Statement from UCLA Sit-In


Via UC Strike

Here is a statement some students put out who were inside the Murphy Hall Sit-in, describing what it was like and why they were there:

From Some Participants in the Sit-in at Murphy Hall, apprx. 3:45 pm

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 millions.

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 solidarity.

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 structures.

Worker, student, faculty solidarity at UCLA. Solidarity with you and your struggles and with struggles around the world.

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