This page is for discussing the contents of UCD May 1, 2007: Day of Action. Please post information directly about the Walkout to that entry, and meta-conversation about the entry here so that the main entry can be useful for people interested in the event.

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May 1's Significance

The Truth about May Day:

Honor the Haymarket Martyrs! Honor Victories of the Working Class!

May Day became the international workers holiday commemorating an event in Chicago, USA 1886. On May 4 a rally was held at Haymarket Square to protest the police who, working for the capitalist employers, on May 3 murdered four workers striking for the 8-hour day. The police attacked this demonstration also, and someone unknown threw a bomb at them, killing 1. The police opened fire on the crowd, killing four more workers and seven of themselves. The workers leaders turned themselves in, proclaiming their own innocence and naively believing in the justice of the capitalist state, but 7 were sentenced to death and 5 executed (4 of these being German immigrants).

The naked truth is that the cops, courts, and prisons comprising the state are instruments of force for capitalists to subjugate the working class. The importance of this day must include the memory of this event, a chilling reminder of the brutal nature of the capitalist state against workers, immigrants, and leftists.

Gains come not through reliance on capitalist democracy's mirage of "justice", but through hard class struggle. May Day is a holiday of the working class, the only group whose interests cross national boundaries and whose struggles can unite the world and end oppression. We must remember the struggles undertaken by millions around the world organizing labor unions and working class political parties to achieve basic rights.

The capitalist class and its agents have tried hard to erase the memory of this event in the USA. In 1877, the year of the rotten presidential bargain and the violent suppression of the Great Rail Strike, the corrupt northern US capitalist class betrayed Reconstruction efforts for black equality to the racist Democrats segregation. From that time the capitalists have recognized the need to divide the working class racially to prevent the rise of working class socialist politics. After 1886, capitalist president Grover Cleveland, a democrat, moved to prevent May Day from being celebrated in the US and instead supported the Labor Day date promoted by the racist American Federation of Labor (AFL), who excluded blacks and supported the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882.

We will not forget.

We remember the greatest victory for the working class ever, the Russian October Socialist Revolution of 1917. Led by the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Trotsky, it is the only successful example of the working class overthrowing capitalism and creating a workers democracy. The most democratic form of government possible, it was a government elected by the working class through the soviets: councils where all members of society participated in democratic discussion and elected representatives to higher bodies subject to immediate recall.

A brutal civil war started by monarchists and capitalist liberals backed by 14 imperialist countries devastated the country, but the Red Army commanded by Leon Trotsky defeated all opponents and secured the defense of the workers state for the time. The later Stalinist bureaucratic degeneration of the revolution (1924) does not negate the importance of the early period (1917-1923) of the revolution as a model.

It was the first state in Europe to give women the right to vote, to abolish laws against abortion, and the first state in the world to have a collectivized economy. Economic equality between the different nationalities in the Soviet Union became a reality where other capitalist states had gross forms of racial and national oppression (like segregation in the US). From a majority peasant country, with large areas having even nomadic or feudal economies, Free Universal Health Care and education brought the health and literacy levels of an incredibly backward country to levels that compete with advanced capitalist societies.

In Muslim areas of the country women were hideously oppressed like in today's Afghanistan: sold like livestock for a price, forced to wear a veil, killed for disobedience, and isolated from society. The October Revolution freed these women from centuries of oppression, taught them to read, sent them to university, allowed them to take off the veil, and protected them from ritual "honor killings" by males common in Islam.

Incredible rates of Soviet economic growth during the capitalist world's great depression and the Red Army Victory over the Nazis in 1945 proved the superiority of the collectivized economy, despite Stalinist degeneration. The biggest remaining military gain of the working class is the collectivized economy achieved by the Chinese Socialist Revolution of 1949 freed China from the domination of foreign imperialists, gave women the right to choose their own husband and divorce, and doubled the life expectancy.

This fellow comments on the use of the term "imperialism" being thrown around in this call for action. Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, and out of the things listed it really would be more correct to say "the capitalist war on workers, blacks, immigrants" and the specific imperialist part is the war on Iraq. Subjugation of women is also part of US imperialism by support to reactionary woman-hating Islamic fundamentalist forces like Afghanistan's mujahedin in the 80s and today's Northern Alliance warlord government. Arguing that how protests should be single-issue reveals a desire to obstruct discussion of reality and keep people from developing political consciousness. Imperialism, racial, and sexual oppression are all based on the capitalist system and the only way to get rid of them is to get rid of the capitalist system that causes them. The real reason "imperialism" is an objectionable term to the bourgeoisie is that if people looked it up, they might learn some of the dirty history of US imperialism's mass murders for profit of millions of people from the Phillipines, Korea, and Vietnam and Iraq, and many other countries, and shatter the myth that the capitalist US "does good in the world".

The ruling class especially wishes that the working class would forget about communism, because it is the only real threat to their rule. They especially seized on the fall of the USSR to claim that "communism is dead" and therefore capitalism is good, though if you look at the facts it is obvious the good of capitalism is a lie as the counterrevolution in USSR and East Europe have resulted in massive increase of poverty, disease, and suicide, the massive rollback of women's rights, rampant unemployment, and the population is declining so fast it will be reduced by half in a few decades.

The remaining gains of the socialist revolutions in China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba must be defended by the working classes against imperialism and capitalist restoration, while fighting for political revolutions to oust the Stalinist bureaucrats and establish Workers Democracy. More important still is to create revolutionary workers parties in the advanced capitalist centers, to overthrow imperialism from within. An international planned economy is the only way to a world of peace and reason.

http://www.icl-fi.org the Real Communists: The Spartacist League

-Preston

Walk-Out as a Method

2007-04-06 07:57:19   I think they are just looking for whatever reason to walk out... —DavidGrundler

  • has there been a student walk out in the last four years? the only one i can recall during my time here was when uc service workers went on strike to have increased wages. this was completely legitimate as the chancellor had gotten a raise every year and was making a 6-figure salary and his house paid for by the university. service workers on the other hand had not gotten a raise in 3 years! their contract was up for renewal and they had to fight to get a wage increase. during this time, a student strike was called to support the workers on whom the university depends upon. (the toilet paper doesn't get into the dispenser on its own you know). But let me guess, you prolly thought the walk out was being called for no good reason and you crossed the picket line.

    This is a national walk out. We at UCD are organizing our May 1 in a unique way. We are trying to combine all the issues being fought. May 1st is the true Labor Day and should be observed! Not the racist pseudo-Labor Day in September. there should be no government activity on May 1! it is a day for mobilization. But since there are classes, we can use it to our advantage as a platform on which to voice our discontent.

    The issues we are fighting against/for are taking place on our campus. It's time we do something about it as a student body.

    I urge you to stop supporting the status quo and instead join in solidarity.

    JessicaRockwell

    • Who says I support the status quo? What is your message? It appears to be a hodgepodge of numerous things. Is this to stand up for workers rights? Is it for immigrant rights? The environment? The war in Iraq? How can you call for support when the message is so convoluted? If I support calling for an end to the war, but I am for HR 4437, I wouldn't feel comfortable going to this event. Likewise, if I support these immigrants, but I support the war in Iraq, I still wouldn't feel comfortable at this event. My feeling is that due to the lack of a unified message or one point that people can rally around, you are going to attract people to walk out for no other reason than to skip school. —DavidGrundler
      • misrepresenting the walk-out is an attempt at discouraging mobilization for this day just as the government has done by labeling may 1 "loyalty day" and "law day". you make no call of action for how we can address these issues. you simply attack and are not offering a solution. such behavior only promotes the injustices we are trying to fight against. The message is for people to advocate for their campaign and combine it with the other campaigns taking place on campus. One must not agree with ALL of the issues. There are some issues that I, myself, do not have an opinion on but I look forward to hearing how they combine with those that I do support. If there is at least ONE issue that you agree with then you are invited to come out and promote it. If people want to skip school...... they won't go to class to begin with!! Your point is moot. It takes courage to get up in the last 20 minutes of class and walk out because you want to make a statement. Rather than attacking this day of action you should be urging professors and ta's to put their teaching into action. They should end class at 11:30 and come out to the rally themselves. Everyone is welcome to attend. Even if you disagree. But if there is a cause you support that is listed above, then please promote it. —JessicaRockwell
        • I made no such attack or misrepresentation. I offered my opinion. How was my original comment an attack? If you read my comments, you will see that I have offered a solution: proclaim a single message and have your walk-out for that one message. I take umbrage to you telling me that my point is moot. There are many reasons why I am against walkouts. For one, I support people's right to learn and be educated. If the teachers walk out, that has an effect on student's who do not support the walkout, but are forced to lose out on lecture time. That is one example of why I think it is bad, and I have many more. I do support people who stand up for things, and I do support some of the items listed. I don't support the way it is presented, or your negative attitude towards me and my comments. -DavidGrundler
          • I moved this comment thread, which consists of "my" original comment, and your dialog with me, to the talk page so I would not be seen as "misrepresenting" or "discouraging" anything. I would much rather talk to you in person and keep this off the wiki altogether. However, since you resurrected it, here it is. In the future, please try to keep your dialog (at least with me) professional and avoid making assumptions about the people you are discussing things with. It is not appreciated when I see things like: you prolly [sic] thought the walk out was being called for no good reason and you crossed the picket line. Anyway, no hard feelings. -DavidGrundler
      • (this is not a repost. it is in response to david's comment on his edit insinuating that i left his statement out with negative intentions). david, i intentionally did not include your statement above. i didn't include it because i did not see it pertaining to the walkout debate. as you can see, the last two comments are by you. you thus were not responding to an argument i made about the walkout, but instead were responding to how i didn't understand why you moved our discussion to the talk page but left the other discussions on the main page. the statement you left on my userpage furthered my confusion. You said:"2007-04-06 19:28:11   Take a look at my comment on the may 1/talk page. Once you see it, feel free to delete the whole thing. —DavidGrundler "". It made no sense why 1) you would only move our discussion, 2) that you were encouraging me to delete our discussion. this still doesn't make sense to me. —JessicaRockwell
        • Well, you just spent quite a few posts directing sarcasm towards me for deleting your unsigned comment toward me. Then you choose to migrate all of the comments over, but just delete one of mine that explained my thoughts in re the previous comments. When I said "delete the whole thing" I was talking about this whole comment thread that started with my initial comment and is basically a discussion between me and you. I don't care if you delete the whole thing, just don't delete one of my comments selectively. The unfortunate thing is this could all have been avoided if you just picked up the phone, or took me up on my offer to buy you a cup of coffee. —DavidGrundler

I hate to ask, what is the benefit of this event? I don't see the relationship between the proposed actions and how is it to benefit these multifarious causes. Just curious, what is the relationship? Why walk out on that day? do we oppose the university? ~Davidpoole

  • Ideally, professors and thus would join with immigrants and workers by canceling classes and going out to the rally themselves. I know this sounds completely idealistic for UC Davis since we're so apathetic and prefer to have professors who do research about social issues and don't incorporate any activism. this should be an observed holiday. there should be no school. but since there is, we will try to make a statement. while most profs and thus will not cancel classes we can still urge them to postpone midterms and homework assignments to create less intimidation for the walk-out. as for your question regarding May 1st, the history behind May 1st was explained and i don't see why you're questioning the action taking place on this date. as i stated, it is an international holiday and last year had national significance for the worker and immigrant movement. this is an important date and will have significance for the Davis community. (taken from comment on DP's userpage). —JessicaRockwell

Effectiveness of Multi-Issue Rallies

2007-04-06 08:09:43   I would assume the purpose is to raise awareness about proposed legislation as is stated above. I do not see why this page was deleted, its completely relevant to Davis. —JimSchwab

  • Possibly, but what does that have to do with Iraq, the environment, marijuana, etc.? They are clouding their message and eroding support for their main message. These types of events are much more effective if they focus on one thing, and one thing only. —DavidGrundler
  • I had renamed it to simply be ["Day of Action"], thus I deleted the redirect. I don't agree with this idea, but I am not going to delete this. I agree, if they simply focused on one thing, lets say labor issues, or the Sudexo (sp) workers, that would be far more effective, especially the latter as it directly correlates to the university and thus justifies the walk out. ~DavePoole

I pretty much think every comment above my comment isn't really useful to the discussion, but I'll address a few points before going on. (1) I don't think the use of the word "imperialist" is appropriate. "Industrialist" would be better, and "neoconservative" would probably work best. (2) Capitalism and racism are related. Capitalism inherently accepts inequality in society, and strongly capitalist ideologies allow require a lower class of unskilled laborers. Since changing class is difficult, the historically poor (especially non-whites) continue to be marginalized by society. Racism may be declining, but that doesn't mean it is not a problem.

Okay, here's what we need to do. We need to focus these problems. Right now it seems like a series of unrelated points, but the same people are likely to agree with all of them. The problem is that the government is acting too selfish on several levels. The war in Iraq is a reaction to a perceived threat, rather than an attempt to prevent the causes of war. Government policy seems slanted towards promoting the interests of those in power and their friends (did you know that Enron hand-picked members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?). Keeping immigrants marginalized keeps wages low. Protecting the environment is bad for business. Paying for other people's health is expensive.

The rest are more subtle, but related. The War on Drugs still existing is primarily still going on because law-enforcement officers and prison guards want to keep their jobs. Ethnic minorities are typically economically disadvantaged, but social programs to make things more equal are too expensive. (Side note: Affirmative Action is immoral, but was the right thing to do 25 years ago — ask me if you care).

America used to be about making the world a better place, and leaving that better place behind for our children. But our national policy is so self-centered that we fear our neighbors, both at home and abroad. This is not our path. Instead of calling for an end to these neoconservative policies, we need to go further. We need to suggest ways to make our society better. Can nationalized health care be better, more equal, and more efficient? You bet! Investment in efficient technology saves money and the environment. And both leave us a better world. We don't want to be reactionaries, we want to be revolutionaries. Don't just react to the war, change the agenda away from the war. Use the rally as a place to popularize new ideas. —BrentLaabs

  • I completely disagree that the same people are likely to agree with all of the issues. I think you will find some who will agree with all of them, but I think a majority would be split on the issues. —DavidGrundler
  • Brent, your assumption is flawed. You assume that since there is inherent inequality between people, which there will always be, that the people on the lower strata of wealth will be unhappy. I don't think this is necessarily the case, does money really buy happiness? I just don't think any government should have such power as to supersede the freedom of the people for the greater good of the people as communism seems to necessitate. Other than that, I pretty much support all these issues from a capitalistic perspective, the government is intruding upon the freedom of individuals in order to promote the well being of their ledgers, hardly a good thing. ~DavePoole

2007-04-07 09:23:00   For a protest to be effective, it has to focus on a specific issue. This thing sounds like it's targetting a dozen problems at once. —GeoffJohnson

  • In the last four years, what was the most successful protest on campus as measured by number of students in attendance? I appreciate your comment. as a member of the UCD activist community your feedback is important to me.
    • I would tend to think that you would want to measure success by the results the event brings about (Did it change opinion? Did it cause a change in action? etc.) and not simply the number of people who show up. Especially with such a convoluted event. With so many issues on the table, when people show up, you can no longer say we drew x people because of cause y. Unless you poll each person as to why they are there, you have no measure of success of any kind for each particular issue. -DavidGrundler
    • Promotion for change requires a multi-pronged effort. The basic progression, from my viewpoint, is this: 1) awareness 2) education 3) critical thought. This process leads to a change that activists feel should happen. Rallies and days of action such as this promote awareness of issues in our society that need to be addressed. Ideally this would be followed up by programs to provide more information and educate those that are interested in learning more about the issues and finding out what they can do. Finally the process of critical thinking is necessary to consciously understand and apply those changes to society. Because this is such a long process it is difficult if not impossible to see the changes that occur because 1) people are impatient and have short term memory and 2) most students are only in school for 4 or 5 years. Also, because this day of action is only part of the process, it is difficult for different parties to judge the success of such an event. Arguably, noted commenters such as DavidGrundler and Davidpoole can be cited as accomplishments of such an event before it has even taken place. They have been made aware of issues, whether they agree with them or not, instead of remaining apathetic and unaware. Thus, the effectiveness and success of such an event is relative and depends on the assessor. —EricWu
      • I agree. However, keep in mind that my awareness is from the involvement in the dialog here, and not from the event itself. Many of the students that may participate in the walk-out will not have been privy to the discussion herein. After KatieDavalos's comments on the talk page, I have a much better feeling about the intention behind the event. Hopefully, after their next planning meeting tomorrow, we will have more information in re: the event, and we can clean up this page with more details and a plan of action.

"2007-04-08 10:54:00" i have a few questions about what is on the may day page. first, i'd like to mention that i am one of the people organizing the events. now, as far as what the protest is about, i think i must be misunderstanding something. At the meetings we had people from Davis Students Against War, Students Organizing for Change, and Amnesty International, as well as a few people without any affilitations. Those three specific groups intend to have speakers to talk about the issues they are advocating. We have not talked about speaking on any other issues. Also, each group has agreed that although we are all speaking on the same day, we are not part of some umbrella group, and have not joined together to form some super-activisit organization. I feel, and i assumed that others agreed, that May Day was primarily going to be a day of information and knowledge, with less emphasis on protest. For this reason, i feel that there should be no conflict in having all three groups speaking at the same event. There is nothing wrong with spreading knowledge and sharing information alongside other activists. I personally agree with and support all three groups, but i do not see the harm or difficulty in asking students to take time out of their day to learn about some issues that are occuring not only in their country, but at their school as well. Even if he or she were to only support one topic, it is not too much to ask that they stay and listen to what the other two groups have to say. Maybe i've misunderstood the organization plans, and perhaps this page is unclear about precisely what is going to occur. there are still planning meetings to clear up confusions and finalize plans. I personally apologize for any confusion that this page has incurred, and promise to bring up these debates at the next meeting to try to clear up some points. Additionally, if anyone wishes to participate in the organization of this event, please contact me on the DSAWR page to find out how. As a sidenote, i have to say that im disappointed that some of these debates above this comment have gotten personal and rude. There are many ways to articulate one's argument meaningfully without agression and anger. —KatieDavalos

  • Thanks Katie for the comment. If what you say here is true, then the article needs to be edited because this is not the message that I get from reading the article. And I completely agree that the tone here is unnecessarily ugly. —DavidGrundler
    • also, do you think you could link this event to my dsawr wiki event? im not sure how to do it, but the DSAWR is hosting the May Day action, and i would like to link the event to our page somehow. thank you for your imput, and i will definetly discuss these issues at our next meeting. —KatieDavalos
      • I added links to the three groups you mentioned. —DavidGrundler
  • Howdy, Katie. I have no idea what the heck the walk out is about. I'm not a UC Davis student, nor do I have any university affiliation (other than my lovely fiance being alumni), and my only real concern is that the wiki present correct and legible information. Since I can't figure out what the heck the event is based on reading the entry, I'm concerned that the entry as it is currently written is not benefiting either the wiki or the groups that have organized the event. I highly urge you or other organizers completely rewrite the UCD May 1, 2007: Day of Action entry with a concise introduction paragraph explaining what the event is, followed by all the information that people interested in getting involved would need. Once the event has passed, feel free to make the entry a record of the event, with photos and quotes. There are currently a few people who are frantically writing general political philosophy while the entry itself lacks the fundamental "What is it?", "What does it involve?" and "How do I get involved?" information. I've tried to edit it as best I can, but consider being a random student who has read this: what do you *do* when 11:30 rolls around? Yell a slogan or walk out quietly? Once you walk out, what do you do? Hit the vending machine and wait half an hour? Give people a real solid outline to follow if they want to join you in your cause. Right now, somebody reading the current page are missing the key details about what to actually do during that day. I think defining your cause (and listing the orgs that are supporting this event) would also help quite a bit — that confusion started the ugly little back and forth occurring right now. Please, if you are in a position to know what should be in the entry, or at least know those who do, please please rewrite the entry into a more complete and informative whole. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask them. We're a very friendly group and we'll help you get your information up and in the best form we can. That's our cause — to document the places, people and events that are part of Davis. —JabberWokky

2007-05-01 12:55:23   I agree about the comment that states this protest takes on too many issues. I would have liked to participate in the event because of the environment and war issues, but when the event was described in my class, the person stated that they were also for helping and protecting illegal immigrants (which I do not agree with). This event might sit well with the liberal/hippie types on campus, but for those of us who are not liberal (I myself am a libertarian), it's much more difficult to march with this crowd. I hope next year, if such an event takes place, they will narrow it down to an event or two that people are not likely to be split on (i.e. only taking on the war, only the environment, only immigration issues, etc). —NatalieMcNear

I am neither liberal, nor hippie, but i recognize the interconnectedness of thse issues. It's about human rights, and its about respect. Worker and Immigrant rights are very closely tied campaigns, and cities all across the country, even the world, rallied today in support of these two groups. The war in iraq exploits both of these groups, and it is imperative that we recognize the local and global significance of these connections if we ever hope to create change. I think the numbers at the rally today speak for themselves. —KatieDavalos

2007-05-01 18:46:04   When every group is fighting to get their cause recognized, its like they're all fighting against each other for attention. When you band together, you can do a lot more. Besides that, it 'is' all about human rights, and tries to show people that you can't pick and choose who deserves fair treatment and who doesn't. I say good on them for recognizing the power of teamwork. —AllisonEriksen


Immigration

2007-05-01 20:39:56   If you wanna break the law by entering this country illegally at least have enough respect to communicate your feelings in the English language. While we're at it, we should legalize drugs too because they'll enter America anyway! —MehdiKhan

  • Would communicating their feelings through an interpretative dance be acceptable? —JimEvans
  • The point is that some of the protesters seem to consider California to be Mexican territory and refuse to recognize American law and customs. This is shared by a few radicals, probably not the majority of marchers. And then there is the possibility that some people may not know English in which case they should be informed. —SteveOstrowski
  • The imprecise posting seemed ironic given the message. I wish that learning a new language was easy. —JimEvans

2007-05-01 22:11:42   "No Human is Illegal" is one of the dumbest slogans I have heard in a while. Either you break the law or you don't. Humans aren't legal or illegal, but their actions are. —DavidGrundler

  • Then why do we refer to humans as "illegal aliens" or "illegals"? —BrentLaabs
    • "illegal aliens" or "illegals" is referring to people who are actively breaking the law by maintaining an illegal presence in this country. It is their action that is illegal. We are not calling them "illegal humans". Likewise, we don't call murderers "illegal humans" either. —DavidGrundler
  • I would also add that the notion of "legality" is not exactly sacrosanct. Legal immigrants have been coming into the US through a system implemented by the 1965 Immigration Reform Act (also known as the Hart Cellars Act). This system created a system based on "family reunification" and employment requirements. (And since this was during the Cold War, "high-skilled" professionals were preferred.) In other words, the US never opened up its doors out of some sense of goodwill— The government wanted to build the country's economy and industrial infrastructure, and thus wanted and needed LABOR from other countries. The original quotas (120,000 people per hemisphere) have since been increased. However, they're STILL not sufficient enough to facilitate the economic demands of the country. (And even the staunchest opponents of immigration reform would agree that the bottom line is, we still need the labor of immigrant workers.So the question isn't so much about whether or not people are here "legally," but whether or not the law is reflective of the realities of what's going on in the country. If you need people's labor, then why not offer them a legal mode of entrance? This becomes an ETHICAL question, not a legal one.

    One final note: The news and politicians love to throw around the "fact" that there are 12 million illegal immigrants living in the US. What they always fail to mention is that there are also at least 6 million legal immigrants backlogged and waiting for their entrance because the current system is OUTDATED. So, you might find a legal immigrant from the Phillippines who has to be separated from her family for 15 years because current immigration law isn't allowing her family into the country, simply because the current LEGAL process is so damn slow. So, when protestors today were holding up signs about no longer wanting to see separated families, this is an ethical question that affects "legal" and "illegal" immigrants alike.

    CatherineFung

  • But those people are often called "illegals", not just their actions. —JimEvans
    • What is "illegal" referring to then? Have you ever heard them referred to as "illegal humans"? —DavidGrundler
    • "Hey, let's pickup some illegals to do some roofing" (pick some strawberries, mow someone's lawn, cook someone's dinner). It's referring to the person, not their act. —JimEvans
      • And if you asked someone who said that why they are calling them "illegals", would they tell you "because they are in this country illegally" (referring to an act), or would they tell you "because they are illegal humans"? Sure, "illegals" might be used as a noun to refer to illegal immigrants, but the term "illegal" is a result of their action and not some concept of "illegal humans". —DavidGrundler
        • Ever gone over the speed limit? That's illegal. And is more dangerous to society than crossing a border. But no one calles speeders, illegals. The term illegal is meant to be derogatory. And whether or not you think it is, the perception by many is that it is derogatory. -JimSchwab
        • There is a bit of a tension also between legal and illegal immigrants as well to note, and there is a great economic difference between the two, you generally need to pay minimum wage, income taxes, and various other annoyances to employ them, all that blasted paperwork. Unless they do not have a green card (or they are being payed under the table) where it is all merely social contract of how much you pay them. It is like fruit, there is the normal and then the organic, it isn't like we call the normal stuff inorganic is it? I think this is just an evolution of the language, it can be said in a derogatory fashion, it doesn't mean that it is always said with such a meaning, nor does it change the reference of the word. I think it would be just simpler to allow freer immigration, then again, that would imply people were immigrating to a different country, those who feel this is still an extension of Mexico, well it may cause a bit of tension, if we just annexed Mexico most of these problems would just go away. ~DavePoole
        • I think the message behind the slogan is not to correct the English language but means to say that any person may cross a border and have no law against it. For instance my slogan is that "No fruit is inorganic" which basically means that I refuse to recognize that there is a legal difference between organic and inorganic fruit. I suppose illegal immigrant is short for "Immigants that have illegally entered the country and continued to live in the country illegally." —SteveOstrowski
          • I concur with JimSchwab's and JimEvans's points that the word "illegal" has taken on a connotation that refers to far more than just the act of entering the country through unregulated means. The term is not only derogatory, it's also dehumanizing: "illegal ALIEN" being the prime example of dehumanizing rhetoric. In addition, the term has taken on a xenophobic tenor. It's impossible to tell just from looking at a person whether or not he/she is a citizen, a legal resident, or an illegal resident. But let's face it— For a lot of Americans, "illegal alien" is synonymous with "Mexican" now, just as "terrorist" is synonymous with "Middle Eastern."

            I'm less concerned with semantics and more concerned with this argument that so many opponents of immmigration seem to be using, which is that the law is the law, end of story. (DavidGrundler's first comment seems to echo this sentiment.) The point I was trying to make with my last comment was that if the laws of a country are supposed to reflect its values, then ours should have been changed a long time ago. Economic need and desire are driving immigration patterns— Even some of the most conservative people in this country have no problems hiring a gardener without checking for his/her documents. And it's this kind of hypocrisy that upsets me the most. Even with all our talk of America being the land of opportunity, our actions suggest that what we believe is, "We want your labor, but we don't want your lives." — CatherineFung

            • You may call it dehumanizing and derogatory, but I completely disagree. What do you call an immigrant who violated immigration law and continues to live in this country in violation of the law? Why is it derogatory to call someone what they are? Is it derogatory to call a convict a convict? How about calling a felon a felon? To me, "illegal immigrant" or "illegal alien" are simply terms that describe the truth of their situation. There are plenty of derogatory terms one could use to describe this group of people, but I wouldn't use those terms and I don't think most others here would appreciate that. I'm not against changing the laws, I'm against the blatant disregard of law. I'm not against immigration or immigrants. I'm not even against illegal immigrants, just illegal immigration. You completely misinterpreted my sentiment. —DavidGrundler
              • i'm not against changing laws that enslave people, i'm against the slave's blatant disregard of the law in their attempt(s) at escaping slavery. —JessicaRockwell
                • I find your statement and your insinuation of my support for the mechanism of slavery abhorrent and disingenuous. Your statement does not justify further response. —DavidGrundler
              • It is not the words it is how they are used. When someone uses the term illegal alien, it is similar to soldiers referring to 'the enemy'; it does somewhat remove the humanity from the statement, it is a euphemism, when you do reduce people to numbers and statistics, it becomes extraordinarily easy to delete them from a spread sheet, in my humble opinion. Now, to refer to a terrorist, or an illegal alien, doesn't necessarily mean an Arab or Mexican (I know plenty of illegals from many other countries), however that is really an issue of context anyway. When speaking generally, it will usually mean Hispanics and Latinos (oh yes I am such a sexist) because they are majority of illegal immigrants. (as a personal note, I am a citizen to three nations, the other two frequently are crossed into illegally by Americans to purchase goods and services not so readily available) In any case, these people are not slaves, they have rights as human beings despite any circumstance, the police cannot beat them, they are entitled to a proper trial, etc. so lets not jump the gun with weighted terms Miss Rockwell. I see David's point honestly, I am from the Santa Ana area, with a high percentage of unreported citizenry (nearly 1/3 of the city), and many great places to find Tacos and mariachi bands; and for the most part, there is that general sentiment, that they are outright disregarding the law, which stands as a social contract between all people, it would be the same for speeders, pot smokers, or loiters, they are people all in violation of the laws. So I ask David, given the situation, what do you think would be the best solution to the problem of illegal immigration? (which is honestly a dangerous business, I know many that have crossed the deserts, it isn't an easy crime to commit.) ~DavePoole Sorry for the ramblingness.
                • I'll be the first to admit that it is a complex problem that I obviously do not have all of the answers to. I would support a system that is two fold: changing the laws to make immigration easier for those who want to come to this country, and rigorously enforcing the laws and the border enforcement. —DavidGrundler
                • I guess any other question of morality would be pointless as it would merely result in an economic choice of the individual crossing the border. I would like to point out that it is more difficult to patrol the border effectively than it is probably worth economically. If we just made it a less viable alternative, perhaps requiring a green card or realid in order to send money to Mexico, then we can just make legal access to the country a better alternative. I personally would like to see less risk to those crossing the borders, despite everything, people dying in the desert is hardly a good thing to promote in such an interest. ~DP

2007-05-02 03:51:46   I would have supported the UC Davis employees, because I think they get screwed for the work they do, and I think Immigrants who come to the U.S. Legally should be entitled to all the rights that a citizen deserves. I did not attend however, because of how these issues mixed with protest of the Iraw War and support of Illegal Immigration. My friend said his class was rudely interrupted by someone quite in favor of Illegal Immigration and it ticked him and his professor off. I also recieved an e-mail prior to this event, from the listserv, "quepasa@ucdavis.edu", that all Hispanic Davis students are defualted placed upon, denouncing the proposed game that DCR wanted to do. That ticked me, because of their insinuation that the game was disrespectful and insensitive to the plight of the Illegal Immigrant. —CarlosOverstreet


(I)t is interesting to read the comments on immigration. I think CatherineFung hit the nail on the head perfectly when she wrote about DavidGrundler argument as "the law is the law." This relates, of course, directly with my first paragraph, but I though I'd take it a bit further here. Slavoj Žižek is correct when he comments that "we must obey it [the law] not because it is just, nor even beneficial, but simply because it is the law." He continues by saying that "this tautology articulates the vicious circle of its authority, the fact that the last foundation of the Law's authority lies in its process of enunciation" (The Sublime Object of Ideology, p. 37). Here Žižek writes the logic, whether known or not, of Grundler above. He is for changing laws that are not sufficient or old or racists or whatever, but as long as these old, racists laws exist, they should be obeyed. The complete obedience to authority, in what ever form, simply because it is authority is unbelievable. but then again, sometimes people have the desire to be repressed, just as some genuinely desired to live under fascism (Guattari and Deleuze make an interesting argument about this in Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia). Taking Grundler's argument back in time, he could very well be the white obedient person to the law during slave times in the south. extreme? i dont think so. the white, law abiding person would have said something like the following: "well, i dont like slavery, and i think these laws should be changed, but as long as they exist as they do, those run away slaves should be returned to their masters. It is, after all, the law. They are, after all, moving illegally." In this situation the ridiculousness of the argument is oh so apparent. I think that even Grundler would agree. Yet when transferred to the contemporary situation something happens: the person obedient to authority because it is authority recognizes within themselves their own fault, and changes the content of their argument, and retain the same form. and the form is oh so essential here.- josh

  • nowhere in any of my comments did I ever say that the law is to be obeyed in all instances and at all costs, which many here seem to be reading out of my comments. -DavidGrundler
    • you are for changing immigration law to make it a bit more fair, yet while the law is unfair, it should be obeyed. It seems like I am not misreading, but rather reading what youd like to not see in yourself. - josh
    • Excuse me, I would like people to refrain from saying such things, I doubt anyone here is in any sort of self denial. Nobody has the right to simply set such an effigy (straw man), especially when the real person stands here. Request perhaps next time, clarification.~ DavePoole
      • I said to make immigration "easier", not "more fair". I don't see how these laws relate to laws allowing slavery. Your judgement of me was wrong and not necessary. —DavidGrundler
    • If that one guy said you must follow the law because it is the law, he must be a retard. Laws can be just and unjust, just like everything else that is human. —BrentLaabs
      • I agree. —DavidGrundler
      • his comment was sarcastic, on one side, and telling of how ideology works, on the other. it is no wonder that he then, one page later, quotes Kafka's Trial as follows: "'No', said the priest, 'it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it a necessary.' 'A melancholoy conclusion,' said K. 'It turns lying into a universal principle.' And Id say that you do not see how your argument relates to slavery because your very argument is inscribed within an ideology of obedience. on the confederacy, to see it as simply "they couldnt get their man into the presidency" is simply not historically accurate. the civil war's basis is not there, but rather in the gradual economic marginalization of the south runing back years, but that is another thing altogether. Again, it is the same thing as before: "those black people shouldnt be out in the streets demanding for equal rights! if they want them, they should ask the justice system for them and stop disrupting the business of stores who only sell things to white people." and just as before, had they listened to this logic, legal segregation would still exist in the south (economically and spatially it still very much exists). Another thing i find interesting is that, and I must admit I am guessing here, most people i have met in life that run this line of logic have never been involved in any type of social justice movement. they, thus, have no idea what it is like to undermind power and hierarchy. - josh
      • I honestly don't see any conflict with his argument. He is in support of people wishing to change the law, he also supports the greater needs of society for peace and order. I just say that protests which disrupt the necessary elements in people's lives, like blocking intersections without permit (yes you can get a damn permit to protest in this nation, it is so people have time to redirect buses and accommodates them into the function of the city system) etc, are a bit well unjust in themselves. I am putting you on the defensive in asking by what right you had to make the driver and passengers of that bus, and in those cars, late to their classes, jobs, friends, families, meetings etc. ? Just to ask. ~DavePoole

Here's my proposal. Seeing as how there is so much inequality between the United States and Mexico, it is not suprising that so many people want to cross the border. If I were suddenly to become a Mexican citizen, it would take me about ten seconds to decide that I was coming up here. These immigrants come up here to feed their families, and to send their money back home. It sounds good for the families of those who come up here, as remittances make sure their families are fed. But can we really afford for all of this money to leave the U.S. economy?

The answer is no. But there is one simple way to solve the problem, keeping economic progress for all Americans and improving the lives of Mexicans. We must simply annex the entire country of Mexico, and join the Estados Unidos de Mexico with the United States of America. They're both called the United States, and should be united!

Now you may be thinking that this would be difficult, but just 140 years ago we managed to take a good third of Mexico, with a much smaller army than we do today. With the tanks, aircraft, and artillery of today, a war against Mexico could be easily won by our modern military. And would they treat us as liberators? You bet! Just think of how many of them want to voyage north of the border to become citizens — what if they could be U.S. citizens just by being at home?

So I urge you, and all of those who are running for President, to seriously consider the annexation of such a wondrous land as Mexico. We could reduce the amount of oil we import, reduce the amount of people crossing our border, protect a much, much smaller southern border, and offer Mexicans what they deserve: The American Dream. Our future is right there, and we have only to walk it together with our southern neighbors. —BrentLaabs

Also we would gain additional ports on the west coast, and a better staging point to take out those commies in Cuba. Personally I have always favored imperialism, war, and violence as a means to a practical solution. But of course we should make sure we preserve the identity of the Mexican states, culture, traditions and local laws, and their tacos, their delicious tacos. ~Dave

  • Great, just what we need: another imperialist war assuming "we" know best what "they" need/want, and more bone-headed (sarcastic?), unproductive, insensitive comments on this site. An alternative would be taking a good look at our own inadequacies (perhaps you know the "plank in your own eye" parable?). —AlyssaNelson
    • hey, at least this one would be on honest ground. We don't need to know what is best, only better, clearly we offer a better life as they are coming here, that would be the logic at lest. Plank in our eye, stick up our ass, and always talking about our wood, sumus viva viri. ~DavePoole
      • Checking assumptions such as "clearly we offer a better life as they are coming here" by having conversations (in which listening is actually involved) with people who migrate can be illuminating: there are many reasons — many different experiences and perspectives — to learn about once having moved beyond overly-simplistic, faulty logic. Of course people leave and arrive for a reason, but it's not so clear-cut as the worse-better dichotomy. —AlyssaNelson
        • Yes, but the only way our current administration can positively effect a location is to send in troops, reform the government in its own image, and manage a small military force there. That has been the way for the last many years. At least my idea proposes we be more frank about it and actually annex the territory. We are still a federal system, they should still have votes, heck with the numbers they would be a major political power. By expanding this idea more, we should just continue on south to take the rest of the continent, thusly gaining a solidarity of the American people. It isn't about the logic of what is wrong in people's lives, it is how can we most effectively interfere so we can fix whatever is wrong in the aftermath. Oh and did someone mention oil? ~DavePoole
        • It wouldn't necessarily solve the problem as the southern Mexican border is still rarther long and we would have to enforce immigration along the entire coast line of the country. I do however find it amusing that when I talk to middle class Mexican pen pals they tell me of the illegal Central American immigrants in their cities and how they take Mexican jobs and what not. If we had wanted the whole country we should have done it in the 1840's so that we would have had decades to correct Mexico's economic structure but no, the Whigs in Congress had to order a troop withdrawl. —SteveOstrowski
          • DP and Steve: let's look at what policies the US government is implementing that creates this migration. For all the US gov's rhetoric of "free-trade" and "liberalization", there isn't much being done on the US' end. if the US is serious about liberalizing trade, then it should end agricultural subsidies, and other industrialized countries should as well. we are taking away the comparative advantage of other countries, specifically industrializing countries, and forcing their rural workers to the city. once there they encounter extreme difficulties such as competition for labor, disease, crime, etc. this then forces them to come to the US. —JessicaRockwell
          • I agree that the agricultural subsidies should end to create fairer competition, that and food aide should be withdrawn little by little from poor nations so that poor countries' economies can begin to compete and grow capital. But these sorts of "real" solutions are hard to create high amounts of enthusiasms for marches, and the same people who want to liberalize immigration in the US are the same who demand fair trade. —SteveOstrowski
          • Dave: It's hard to tell if you actually believe what you are saying or if you're just baiting or being facetiousness. For example, "the only way our current administration can positively [a]ffect a location is to send in troops, reform the government in its own image, and manage a small military force there." Puhleez. I think debate is more useful and interesting when folks stick to honestly expressing their own thoughts. And as we all know, tones don't come through email / wiki very well, so straightforward works a lot better. Humor is fine when done respectfully. (I put this comment in the thread and not on his user page because I think it's worth saying to everyone.) —AlyssaNelson

2007-05-03 13:46:05   Why are we arguing about this? We are in America. We got ours. Fuck everyone else. Immigrants today, shit, they should have known better. They should have crossed the border back in the day - when you didn't need a passport because the 17th Century INS were the native Americans and they didn't have guns - suckas! Now let's All go to church and worship a guy put on a cross for committing a crime. Stop quoting history, we should know that law and order is always correct because MIGHT IS RIGHT. Now pardon me while I put my fingers in my ears and ignore your arguments because you are going to use morality and compassion - and doing that is just showing your weakness. —RobRoy

  • Ah, the heavily practiced concepts of NIMBY and IGMFY. Seems to be popular in Davis. —DavidGrundler
    • David, is your argument not an IGMFY? —RobRoy
      • changing the laws to make immigration easier for those who want to come to this country is not IGMFY. If my position was IGMFY, it would be "send them all home and don't let any more in." —DG
        • Oh, I am sorry, David, for the misinterpretation. Then you would most certainly agree that events like this May Day one are certainly necessary to publicize the need for immigration reform as well as worker's right improvements. Always remember these two things: 1) Making the world a better place is an offensive thing. 2) All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. —RobRoy
          • I think what is going on is that too many people are trying to stuff words in my mouth or make assumptions about my opinions that are not true. I have no problem with the demonstrations, just the manner in which some were carried out. For example, I objected to blocking the busy intersection as opposed to having the rally in a highly visible space that would actually better help the cause. Like I said previously, pissing people off rarely wins them over. However, some people here like to bend words and read into things that do not exist. Some people took that to mean I am against the event period. So, my position was distorted to: I am against immigrants, I am for slavery, etc., which couldn't be farther from the truth. —DG
            • Ok, well, as I said, I am sorry for the misinterpretation. I am just saying, the America I know and love is not afraid to sacrifice convenience to improve the world. An hour of traffic chaos is nothing compared to an excursion across the US/Mexico border. —RobRoy
              • I wasn't hammering on you for the misinterpretation, just wanted to make my point clear for others. Granted, an hour of traffic chaos is nothing compared to an excursion across the border, but I think it is less helpful to your cause. —DG

Blocking Roads as an Effective Tactic?

2007-05-01 21:39:26   I don't mind you guys protesting, but your blockage of the Russell/Anderson intersection made probably a thousand people late to class. I had to wait 40 minutes for the bus until the protest cleared. You should be respectful of those who need to get to class, what if someone had a midterm? I hope for the nuisance, you at least accomplished your goal. —PrishaGupta

  • Now we're starting to get to one of the main points of why civil disobedience and direct action are sometimes necessary to make democracy work. In this case, many more people are now more aware because of the slight inconvenience of being knocked (if only briefly) out of either complacency or lack of awareness (or both); this, in turn, may help address the issues of power that created the situation. Concerns about midterms and blocking emergency routes and such are just hyperbole. There are more important things in the world than being on time to class, and, by the way, class (and society) itself only continues to function because of the invisible structures and people that prop it up, some of which are thus made more visible through direct actions. You can learn about these hyperlinked ideas in classes at UCD, but to truly understand them I suggested participating and learning from experience! —AlyssaNelson
    • My experience suggests that you rarely win people over by pissing them off. There was no reason to block a busy intersection other than to disrupt others. You could have made your point and had just as much attention and coverage as you did without being disrespectful to others. —DavidGrundler
      • My experience on the other hand suggests that people have been talking about this event for the last two days and it has gotten tremendous coverage and exposure and thus it has raised awareness. Will that translate to support? Not necessarily, but I suspect it has. —DavidGreenwald
    • Sometimes anger ("pissing people off") can be constructive, and sometimes that's what it takes to get people's attention and to create positive change. I understand that people were inconvenienced and upset, but most of the people who are complaining about it seem to be taking this non-violent "collateral damage" way too personally instead of seeing themselves in the context of a larger picture. But, yes, as a strategy it has its pros and cons, and of course people will continue to disagree not only about the tactics, but about the issues themselves. Long live free speech and may goodness prevail. —AlyssaNelson

A somewhat general comment on various ideas floating around on the discussion section of this page. first, to respond to the folks who have written of the "disturbance" to their day, of their tardiness to class and what not. It is striking to me how, although the content of what is said, i.e. that you should take up your grievances by other means, such as talking with the administration, the form is the exact same stuff as, say, white supremacists used during the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s, or conservatives during the early part of the century regarding labor rights and unions. Back then the rhetoric was a bit more blatant: the racism was explicit, and the class bias against working people upfront. But the message is essentially the same: if you have problems, there are institutions that have means of fixing your problems, so dont go out into the streets and disturb anyone. Had they listened to this, the 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, weekends and the Voting Rights Act would have no meaning today because they wouldnt exist. Fundamentally it is a difference in analysis. Whereas the conservatives of old times (and today), white supremacists and people having a problem with yesterdays march see the current problems as mere aberrations in the system, I see the problems as inherent to the system. It is, thus, not the system which will fix itself, but rather the people at the margins, those most affected by the inequalities built in to the system. And is it for this reason that we must go into the streets.

Secondly, it is interesting to read the comments on immigration. I think CatherineFung hit the nail on the head perfectly when she wrote about DavidGrundler argument as "the law is the law." This relates, of course, directly with my first paragraph, but I though I'd take it a bit further here. Slavoj Žižek is correct when he comments that "we must obey it [the law] not because it is just, nor even beneficial, but simply because it is the law." He continues by saying that "this tautology articulates the vicious circle of its authority, the fact that the last foundation of the Law's authority lies in its process of enunciation" (The Sublime Object of Ideology, p. 37). Here Žižek writes the logic, whether known or not, of Grundler above. He is for changing laws that are not sufficient or old or racists or whatever, but as long as these old, racists laws exist, they should be obeyed. The complete obedience to authority, in what ever form, simply because it is authority is unbelievable. but then again, sometimes people have the desire to be repressed, just as some genuinely desired to live under fascism (Guattari and Deleuze make an interesting argument about this in Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia). Taking Grundler's argument back in time, he could very well be the white obedient person to the law during slave times in the south. extreme? i dont think so. the white, law abiding person would have said something like the following: "well, i dont like slavery, and i think these laws should be changed, but as long as they exist as they do, those run away slaves should be returned to their masters. It is, after all, the law. They are, after all, moving illegally." In this situation the ridiculousness of the argument is oh so apparent. I think that even Grundler would agree. Yet when transferred to the contemporary situation something happens: the person obedient to authority because it is authority recognizes within themselves their own fault, and changes the content of their argument, and retain the same form. and the form is oh so essential here.- josh

  • Students who are apathetic or don't agree with the message of the march are indeed disrupted by the protests and thus do not appreciate being late for class and possible midterms. Ironically the protest only punishes the very community that may be supportive of them by disrupting the operations of the city. That's why the pro life movement goes to San Francisco to protest instead Phoenix. So its a strategic decision to which the organizers must be held responsible for their decisions, not some grand philosophical argument. One must balance the pros of getting your message out to the cons of having the city and students unhappy with you and less sympathetic. As for the law most people play this game called democracy and civil disobedience is cheating in that you try to push your view on the majority through force rather than reason and logic. Perhaps it was righteous to defy the law but at the same time expect to be arrested and charged. If your cause is righteous then your arrest is something to celebrate. However, the effort will receive a backlash by the community if these guys continue to break the law. And since we are talking about white supremecists let's consider that the Confederacy couldn't get their man into the presidency so they decided they were going to...break the law rather than deal with Lincoln. It's a case by case basis with no generalizations. —SteveOstrowski

2007-05-02 23:44:09   A question about strategy: Does anyone know why the La Rue/Anderson/Russell intersection was strategically chosen for the sit-in, compared to, say, somewhere on campus (within the jurisdiction of the campus police) or downtown (where more bystanders would have been encountered)? (Anyone's theories are welcome of course, but ideally someone who has actual facts will respond as well.) —AlyssaNelson

I would assume because it is close to campus, and the intersection of two relatively major roads in Davis, thusly gaining the most attention. Also there are few routes around the intersection as such it may prevent people from simply driving around it as could be done down town. I personally would have chosen E and First, as more people would be passing through here during lunch and thusly it would have disrupted the greater number of people thereby gaining the most attention. Just a thought. ~DavePoole

2007-05-18: I guess I'm a little late in responding to this comment, but I'll go for it anyways. Personally, i feel that civil disobedience was entirely necessary for this protest on may 1st. For Students Organizing for Change, the protest was about getting food service workers on campus to become UC workers. This is a campaign that has been present for 3 years on the Davis campus. I think it's safe to say that until may 1st, very few people had heard about the conflict or the situation at all. Those that had been informed were not the average student. (please correct me if im wrong). During those three years, organizers and activists had gone through all of the system's outlets for change. They signed petitions, wrote letters, spoke to ASUCD and passed resolutions, and asked to speak with the Chancellor and his administration. For three years they had been told to 'be patient', 'be quiet', and 'wait it out'. They had been told that the university valued its relationship with Sodexho more than its relationship with the workers, and that the university benefited by keeping contracted out workers. They had constantly been shuffled through the system's modes of dealing with struggle and conflict, and they had been ignored and rejected every time. It is my belief that the university could afford to ignore them because they posed no real threat. As long as they continued along the path that was made for them, no real change was going to occur. However, as soon as talk of May 1st started to circulate, the UCD administration became visibly shaken. Rumors of real negotiation talks spread, as the administration became aware of how real and wide-spread the support for workers became. Only when faced with disruption and civil disobedience did the administration falter. Now, as far as the strategic location: Organizers did not want to sit-in on campus because of the repercussions for students who would participate (expulsion, suspension, etc). Creating a disruption off-campus was much more viable. Originally, the intersection to be blocked was the Howard-Russell intersection, the entrance to UCD bus circle, to disrupt bus traffic. However, the police blocked this intersection and re-directed traffic so well that this intersection became ineffective as a location of protest. Whats the point of sitting in a street when theres no one around to see it? The march then continued to La Rue because the police were unable to divert traffic at that intersection. Yes, the purpose of the march was to stop the people driving from getting to their destination. Yes, the marchers were aware that students would not get to their classes, that was the intent. In fact, i didn't even tell my roomate to leave for class early, knowing that she would be late, because i knew she would miss the point if i had warned her. It was decided to march to this intersection because the police had not yet diverted traffic, and there would people to view the march and civil disobedience. The point is to garner attention, particularly of those community members who were unaware of apathetic.

Disruption gets attention. That is the point of the civil disobedience on May 1st. 24 people sat in the middle of the intersection to prevent the system from functioning smoothly. Some of the protesters were students who missed class, professors who cancelled class, workers who called in sick to their job, to show the system that in order for it to run smoothly, it needs those students, professors, and workers. The system doesnt work without them. Chancellor Larry cannot claim to represent the needs of the community and ignore the needs of the contracted out workers, they are part of the community too, and as long as professors, students, and other community members care, then he is ignoring their needs as well. These people are tired of waiting for change, especially when it has become obvious that the system has no intention of creating change at all. When steve claims : "As for the law most people play this game called democracy and civil disobedience is cheating in that you try to push your view on the majority through force rather than reason and logic ", he underestimates the movement by claiming that it is illogical. After stating the process above, it seems completely logical to take the next step and force the administration to pay attention. In fact, the civil rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr. felt the same way, and to imply that MLK cheated and pushed his views on the majority is ludicrous. Democracy does not imply Justice is ensured.

Additionally, to imply that the march has pushed apathetic community members, who might have potentially supported the cause, are now by default against it, is silly. If they didnt know about the campaign before, they do now. If they didnt care before, they do now, whether they are for or against it. Either way, it has facilitated discussion (including this talk page) and sparked heated debates (particularly this talk page). In this effect, the protest and civil disobedience has been extremely successful. However, to claim that if a cause is righteous then an arrest is something to celebrate is inherently misinformed. Arrest is never something to be celebrated. THat people must break the law in order to change it is sad and unfortunate, and that people do get arrested for creating change and making others' lives better is disappointing and painful to say the least. Has the march created UC Jobs for everyone? no. Is that a possibility now? you bet. The campaign continues, using the momentum it gained on May 1st, to continue to speak to the chancellor and his administration, and to continue to spread information and knowledge about the injustices occuring on this campus. They will continue to fight for UC Jobs, and now the community has been made aware of it.

Hope that answered any questions. —KatieDavalos

  • Unless you can provide another argument it seems that the university has the choice between economics and public humiliation. Humiliation will only work if you can somehow damage the university enough for it to lose money and resources. I see no economic reason for why the university should pay more and social justice although nice, is probably not a consideration in running a university. The fact of the matter is that you guys have a bad hand. If you strike you can all be fired because many people will take your place and wages are low because there are many unemployed students who would take Sodexho jobs for lower pay. As such the supply of workers at this university well exceeds demand. Furthermore all students should already have some sort of health plan either through the university, the state, or some private firm. And part time workers don't get benefits either. So this would only help those who aren't students and are full time correct? But if the university does hire you guys as UC Davis employees it will only increase the size of the already existing UC Davis employee union which collectively requests higher pay all the time. So ultimately if you are hired as UC Davis employees it costs money and it will continue to cost more money as the UC Davis union demands more pay. That and UC Davis can't obviously fire all of you if the entire union acts up. So without power, because you totally lack any, how do you hope to convince your future employer that he should hire you guys? —SteveOstrowski
    • Right now we're working on just getting their attention at all. For the past three years the university has claimed that economically, its relationship with Sodexho has proven more valuable than its relationship with the community. THey didnt believe that we had the power to show them how much we care, but after may 1st they can see how many people are aware of the issue and want to see change. Now that we have the university's attention, we can speak to them about real change. We have numbers and figures and what have you to bring to the table, and we have real alternatives to talk to them about. If they don't agree that it is economically more viable to hire the contracted out workers, then we will be forced to show them how much money they can lose through public humiliation. You're right, there are some real challenges, but im confidant that we will be seeing major change. —KatieDavalos
    • How long can the organizers stay in Davis for the university can simply wait you guys out. I doubt you will want to work for Sodexho as a lifetime career so the university only needs to wait unless you can keep the movement going year after year. Even so I don't think you can win because real money will be valued more than the potential loss of public humiliation. It would cost 3 million a year more for the university to hire you guys as UC Davis employees minimum and if you joined the union you would only strengthen its already existing power causing potential strikes if more demands are not met. Also anticipate that there are those who will pull their money out of UC Davis if they bow to your demands. —SteveOstrowski
  • Duly noted. However, i can't keep putting my money into a school that cares more about building football stadiums and erecting roofs over the equestrian center than it does the people who serve it. The school has been waiting us out for 3 years now, but i think this time around, we'll be able to finally get their attention long enough to get what we're fighting for. each time we rally or protest, we get a couple more inches in our direction. It's a matter of time now before the Chancellor caves. We go to school that takes funding from the tobacco industry, supports Coca-Cola and their dirty deeds in south america, and values the relationship with Sodexho, a company internationally known for human rights violations. I'm a second year, so i have 2 more years to fight for this, if the university tries to wait us out. That's two years to prove to the university that we can make them lose alot of money until they recognize our demands. As far as people who will pull their money out of UC Davis as a result, im hoping its tobacco and coca-cola, because i'd really like to see them disappear as well.

Additionally, im REALLY tired of the university using 'student fees' as an excuse to not accept our demands. It seems everytime something important in the human rights department needs to happen on campus, its 'student fees' that have to pay for it. The school knows that if the campaign wants support, it looks to the students, and the fastest way to disassemble a student campaign is to target their fees. THey use this scheme constantly, but its a load of crap. Our student fees go up every year, for far less important additions to our campus. Student fees will always go up, and the administrations salary will also always go up. If people are fed up with fee increases, they should do something about arnold schwarzenegger and they should protest the adminstration's faulty book-keeping. I'm sure some cuts in a few key salaries will shave off the student burdens. Also, the university is also not ackowledging that they can ask for more money for the UC Jobs in their yearly budget, rather than send it directly to students. This happened in Berkeley, and it can happen here. To tell the truth, theres no telling where the money is going to come from until the administration truly sits down with us to talk about UC Jobs, not 2% increases. Until they take us seriously, its all speculation. —KatieDavalos


2007-04-09 07:41:11   Why is this page getting so much attention? —JimSchwab

Jim, please use the Talk Page for meta discussion (discussion about the page). —ArlenAbraham


Hey all, are there any comments on my recent revisions of the May 1st page? I tried to resolve as many issues as possible. Any suggestions or comments to help me out? Keep in mind that our meeting tomorrow afternoon should also sort things out. Thanks everyone for helping and contributing and caring! —KatieDavalos

Hi, Katie. I cleaned up some of the comments on the page that were off topic, had been addressed or were just trollish. The comment from Geoff was questionable as it was made when the page was more of a mess, but I let it slide because there was some good somewhat on-topic discussion that followed. I'm glad that this page has stabilized. —ArlenAbraham

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2007-05-07 09:23:38   I think some of the conversation here is relevant to leave up, not to delete "after the debate is over." What about moving the comments that are clearly linked to the event itself (i.e., not meta-conversation about the structure of the page, or threads that go way off-topic) back to the main Day of Action page (and deleting the now irrelevant comments that were left there)? Or renaming this page? (I don't want to just go ahead and do it if there will be objections or undoings.) —AlyssaNelson

  • The entire talk page is subject to deletion once the discussion has run its course. Anything on this page that is directly relevant to the main topic and worth keeping should be moved back. —DavidGrundler
    • Right... I likely phrased it poorly. When a Talk page is deleted, it is (hopefully) after the points raised have been sown back into the main entry. Think of it this way; a comment about a restaurant usually goes on the restaurant page. A comment about the restaurant entry or restaurants in general (i.e., a comment "one step removed") tends to go on a Talk page because it isn't directly about the subject. When that "one step removed" conversation ends, the points directly relevant to the subject of the page goes on. For instance, there is talk here about Lincoln and the Confederacy, the nature of law versus morality and at least one back and forth about how someone had their point misinterpreted. Most of it has little to do with the actual event that occurred on 2007-05-01 on UC Davis campus. For instance, this comment I'm writing (and yours) has nothing really relevent to the event. This (and your) comment are the kind of "one step removed" discussion that is deleted. The points above about why the specific intersection was chosen for strategic reasons are very much relevant and those points will be retained and moved to the main entry. Basically, a talk page is the open brainstorming session prior to writing a more informative entry. It allows people to go off on tangents because those tangents are later snipped out when the core points are incorporated back into the main entry. Like this tangent. :) —JabberWokky

This page was used in an editorial in today's Letter to the Editor in the California Aggie. —SteveOstrowski