This is the third installment of Reclamations’ compilation post, which brings together writings from Fall 2011. Links to the other installments can be found below:
Installment One: August, September, November
Installment Two: November 1-15
Installment Four: December, January
Aaron Bady, “This is a Microcosm of All Sorts of Things” (Nov 17)
Posted in the wake of the UCPD’s second raid on the Occupy Cal encampment (which coincided with the annual ‘big game’-related festivities at UC Berkeley) Bady’s blog post juxtaposes the sanctioned activities of Cal fans with the unsanctioned activities of protesters. The unheralded expressions of solidarity — in opposition to police violence — by students of color at Stanford are contrasted with the administration-sanctioned torching of a tower of wood meant to stand-in for Stanford University.
Bob Ostertag, “Militarization of Campus Police” (Nov 19)
An account of the now-infamous November 18 pepper spraying of seated protesters at UC Davis, as well as an attempt at contextualizing the violence of the 18th in relation to recent transformations in policing. Ostertag oscillates between a reading of the Davis pepper spray incident as extreme relative to recent forms and protocols of policing, and a reading that sees this event as consistent with a broader militarization of policing in recent decades.
Nathan Brown, “Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi” (Nov 19)
A call for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi’s resignation in the wake of Lt. Pike’s pepper spraying of seated Davis students. Brown’s letter contains a chilling account of the police violence on the 18th — detailing how they forced pepper spray down the throats of students, and how one of those attacked was coughing up blood hours later. The letter presents the repression of the 18th as consistent with recent UC administrative responses to student protest (even if more shocking in some ways), and argues that resignations are the only adequate remedy to the chancellors’ cynical and callous disregard for the well being of students.
Robert Haas, “Poet-Bashing Police” (Nov 19)
An account, published in the New York Times, of Poet Laureate Robert Haas’ experiences on November 9, when he and his wife Brenda Hillman witnessed, and were injured in, the evening police raid on the Occupy Cal encampment. The editorial contextualizes the struggle of November 9 in relation to a broader history of university privatization and of student-worker resistance to the undoing of public education in California.
UC Davis Bicycle Barricade, “No Cops, No Bosses” (Nov 20)
An attempt to expand and radicalize discourse in the wake of the police attack on November 18th. The anonymous authors insist that the pepper spraying of seated students was an unexceptional act of police violence that reveals the need for sanctuary campuses and the disbanding of police forces, and that the violence was part of a concerted effort, on the part of UC administrators, to make the campus safe for the interests of transnational capital and thus to mediate, in structurally violent ways, relations between the world ‘inside’ the university with its various ‘outsides.’ The essay attempts to sketch out a course of struggle that would lead from current antagonisms to the realization of a self-managing, open university.