Sunday, November 20, 2011

11/19's UCD Protest

      Some corrections to recurrent media accounts of yesterday's UCD protest. First, there were not a mere 100 students, but rather 500 students (our final line of sitting, silent, and arm-linked students stretched for a little over 1000 feet, according to googlemaps, so at roughly 2 feet per person, 500 students). Bear in mind that this protest was organized within two hours after the Chancellor called her last-minute press conference in an obscure corner of campus in a room too small to allow student representatives (originally, Aggie TV, our student news channel, was not allowed inside). If we can get 500 students to mobilize in two hours, Monday's Rally should surpass last Tuesday's 2,000 person rally/strike with ease.
       Second, our dear Chancellor Katehi and her media lackeys (i.e. Sacramento's KCRA) have repeatedly claimed that she could not leave Surge II because she was surrounded by protestors. This is simple false. 1) While we had established a ring around the entire building, it was a ring with a 10-15 foot corridor through it with openings onto Hutchison Ave. The Chancellor had easy egress. 2) Our representatives at the door who were in communication with Katehi's handlers made clear our willingness to let her leave in peace -- i.e. without chanting, but rather silence (although I suspect that she objected to our willingness to link arms, which has been deemed by the UCPD, at Cal and now at UCD, as violent protest -- I don't mean this as a joke). Further, following a series of "mic-checks" we all agreed to this proposal -- to let the Chancellor leave in peace through our walkway, in peace and silence -- and repeatedly over the course of the two-hour "standoff" (a farce engineered poorly by Katehi to give herself time to complete an interview with CNN's Don Lemon -- again, no joke) chanted "You can leave in peace."
     This is what happened when she finally decided to accept our proposal, although she did not maintain her end of the agreement: walk to the end of our line where she would be picked up. "End of the line of students" now means "200 feet" or "the end of the building's lawn." And that makes myself and 300 others no longer students, but mere bodies on the side of the road.

And finally, the most important correction of all. UCD is not Chancellor Katehi's university. It is our university.

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