To the students of UC Davis

We are writing to offer our solidarity in the aftermath of the events that occurred on your campus on November 18 and to express full support for the general strike you have called for November 28.  Like so many others around the world, we have followed the stories, photos, and videos that emerged from your university and are horrified by the police brutality you endured as well as the inadequate response to it from your administration.  At the same time, we are heartened by your steadfast actions and the ways in which you continue to mobilize as a community.

The struggles you face–massive tuition fee increases, cuts to public education and other social services, the securitization of your campuses and the criminalization of student dissent–are struggles that we face here too.  On November 10, 200 000 university and college students across the province of Quebec staged a one-day strike and 35 000 marched in Montreal against a proposed 75% tuition fee increase.  This demonstration was followed by a student occupation of the James Administration Building at McGill University to protest McGill’s unfair labour practices and central role in lobbying the Quebec government for higher tuition fees.  The fourteen student occupiers were beaten by campus security personnel, and two hundred supporters demonstrating outside were clubbed, pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed and ultimately forced off campus by riot police.

As you know, similar scenes have recently taken place at UC Berkeley and CUNY’s Baruch College, and these recall earlier confrontations in Puerto Rico, Chile, the United Kingdom, Greece and elsewhere.  The students affected by these events all stand for the same principles: freedom of speech and assembly, accessible post-secondary education, and the democratization of all facets of university life.  Increasingly, crucial decisions about our universities are being made by a small but interconnected group of administrators whose primary allegiance is to the corporations that direct their governing boards, not the students, faculty and staff who make up our communities.  We have just learned that our own Principal, Heather Munroe-Blum, sits on your Chancellor’s Board of Advisors.  We are also aware that your Chancellor, Linda Katehi, has served as an advisor to the Greek government, which recently abolished the nearly forty-year old law that had banned police from entering university campuses upon her recommendation.  These are not mere coincidences.

Given the international context of the challenges we collectively face, our student movements cannot remain isolated from one another.  As we strive to build strong relationships across national borders, we can learn from each other’s experiences and continue our struggles knowing that we stand together in solidarity.  The students of McGill University are with you, now and always.

The Students of November 10
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

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5 responses to “To the students of UC Davis

  1. At least one member of McGill’s teaching faculty is also in full support of you and all people striving for freedom of expression and assembly. I hope there will be others.

    Richard Cooper, Ph.D., Course Lecturer, McGill University

  2. as your statement already indicates the struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education (as a symptom of the currently dominating economic system) and for free emancipatory education is a global one.

    this overview of education protests worldwide in September 2011: http://ism-global.net/protests_worldwide_sept2011
    the international joint statement on the international student movement (ism) platform – currently endorsed by more than 80 groups worldwide: http://ism-global.net/international_joint_statement
    and the latest coordinations on the ism platform for the global weeks of action for education (nov. 7-20th): http://ism-global.net/coordinations_november2011
    give an idea of the global nature of the struggle.

    so I encourage all to consider making use and shaping the ism platform (http://ism-global.net) as well, for example to improve the flow of information between activists, network and make coordinations on the global level.
    the global mailing list: https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/international_students_movement
    as well as the various groups and pages on facebook: http://ism-global.net/fb_ism
    can help.

    so let’s make use of the infrastructure that already exists to connect and unite in our struggle for free emancipatory education ~
    feel free to get in touch with me to clarify questions or discuss this further.

    ★ one world – one struggle ★

    in solidarity from marburg ~

    PS: we also took to the streets on November 17th in context of the global weeks of action for education: http://youtu.be/6Vb09lh27Uw

  3. Pingback: Quebec | The University is Ours!

  4. Pingback: UC Davis and Canadian solidarity | The University is Ours!

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