Thursday, March 8, 2012

The View from the Other Side of the Barricades [Updated]

From our comrades at Occupy Everything comes this email from UC President Mark Yudof to UCSD Professor Charles Thorpe regarding the police violence at the most recent Regents' meeting at UC Riverside. In the course of the demonstration, police beat protesters with batons and shot them with rubber bullets (for an extended analysis of the day's actions, see this post). Videos like the one above (more here) remind us of what it looks like to face off against a line of riot cops, wildly swinging their batons, cradling and reflexively caressing their firearms, staring out like robots through the foggy visors of their riot helmets. But Yudof's email reminds us of what things look like from the other side of the barricades. Not the cops' view, exactly, though they overlap significantly, but the view of the regents and senior managers themselves. Worth a look.

[Update 3/8, 3:23pm: Read the original letter that Professor Thorpe, along with nearly 50 other faculty members, sent to Yudof and the rest of the UC Regents.]


  1. Here's a thought: instead of trying to convince the Regents via force of disruption, try to convince them via force of argument. Chanting "no justice, no peace" isn't going to convince anybody, it's just going to get you forcibly removed. Worse, it makes you look unreasonable, which leads to public support for police actions.

  2. It's nice to think that the Regents are a body which can actually be convinced by force of arguments, which, incidentally, people have been making for quite some time.

    For some recent examples:

    It's a bit like thinking that the federal government can be convinced by superior argumentation to provide universal health care to all Americans.

    Here's a thought for you: try examining your own belief that the authority of the Regents is legitimate and free of deep conflicts of interest. Instead of thinking that this group has somehow made a mistake out of ignorance in rushing to privatize the UC system, you might want to consider that this is in fact their stated political agenda. And they're committed to it.

    A good place to start reading: