This morning, at least a hundred students marched through classrooms
and buildings at UCLA, expressing their outrage over fee hikes,
reductions to worker hours, the exclusion of people of color from the
university and the economic crisis that has destroyed the lives of
At noon we converged in the center of campus with workers from AFSCME,
SETC, AFT, UPTE, and other students and faculty. After the rally,
over 300 of us went into the main administration building where we
voiced a list of demands to the administration.
This space was the most integrated and diverse many of us had ever
seen on campus. There were Chican@, African American, Asian, white
and Middle Eastern students fighting together; there were professors,
lecturers, service workers and community members standing in
At one point a megaphone was passed around to anyone who wished to
speak and tell their story of why they were fighting for the
university. Several people talked about being first-generation
students and many were afraid they would also be the last generation
in their families to go to school. One woman talked about how her
Latin American studies class inspired her to think about struggles in
Guatemala and Chile, and how they are related to what’s going on here.
Another woman talked about her mother who had come to America from
Mexico to give her daughter a better future. Some talked about the
financial crisis that has devastated America and the world at large.
Others condemned a federal budget that funds the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Afterwards, people read poetry, played music and danced.
It was an ecstatic experience, and for many of us, it was our first
time taking such direct action at UCLA.
We feel that actions like this and those around California today
reflect a growing worldwide resistance to an economic system bent on
generating profits for the few, regardless of the well-being of the
vast majority of people. As students, we are only one small part of a
much larger struggle. We know that a public university is what is
necessary for a society that values social justice. And we recognize
that a financialized university becomes the training ground for
corporate executives, investment bankers, military and political
strategists and others who hold a stake in the existing global power
Worker, student, faculty solidarity at UCLA. Solidarity with you and
your struggles and with struggles around the world.