all members of the UC’s administrative class.
2) Sanctuary school status is key for keeping Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) off of our campus, thus preventing law enforcement the ability to detain and deport undocumented students and workers, our peers. Trump has already openly proposed mass deportation rounds and forced national registration of all Muslims. His appointments of various white supremacists, homophobes, neo-nazi sympathizers, and segregationists to high office has caused deep fear among many of us, both on campus and nationwide. Fascist governments, like that of Trump, have historically relied on moral panic to scapegoat racial minorities, women, queers, trans peoples, non-citizens, and disabled peoples as the source of perceived domestic problems, in turn justifying state violence unleashed unto these groups of people by making them appear as superfluous, threatening, and enemies to a national order.
On 30 November 2016, Napolitano’s office responded to campus-level organizing in support of sanctuary campus status by issuing a document titled “University of California Statement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community,” which vows UC-wide commitment to supporting undocumented students and noncompliance with federal or local agents in immigration raids. This is a step in the right direction! We further demand that UC administration fulfill all outstanding demands made by those vulnerable communities on campus so that they may have the resources they deem necessary for their own survival.
3) Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status to increase in the number of undergraduate, state-labeled “Hispanic” students enrolled to meet the 25% criteria for additional federal funding. HSI status further requires that at least 50% of the student population be eligible for federal student aid. This would ensure an increase of students from other underrepresented backgrounds (Black and Native, especially) because the university would be responsible to engage under-resourced communities, of which a large proportion are racialized. To enable this process, we further demand the UC administration publicly and clearly support the reversal of Proposition 209 and the reinstatement of affirmative action-based student admissions and employment.
4) Free education to undo the structural-level exclusion of students from historically underrepresented communities and to ensure that a UC education becomes legitimately accessible. Structural-level exclusion is the product of inequitable access to resources, such as a university-level education, and bigoted discourse is its byproduct. In mid-November, UC Regents met to discuss a ten year plan for tuition increases. The UC Regents must not only refrain from increasing the cost of public education, which further contributes to the structural-level inequities endorsed by the Trump government, but the Regents must vote to provide subsidized, free education to all students, in-state, out-of-state, and international.
5) Full demilitarization of UC campuses and divestment from toxic UC investments, including fossil fuels, prisons, and companies that benefit from settler colonial occupation and apartheid. We instead demand a reprioritization of investments and research objectives to solely reflect a commitment to social justice and climate change resolution. No applied military research! The STEM fields can be so much more than factories for the production of death and destruction – our creativity and skill sets could be much better utilized to solve the world’s most pressing problems, not to create more of them in the name of war and surveillance. The University of California receives roughly a half billion dollars annually from the United States Department of Defense. Combined with another half billion dollars from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and an unknown amount from private military contractors (i.e. Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Los Alamos National Security LLC, and more), military-related research funding makes up at least one billion dollars of the annual UC budget. The military technologies produced by UC-based research are used to disproportionately exert force on communities of color, both at home and abroad. Moreover, all of these investments are protected through heightened militarization of our campuses, which produces a war-like climate in institutions of education.
Some of the abovementioned demands have been made upon administration for decades now. These demands are the minimal structural changes that the UC administration can implement in order to translate their rhetoric into concrete action. Now is the time for our administration to demonstrate whether they stand on the side of students and workers, or on the side of a racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist government.
We say, “NO!”
We will mobilize now and continuously, beyond elections and candidates, to normalize effective tactics for disruption and dissent. We must target Trump’s government through the channels we can access and where we are located, in the UC system, at the forefront of the national economy and within a nexus of federal and corporate capital flow.
As the nationwide protests and marches against Trump’s victory intensify, we have already begun to witness an increase in police, politician, and administrative support for Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric. Clearly, street protests and marches alone are not sufficient tactics to significantly challenge state power. In the immediate days after Trump’s election, numerous street marches erupted across the nation, often resulting in protesters being attacked by state forces, even while simply walking down the sidewalk. Action without strategy is ever more risky and dangerous. In order to successfully counter the real threat of physical violence on behalf of the state, we must collectively organize to empower our communities both on- and off-campus through strategic collective action that specifically targets sites of power instead of reducing our resistance to abstractly shouting at power in the street.
We must strike!
Campus bureaucracy and privatized public universities are not the answer to fascism. We reject both. We will build towards a new university, one that centers economic equity, racial justice, gender non-conformity, community collaboration, and global peace at a structural level, not just in rhetoric. We begin this work today and call on everyone in the UC system to strike in support of these five key demands.
January 20, 2017, NO SCHOOL AND NO WORK UNDER FASCISM!