University News

20 strike on Main Green to protest UC Davis violence

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, November 28, 2011

About 20 students and faculty members met on the Main Green at 10 a.m. yesterday in a walk-out supporting the Occupy movement at the University of California at Davis, where campus police used pepper spray against protesters last week. The meeting was part of a national day of action as students and professors at 58 colleges across the country refused to attend class.

The day of action included a series of soapbox speeches in the afternoon. “We cannot stand for the fact that other students who are peacefully protesting are being attacked by the police,” said Luke Lattanzi-Silveus ’14, addressing 15 students on the Green. “Their struggles are our struggles.”

“That’s just the kind of violence the system spits out on people every day,” said Lindsay Goss GS in another a speech.

“I’ve never really seen a moment like this,” Professor of English William Keach said, referring to the protests that have cropped up across the country. He noted that the economic crisis is particularly trying for students battling massive loans and a bleak job market.

Keach said he has been more involved with the Occupy movement in Boston, where he lives, but that the events at UC Davis encouraged him to support Occupy College Hill. He added that he knows many professors who are sympathetic to the Occupy movement and said he was surprised that more did not cancel classes or turn out in support of the students.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Ipek Celik cancelled her 10 a.m. class COLT 1812F: “Violence and Representation” and her 2 p.m. class COLT 1812I: “Collective Struggles and Cultural Politics in the Global South.” While passing out flyers advertising the day of action outside Sayles Hall, she said that though she has always deemed protesters’ requests valid, she had not been involved in the Occupy movement before the violence at UC Davis.

“I thought it was important for my students to know where I stand,” Celik said, adding that she was unsure whether the walk-out could potentially progress into a long-term strike. “If there is going to be a prolonged strike, it needs to be a solidarity action,” she said.

Michelle Cho, a postdoctoral fellow in International Humanities, also canceled classes yesterday. “My intentions were to raise awareness among the students in the class about the continuing activity about the Occupy colleges movement,” she said.

Having received her master’s degree from the University of California at Irvine, Cho said that she has been carefully following the movement’s progression.

The policy of the Board of Regents at the University of California “really monetizes the education experience that really goes against the principles of liberal education,” she said. “This is an educational philosophy that we have to stand up against.”

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