Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Statements from Attempted Occupation of Hibernia Bank, SF

The intended communique tries to explicitly bridge the gap between student protests and other struggles around precariousness:
The actions of students in California have so far been contained in the Universities but it cannot remain that way; the conditions in the schools are inseparably tied to the conditions in our communities, across the state and across the world. The privatization of schools and social services parallels the privatization of our society. Our current social reality tells us it is unacceptable to demand more money and resources for schools as that money must come through the decimation of other social services. We recognize it is futile to demand action from a removed, alien body. We will become that action we want and we will build and create those resources we need. We seek new spaces and unheard of relations. We will begin to create our own realities and our own services. We must find real freedom in thought and action, not this manufactured lie that is spit out to us in every living moment. We seek the creation of new forms of life, built upon common understanding and solidarity instead of competition and alienation.

We seek to overcome the false separation of the student struggle that keeps us from realizing our common reality with all sectors of society. We are all denied a creative life by the global powers, denied the possibility for the exploration and elaboration of new forms of being besides this exploitation and oppression they force us to endure. We now join comrades across the state who have already begun this struggle – the people who fight against the criminalization of life. Our path to liberation is bound with theirs, we all share an absent future and the possibility for a new life. If they take our means of survival, rights to housing, education, welfare, union jobs, and other public services, we will take their banks. It remains for the people of this state to seize what is rightfully theirs.
Unfortunately, the occupiers accidentally tripped a motion sensor and the police arrived quickly -- with their guns drawn. Here's the statement from after the fact. As they openly acknowledge, there's a lot we have to learn from people who are already involved in squatting:
We entered the space earlier in the morning to barricade the doors and with the hope of later creating an open space. The idea of an open and notorious occupation off campus requires a closer examination but should not be abandoned. The creation of liberated spaces in the community is something that we strive and dream for. In our decision to take this particular space as well to publicize it widely we wished to show to the student community the common circumstances that exist between two issues that are normally distant as well as show student support for those dealing with the reality of homelessness and precarious housing. Our failure illustrated to us how much we have to learn from those already involved squatting.

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