UC Berkeley and the University of California system have a strong and proud hxstory of student and worker solidarity, building coalitions that successfully resist privatization and austerity measures that heavily affect marginalized communities on our campuses. One does not have to look far back to see the extraordinary power that students and workers have when they join together to fight back – just last November, students and workers came together to participate in the largest strike in UC hxstory. More than 30,000 students and workers united to protest the intimidation of our campus workers by the administration during their contract negotiations. This is just one of the many examples of the strength that students and workers posses when they join forces and organize against the tyranny of the University and its Board of Regents.
“We’re fired up, can’t take it no more!”
To meaningfully reclaim and transform our university, we have to organize and mobilize our communities to take political action (usually direct action) that challenges the powers that be. Every organizing meeting is an engagement with and evaluation of different theories of social change, because we discuss what actions to take to advance our political goals. This information is intended to help you anticipate and navigate difficult conversations about direct action.
This fall will bring with it the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. Though the movement has been relegated to the pages of history, its issues are just as relevant today as ever. The piece below was written by Michael Rossman, a key organizer of the FSM, on its 10th anniversary, in 1974.
As seen through the national media, the FSM began in October 1964, when three thousand students held hostage a police car that had arrested a civil rights worker on the Berkeley campus, and climaxed three months later when 800 students were arrested in the first campus sit-in, 10,00 more went on strike and shut the campus down, and the faculty voted to ratify the major student demands.