by Ramon Solis
Davis – Approximately 50 protestors have reoccupied the former Cross CulturalCenter January 24 at the University of California, Davis. For now, this is where the UCD Occupy movement is headquartered.
Various proposals were passed at considerable speed, reflective either of the fact
that many of the protestors who were present have been seasoned General Assembly
participants or that the movement has been slow to attract newer members who would
not be familiar with the process.
One such proposal was to bar police, corporate media, the Freedom of Expression
team, and members of the UC administration, including Chancellor Katehi and campus
mediators, from entering the occupied building. “What [the Freedom of Expression
Team] are essentially are snitches for the administration,” said one protestor during this
week’s General Assembly.
“Allowing UC administration into our space would be predicated on the idea
that there is anything to negotiate, which is false,” said Natalia Kresich, occupier and
UC Davis 5th year student majoring in American studies, “The administration, and
anyone working for them, has an agenda of privatization, which they have no intention of
deviating from. Corporate media reproduces the administration’s rhetoric. Police exist to
enforce that agenda. If we respect ourselves and our friends who have been brutalized by
police, we don’t allow police in our space either.”
Additionally, UC Davis occupiers approved a measure to endorse the College for
California ballot initiative [Catherine, can you link the words “ballot initiative” to
that article I submitted to you the other day?] that would make undergraduate tuition
virtually free to California residents. The initiative also proposes to increase taxes for
wealthy California residents.
Claudia Morain, spokeswoman for UC Davis, was unaware of the Occupy
Movement’s decision to bar entry and was not able to comment on it. When asked about
the Freedom of Expression team, she said, “The Student Freedom of Expression
Volunteer Program hasn't been used much if at all this academic year, but staff from
Student Affairs, campus mediation services, and the fire marshall have been reaching out
One member of the press representing the UC was demanded to
The building is now being used as a space for teach-ins, a place to sleep, as well
as, of course, general assemblies. On Wednesday, January 25, Maya Gonzalez, a
graduate student from UC Santa Cruz, held a teach-in on radical movements, like
feminism and communism. Student and protestor, Sophie Kamran, has spearheaded the
addition of a library within the new UCD Occupy center, consisting of various
revolutionary and educational material.
University officials are expected to use the place as the future site of the
Education Opportunity Program, a program meant to assist and to retain students in their
transition from high school to the university.
As far as the quad occupation goes, a handful of occupiers can still be seen
camping out. “The big question about the quad was kind of secondary for us, if people
want to camp they'll camp and we encouraged individuals to go for it,” said UC Davis
student and protestor, Tom Zolot.
Clearly, UC Occupiers are creating more intense divisions and feel less willing to
communicate with the university administration. Its consequences remain to be seen.
Ramon Solis writes true stories. He can be reached at news [at] kdvs [dot] org