{ In response to Vandals Strike Downtown Santa Cruz [05/06/2010] }

After reading your article on the actions taking place downtown on Saturday, I have become completely un satisfied with your singling out of a particular political ideology, anarchism. The article clearly shows that you have no understanding of the principles and ideology represented by those of us who embrace the belief in anarchy. It appears that you are only perpetuating fear of an ideology that is coming under increasing scrutiny. To claim that the acts of Saturday night are the doings of an anarchist organization is false and presumptuous. I identify as an anarco-collectivist, meaning I combine the ideology of true anarchy (the rejection of capitalism and authoritative regimes in all shapes and forms) and collectivism (believing that all voices within a community share an equal and important role in decision making for that community). True anarchy is an ideology based on complete rejection of the authoritative structures of the government. It is a belief that all authoritative structures should be abolished in favor of personal and community responsibility. We live in a society where rather than hold wrongdoers accountable we call in the police to deal with it. While these police often act outside of the law under the cover of keeping the peace. The police did nothing at all to stop what happened Saturday night, seems odd to swear to keep the peace then sit idly by and allow destruction. It is apparent in society today that capitalism is responsible for most if not all the injustice we see. The allowance of the rise and extreme protection of corporate interests over individual freedoms flourishes under capitalism. The majority of the stores that were assaulted on Saturday are direct representations of these injustices. Urban outfitters is known to charge exorbitantly high amounts for clothes that are produced in third world countries under the most appalling work conditions known to man. Jamba juice sells products under the guise of health that are made for agricultural products form nations where farm workers are treated as expendable and are forced to pick produce while being paid below poverty wages and are exposed to some of the worst chemical compounds known to man. The jewelry store carries products that are mined by impoverished peoples and often used to fund genocides abroad. I don’t think that Saturday was the right venue for these statements, but I find it extremely hard to sympathize with companies that exploit their workers and further a system in which efficiency at the cost of human life is acceptable. If nothing else this article is sympathetic to the same types of caustic cancer that plagues the world under the guise of local businesses. Anarchists are not the cancer that plagues society, capitalism and its exploitative structures are and must be purged from society in order to allow a world in which all peoples are equal. While the businesses are indeed in a local venue, the money spent there by no means supports the local economy. When was the last time urban outfitters gave anything back to Santa Cruz, but a legion of mindless hipsters? Your paper comes off as progressive, yet condemns any ideologies that envision an alternative society free of authoritative repression and oppression. When you report on an incident, as the doing of one group of people, when I can vouch many of the anarchist community had no idea who these people were or had any intention of causing damage, you seem to lose journalistic integrity. It just reeks of the McCarthy era witch hunt for communists. So I must say this simply, it is unfair to single out an ideology with which you seem to know nothing about and spread fear of said individuals for being violent radicals. If you feel that property has more rights than people, and the capitalistic structures attacked on Saturday are innocent or local in any way, then shame on your ignorance. Please don’t continue to spread lies about something you do not understand.

Sc anarco-collectivist


Dear Students of UCSC,

As some of you may have heard, there is a planned student walk-out for the days of May 18 and 19, coinciding with the regents meeting on the Commission on the Future. We are writing to include you in the preparations for this walk-out as a pedagogical endeavor. A lot has been said about these actions as “teachable moments.” However, in practice that has obliged us to learn and teach around or after these actions occur, rather than from within. This walk-out is not planned as a campus shutdown; the intent is not to disrupt class or education. Instead, we propose that this walk-out will push education outside the institutional spaces of the university. Rather than walking out of your education, the organizing committee is encouraging you to “walk out to your education.” This is in part symbolic: as students, we increasingly feel that our education is becoming peripheralized by the budgetary policies of the regents and the administration.

The emphasis of our preparations is on offering a pedagogical itinerary for these two days. These two pieces are practical workshops, student and graduate student -led discussion groups on topics ranging from the financial crisis to student debt. We invite you to join with us in practicing our education outside the divisive and precarious spaces which are increasingly disrupting our learning experience.

There are four things you can do to support this effort.

— If you are scheduled to attend a class between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on these days, you can encourage your instructors to re-locate their classes to the West entrance on the 18th, or the main entrance on the 19th. The walk-out committee is currently working to provide an infrastructure for class re-locations, and we would appreciate any of your suggestions.

— Encourage your instructors to excuse absences for this event, if they do not decide to re-locate their class.

— Consider holding a talk or discussion groups during these days of action. We are compiling a list of speakers for our itinerary.

— Don’t go to class and encourage other students to take advantage of the pedagogical opportunities being organized.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in participating, or if you have suggestions for how to make this a productive, teachable moment for the students of our community.

In solidarity,
Madeline McDonald Lane, PhD student, Department of Literature,

Katie Woolsey, PhD candidate,
Department of Literature,