April 2010


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New article up at Reclamations. Originally published in Against the Current, already it feels a bit dated.

1) A major new contribution to the analysis of the movement, by Advance the Struggle, has developed the conversation around the state of the student movement in California in some important new directions. While I don’t agree with all of their analysis, I do think that it raises some issues that we in the “mass-movement-building” wing of things need to take up. Some parallel questions are being raised in response to the Hunter College March 4 conflagration. Frankly, my political sympathies are almost entirely with the folks being criticized in this last piece, the so-called “movement builders.”

In the aftermath of the Hunter College affair, I had some very interesting conversations with anarchists; it is fascinating to me how little the socialist / anarchist split matters in terms of political methodology in the student movement today. On the “mass-movement-building” side of things one will find anarchists, socialists, some liberals and progressives, and a fair number of people who don’t claim one of those political camps; on the “adventurist / insurrectionist / occupationist” side of things one will find self-identified anarchists and communists and a fair number of people who don’t claim an overarching camp. I don’t think that we “mass-movementists” have successfully thought ourselves, and the piece above along with the ATS-initiated conversation in California offers us perhaps a dialectical opening to do so.

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As the UCSC administration continues to retaliate against activists through bogus “voluntary restitution” charges and arbitrary judicial sanctions, the activist community finds itself in need of financial support. Learn more about the newly-created UC Activist Defense Fund here. Share this link with your friends!

This weekend, our comrades at the University of Minnesota have organized a remarkable conference. “Beneath the University, the Commons” is the third in a series of annual conferences bringing together theorists and activists from universities around the world to discuss our struggles against the neoliberal privatization of the university.

UC Santa Cruz sent a large contingent this year (including yours truly)–comprising two full panels.  Although all the panels so far have been fascinating and provocative, if you are particularly interested in the UC (or UCSC), I would recommend you watch these two archived panels:
“The Weight of Past Generations II”: Brian Malone, Kate Woolsey and Madeline McDonald Lane from UCSC.

“Critical Considerations of the Student Movement in California”: Kyle McKinley, Erin Ellison, and Don Kingsbury (UCSC) plus Robert Wood (UC Irvine) (sadly, half of Kyle’s presentation is cut off due to technical difficulties!)

Also, if you are interested in hearing about March 4 at the University of Washington, as well as their potential upcoming TA strike, you will want to watch Cindy Gorn’s presentation on this panel.

You can watch the conference live stream here.

Check out the conference homepage here.

On behalf of all of my UCSC comrades, I would like to thank the U of M organizers for an amazing weekend!