Cops and Cowards: Reflections on the Recent UC Regent Protests « Anti-Imperialist Inc.

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i am not particularly concerned with a majority of the activity that occurred Thursday, January 19th at the UC Regents meeting in Riverside, because the energetic ad hoc efforts of the student organizers from all of the participating UC’s speaks for itself.  The day represented a solid advancement for Southern California student activism. It is an advancement that has been growing and will hopefully continue to fuel a sense of urgency for Our struggle.

What i am concerned with in this essay, is what has been lacking from the critiques of Thursday the 19th: creativity, tactical analysis and above all: a look into the events that unfolded while the cops still maintained their presence on campus post-meeting. This moment, for me, crystalized an idea that has been floating around the UC community/blogosphere for some time now, the struggle cannot only pertain to austerity and fee hikes, but the opportunity has been widening for making domestic militarization a central focus of Our praxis in the student movement. A decision that has the potential to connect the struggles of the UC’s, to the struggles in the prisons,  to the struggles anti-violence groups face, with the struggles of immigrants rights groups and with the struggles of  communities across the state. The movement  for the people by the people has to recognize the enemy of the people. And at the moment, thanks to their own efforts, its becoming pretty clear who that is.

Earlier accounts of police violence at the Davis and Berkeley campuses have been vainly provincialized, described as epic calamities – where moral outrage was merely the result of police crossing the boundaries of whiteness. So with this understanding, I do not want to dismiss the importance of acknowledging the privileged perceptions amongst the liberals and a majority of UC advocates, as a barrier between understanding modes of domination in the US and within the UC community itself. This understanding is the basis of my politics and this essay should be read with an assumed understanding of the context in which it is written from. However, it should be made very clear that a militarized police presence is, nonetheless, the divide between Us students and any dream of completely controlling Our educations. The police were the physical wall between Us and the Regents on Thursday the 19th, they were the lurking force that surveilled organizers prior to the meeting, and outside of the University they are the physical embodiment of all that is so completely fucked in Our society.

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