Friday, March 27, 2015

Statement of Occupation from the Che Cafe at UC San Diego

The Che Cafe has been occupied. The 35 year old cultural center, social space, DIY music venue, student/worker co-operative and affordable eatery has come under the complete control of students, faculty, alumni and community members who have refused to leave its premises, despite a UC sanctioned eviction notice that became active on March 24 at 6:00 a.m. For over one year, the administration of UCSD has attempted to shut the Che Cafe Collective out of its historic home using a variety of secretive bureaucratic maneuvers, manipulations and blatant lies. This most recent battle between the Che Cafe Collective and UCSD administrators can be contextualized within the larger history of struggle that informs the identity and praxis of the Che Cafe. By our count, this is the 5th time that university administration has attempted to eliminate the Che Cafe Collective since it became operational in 1980. All prior eviction attempts carried out by the university have resulted in abject failure. Each subsequent eviction attempt has inspired wider community and student solidarity with the Che Cafe Collective and this occasion is no different. Students, community members, faculty and alumni from disparate backgrounds have become determined to demonstrate their power and willingness to engage in collective direct action to preserve the Che Cafe.

The Che Cafe Collective and its supporters are not so nearsighted that we ignore the obvious parallels between the fight that UC students have brought against the continuous fee and tuition hikes enacted by the Regents and the fight to prevent the closures of integral student facilities which would no doubt result in an erasure of culture and student self organization that is preserved by spaces like the Che Cafe. Our fight is one and the same.

When we act as we are now, by occupying a space that rightly belongs to the students and community members who utilize it, we act in solidarity with the 6 UC Santa Cruz students who are being criminalized by the UC after having taken direct action to preserve the accessibility of higher education. When we act as we are now, we are acting also in solidarity with the students of Quebec, who have once again taken to the streets with calls for a general strike in order to ensure their access to public universities. When we act as we are now, we invoke the knowledge, practice and ferocity that UC students across California acted with in 2009. When we act as we are now, we hope to inspire action on your part.

Our occupation is ongoing - we invite you to join our fight.

forward until victory,

some occupiers and collective members of the Che Cafe Collective

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