Education

Black Activists Threaten To Seize More Buildings If University Doesn’t Meet Demands

It worked so well the last time, black student activists at the University of California Santa Cruz say they will seize more buildings to force school administrators to cave to their demands, The College Fix reports.

They recently seized a campus building and said they would stay there until the university signed their list of conditions.

After having their first four demands met unconditionally, the African/Black Student Alliance came up with three more, including the establishment of a “low-income housing cooperative for historically disadvantaged students.” The management of UC Santa Cruz has four months to agree to — or else there will be “more reclamations.”

It only took three days of the students occupying Kerr Hall before the university chancellor’s, George Blumenthal, cried uncle and promised to meet the students’ bizarre wish-list: guaranteed accommodation for all black and Caribbean in the segregated “Rosa Parks African American Theme House,” the return of a lounge for the facility, a fresh coat of paint in the “Pan-Afrikan” color scheme of red, green and black for the building’s exterior and mandatory diversity training for all new students.

Despite saying he disagrees with students occupying campus buildings as a means of negotiating, Blumenthal almost thanked the students for their coercive methods, saying in May 4 statement, “The student demonstrators raised a number of issues with campus leaders, issues we fundamentally agree upon.” As he attempted to explain why the university showed so little backbone, Blumenthal suggested, “Students from historically underrepresented communities deal with real challenges on campus and in the community. These difficulties include things that many people take for granted, such as finding housing or even just a sense of community.”

But the African/Black Student Alliance wasn’t finished yet. Fresh from their victory, they promised there would be more “reclamations” — the group’s singular way of describing seizing buildings that do not belong to them — if more demands were not met.

The university has until the beginning of the Fall semester to articulate “detailed plans” for the following initiatives: the establishment of a “low income housing cooperative for historically disadvantaged students, ie: non-white; a $100,000 fund for disbursement to the local Santa Cruz student support group; and the promulgation of either blacks studies department at the university, or, at the very least, a black studies minor or major program.

Perhaps to demonstrate some philosophical basis to their lawlessness, along with posting these latest demands of their website, the black activists offered the inspiring words of Asiata Shakur. Shakur, a convicted killer and member of the Black Panther Party is remembered for the following statement that borrows heavily from Karl Marx: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom; It is our duty to win; We must love each other and support each other; We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

The students looking to lose their chains resist any attempt to describe their action as an “occupation” because they consider that term far too bourgeois and “white-centric.” In a website blurb, the activists claimed the word occupation described the actions of their opponents, “such as the European colonization of ‘The Americas,’ as well as the current context of occupation in Palestine.”

Follow David on Twitter