On 19 November at approximately 12:30 AM students occupied Campbell Hall at UCLA. The time has come for us to make a statement and issue our demands. In response to this injunction we say: we ask nothing. We demand nothing. We will take, we will occupy. We have to learn not to tip toe through a space which ought by right to belong to everyone.
We are under no illusions. The UC Regents will vote the budget cuts and raise student fees. The profoundly undemocratic nature of their decision making process, and their indifference to the plight of those who struggle to afford an education or keep their jobs, can come as no surprise.
We know the crisis is systemic – and that it reaches beyond the Regents, beyond the criminal budget cuts in Sacremento, beyond the economic crisis, to the very foundations of our society. But we also know that the enormity of the problem is just as often an excuse for doing nothing.
We choose to fight back, to resist, where we find ourselves, the place where we live and work, our university.
We therefore ask that those who share in our struggle lend us not only their sympathy but their active support. For those students who work two or three jobs while going to school, to those parents for whom the violation of the UC charter means the prospect of affordable education remains out of reach, to laid off teachers, lecturers, to students turned away, to workers who’ve seen the value of their diplomas evaporate in an economy that ‘grows’ without producing jobs – to all these people and more besides, we say that our struggle is your struggle, that an alternative is possible if you have the courage to seize it.
We are determined that the struggle should spread. That is the condition in which the realization of our demands becomes possible.
To our peaceful demonstration, to our occupation of our own university, we know the University will respond with the full force of the police at its command. We hear the helicopters circle above us. We intend to learn and to teach through our occupation, humbly but with determination. We are not afraid. We are not going anywhere.