Occupy’s Friends in High Places

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi is the latest member of the list of stupid responders to Occupy provocation. Since Katehi is a university administrator, she cloaks her iron fist in a flabby glove of bullshit comity rhetoric:

While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations to date, the current encampment raises serious health, safety and legal concerns, and the resources we require to supervise this encampment cannot be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times. Our resources must support our core mission to educate all of our students.

We appreciate the substantive dialogue you have begun here, and we want to offer you appropriate opportunities to express opinions, advance the discussion and offer solutions as part of the time-honored university tradition. We invite you to consider the topics you would like to present and we will work with you to sponsor a series of forums throughout our campus.

I must now ask that all tents be peacefully removed by 3:00 p.m. today in the interest of safety, respect for our campus environment and in accordance with our Principles of Community.

I love that last bit — the time-honored UC Davis “Principles of Community” are apparently printed on a can of pepper spray. Here’s part of her response to to a dozen students getting maced in the face:

We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested. We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal.

A moron who thinks the passive voice is the politically smart response to what went down yesterday is probably too thick to realize there’s a simple alternative that’s worked elsewhere. For example, after clearing the Occupy encampment in Rochester once, and realizing that it would cost far more and bring Occupy more attention to do it again, the Mayor here cut a simple deal. Occupy gets half the park, and cleans up after themselves.

If you look at the pictures of the UC Davis encampment in the campus newspaper, it was occupying a tiny bit of space. Linda P.B. Katehi figured clearing out that peaceful little encampment was important enough to send in armed riot police instead of cutting a deal. For that, she should be fired.






171 replies
  1. 1
    Mark S. says:

    facilitate their removal

    I won’t go Godwin, but man that’s an Orwellian way of putting it.

  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    One man’s Trail of Tears is another man’s facilitated removal.

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    As the leader of the University, her first responsibility is to the students!

    At least, it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?

  4. 4
    PurpleGirl says:

    I wonder if she consulted with some major donors, along with other university officials, before ordering the removal of protesters.

  5. 5
    Cat Lady says:

    OWS has really gotten to the power structure already in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. The overreaction is a real tell. OWS has pulled the curtain back on how the 1% are rigging the game, but now that the toothpaste is out of the tube, it’s anyone’s guess how it goes down. The next election is going to be more about OWS than the deficit I think.

  6. 6
    Blue Neponset says:

    Aside from the mace, what is the problem? Would your place of business let me and 35 of my closest friends camp out on their front lawn for a weekend? I don’t think so. A college campus isn’t a campground. Why shouldn’t these protestors be removed? Would the KKK deserve the same deference as OWS?

  7. 7
    Egg Berry says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Aside from the mace, what is the problem?

    ASIDE FROM THE MACE?

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    Linda P.B. Katehi figured clearing out that peaceful little encampment was important enough to send in armed riot police instead of cutting a deal. For that, she should be fired.

    Silly blogger. That’s how governors are made.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    @Blue Neponset: A college campus isn’t a campground.

    Ummm; the students of a college do actually live there. Don’t you know that?

  10. 10
    sy2d says:

    A professor demands that the chancellor resign.

  11. 11
    Yevgraf says:

    More protest of Wall Street and economic injustice, less focus on “occupy” encampments would be a wiser idea.

    Thanks in advance,

    The 99%

  12. 12
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Blue Neponset: Pepper spray is supposed to be sprayed down onto people as a mist. When sprayed full force in the face, it is dangerous to the eyes. When sprayed directly in the face, the person sprayed is supposed to get medical attention to minimize potential adverse affects. It’s supposed to make you cry, not BURN the eyes.

    ETA: Would you like to try an experiment, to experience how it feels sprayed directly in your face and eyes?

  13. 13
    Blue Neponset says:

    @WereBear: Irrelevant. Living on campus doesn’t give you the right to camp on the quad.

  14. 14
    mistermix says:

    @sy2d: Somebody’s not getting tenure.

  15. 15
    Yevgraf says:

    @WereBear:

    Ummm; the students of a college do actually live there.

    Yes, which means they have, like, rooms and stuff right there. They’re not the bonus marchers, who had nothing. They’re not the Civil Rights protestors, who didn’t encamp, and who took their arrests with grace and without whining.

  16. 16
    Karounie says:

    They should have made Occupy a for-credit course and required each participant to write a term paper on their experience.

  17. 17
    Blue Neponset says:

    @PurpleGirl: I agree with you about the pepper spray. That was totally uncalled for, but I don’t see what is wrong with the University Chancellor asking the protestors to leave.

  18. 18
    Egg Berry says:

    @Blue Neponset: are they disrupting the normal flow of campus activities? I don’t think you’ll find much support for your stance here.

  19. 19
    tofubo says:

    care not what any politian says, care what they do

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tum.....o1_500.jpg

  20. 20
    Yevgraf says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Living on campus doesn’t give you the right to camp on the quad.

    No, man, protests on campus of stuff that is really unrelated to life on campus like totally mean stuff and are like totally something that the rest of the country will identify with.

    You know, like the awesome occupation of Columbia’s administration offices during Vietnam was so effective. Clearly, the sound of tents being folded at Occupy UC-Davis is the sound of dove tears hitting the ground.

    Dumbass unicorn seeking emoprogs, fucking up the optics over 5 decades…

  21. 21
    Egg Berry says:

    @Yevgraf:

    who took their arrests with grace and without whining.

    i may have viewed the video wrong, but the protesters who locked arms seemed to have achieved whatever level of grace you seem to think they needed.

  22. 22
    Yevgraf says:

    @Karounie:

    They should have made Occupy a for-credit course and required each participant to write a term paper on their experience.

    How many identical wikipedia cut and pastes would get turned in for credit?

  23. 23
    Dick Move says:

    “facilitate their removal”… hmmm… yeah. That about sums it up. If the police hadn’t pepper sprayed the protestors, the job of carrying them off (with their arms linked) would have probably been more difficult. Certainly doable, but not easy enough for those who get to decide how easy these things ought to be. This trend, of police being empowered to use whatever means they have available to make their jobs easier, has been going on for decades. They no longer have to consider carefully how to handle a situation in such a way as to resolve it, rather than escalate it. Escalation is virtually always the easiest route now. Escalation gets the job done.

    My employer is state-funded, too. Imagine if I could just beat down a difficult client, in the course of trying to complete a task assigned to me. In that scenario, anyone could do my job, because it would require no skill. The only requirement would be total dedication to the task at hand, and an unthinking acceptance of the principles of authoritarianism.

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    Melissa Harris-Perry was on UP with Chris Hayes this morning, pointing out that:

    When slaves ran away they were breaking the law.

    To which I would add:

    When abolitionists sheltered runaway slaves they were breaking the law.

    Omelettes, eggs.

    And I would get a LOT more fussy about such a distinction if the 1% EVER got arrested for breaking laws, ya know?

  25. 25
    RSA says:

    Somebody’s not getting tenure.

    I thought the same thing. Brave guy, an assistant professor calling for the resignation of the chancellor in strong terms:

    I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job.

  26. 26
    Yevgraf says:

    @Egg Berry:

    i may have viewed the video wrong, but the protesters who locked arms seemed to have achieved whatever level of grace you seem to think they needed.

    Greek left protestors throw rocks and molotov cocktails at cops and institutional buildings in order to agitate their powers that be into change. American left protestors do drum circles, giant puppets and camp in fetid conditions, all while whining about the otherwise sympathetic politicians and administrators who get concerned about the condition of the unnecessary encampments. The focus leaves the cause of the protest and shifts to the encampments.

    Do you see a difference?

    ETA: Even Greek dogs do a better job of confronting “The Man” than our left protestors.

  27. 27
    Egg Berry says:

    @Yevgraf: Greece just got their democracy taken from them by the troika. What’s your point?

    And i missed the drum circles and puppet heads in that video.

  28. 28
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Egg Berry:

    are they disrupting the normal flow of campus activities? I don’t think you’ll find much support for your stance here.

    According to the University Chancellor they are.

  29. 29
    harlana says:

    finally, footage (which i did not know existed until today) of Iraq Vet Sabehgi being beaten by police, after which he suffered a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding, was jailed and denied medical treatment for 18 hours.

    what if he had died in jail?

  30. 30
    Egg Berry says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    According to the University Chancellor they are.

    oh, well. carry on then.

  31. 31
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Pepper spraying peacefully sitting students engaged in a protest point blank in the face and not getting at all worked up about it must be one of the benefits of Katehi’s Hate Free Campus Initiative.

    The Campus Action Plan also includes the launching of a “Hate-Free Campus Initiative” that seeks to proactively engages the entire campus community in educational programs, training and activities designed to confront and stop acts of hate, foster a greater awareness and appreciation for diversity, promote civility and respect in our human interactions, and build a more inclusive campus community.

  32. 32
    Valenciennes says:

    @Yevgraf: Get your ass out there and do something about it if you have such major qualms. That is, of course, assuming you aren’t just being another in an astonishingly long line of sniveling concern trolls.

  33. 33
    cmorenc says:

    The biggest problem with the OWS movement is that they’ve lost sight of the fact that drawing focus on the inequity of “Wall Street” and the 1%ers is the goal, and “occupy” is merely a theatrical tactic toward that end, not the goal itself. When the focus overly shifts toward “occupation” itself, it shifts away from the main goal and the movement loses public empathy and support. Again, the main goal of the movement should NOT be defiant maintenance of squatters camps, but drawing daily attention to inequity. This can be done much more effectively through daily demonstrations that do not require indefinite permanent overnight encampments.

    Figure out what you’re really trying to communicate OWS; the reason it’s not getting through as well as it did at the start is because the movement is dissipating its focus on a diverting theatrical tactic whose message doesn’t sell nearly as well, rather than on the main point it’s supposed to be about.

  34. 34
    MGLoraine says:

    “…the current encampment raises serious health, safety and legal concerns, and the resources we require to supervise this encampment cannot be sustained…”

    What were the serious health safety and legal concerns? And what specific “supervision” did the encampment require?

    Katehi and her fat-assed Imperial Storm Troopers should all be greeted with a face full of pepper spray the next time they appear in public, just so they know what it’s like.

  35. 35
    jewelbomb says:

    Just a minor quibble, but Katehi’s response is not written in the passive voice. Granted, it’s phrased a bit obliquely, but it’s an active construction.

  36. 36
    Yevgraf says:

    @cmorenc:

    This can be done much more effectively through daily demonstrations that do not require indefinite permanent overnight encampments.

    Think Brookside Mine Strike. That wasn’t an encampment.

    Figure out what you’re really trying to communicate OWS; the reason it’s not getting through as well as it did at the start is because the movement is dissipating its focus on a diverting theatrical tactic whose message doesn’t sell nearly as well, rather than on the main point it’s supposed to be about.

    They’re now in the hands of “The Professional Left”, which means the messaging and tactics will all inevitably turn to shit. Expecting them to be introspective and effective is impossible at this point.

  37. 37
    WereBear says:

    @Egg Berry: are they disrupting the normal flow of campus activities? I don’t think you’ll find much support for your stance here.
    __
    @Blue Neponset: According to the University Chancellor they are.

    Shorter argument: Hey, let’s put the Obedience back into Civil Disobedience and see how far we get!

  38. 38
    Egg Berry says:

    @Yevgraf: you might want to watch some union documentaries before you spout that.

  39. 39
    keestadoll says:

    @Blue Neponset: Hmm, I recall walking AROUND the [insert early 90’s issue here]protesters on the way to class. Unless they’re camping in the classrooms or the food court, I don’t get the problem.

  40. 40
    Seebach says:

    See how many concern trolls there are here early in the morning. This has to be hitting a nerve!

  41. 41
    Blue Neponset says:

    @keestadoll: Reasonable people can disagree as to what problems the campers are causing but what is wrong with asking them to leave after you have explained your position on the issue?

  42. 42
    Seebach says:

    @Blue Neponset: What part of asking them to leave requires pepper spray? Is it how Officer Pike communicates? Does his voice not work?

  43. 43
    Tom Hilton says:

    A moron who thinks the passive voice is the politically smart response to what went down yesterday is probably too thick to realize there’s a simple alternative that’s worked elsewhere.

    I suspect “politically smart” isn’t the primary consideration here. I suspect the more important consideration is the UC lawyers’ advice not to say anything that might be construed as an admission of liability.

  44. 44
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Seebach: No part of asking them to leave requires pepper spray. That is why I don’t condone the use of pepper spray by the police in this instance.

  45. 45
    Seebach says:

    @Blue Neponset: Are people here upset about the police asking them to leave? Or are they upset they used pepper spray?

    Think carefully.

  46. 46
    Jennifer says:

    I’m still sticking with my line – if you want to target the 1%, stop paying them. We stopped paying Germany & German companies and citizens any money we owed them at the start of WWII (ok, everyone but Prescott Bush did). One of the first rules of warfare is don’t arm your enemy. So…stop giving the 1% money.

    Now, I’m sure someone will pop up to say, “that’s impossible; the 1% own everything and you can’t ‘stop giving them money’ without cutting off your cell phone, losing electricity, & etc.” Yes, it’s true, the 1% do own everything. So the tactic needs to be strategic default. Because a good part of the 1%’s capital is on loan to the rest of us; a good portion of their “investments” are in the form of capital loaned to the plebes and a good portion of their income is derived from interest payments on that capital on loan. So…stop paying on debt. You can keep paying your cell phone bill, electricity, etc. They’ll still have a flow of income but – defaulting on a car loan, student loan, credit card bill – THAT endangers not only a healthy portion of that income flow, but also endangers a good chunk of their capital, which they’ll never see again if enough of us choose to protest via debt default.

    “But…but…but…my credit rating!” goes the next objection. Sure, if you act alone, you’re gonna get reamed. That’s why it needs to be collective action. There are what, 150 million people of working-age in the country? Get 10, 15 million of them to sign on to an agreement to default and this bitch gets sorted out pronto. The “we’ll destroy your credit rating” gambit loses all teeth when the end result is that you’ll shrink your market by 10%. A simultaneous default on the part of that many people would crush the existing system of bankruptcy courts, collection agencies, and credit rating agencies. What are they gonna do, build debtor’s prisons to house 10 million or more people? There’s no way they’d ever be able to get to even half of them before the big banks went under and the 1% started demanding that Congress meet whatever demands we have. They love their money too much to see it ALL go down the tubes; given a choice between losing some of it via a much-needed erosion of their political influence, and losing ALL of it because everyone is saying “fuck you, I’m not going to pay,” they will go with option A.

    And I guaran-fucking-tee that no cop will show up at your door to spray you in the face with pepper spray because you refuse to pay your Bank of America credit card bill.

    We aren’t going to get the kind of big changes we need without sticking our necks out, and we aren’t going to get them on the backs of a few college kids taking the brunt of the abuse while conducting ineffective protests. Note that when I say “ineffective” I mean that only from the standpoint that the actions of these kids at UC Davis cost the oligarchy exactly zero; the 1% will never feel any effect from a campout. OWS has been hugely successful in changing the dialogue and that’s of inestimable value but the tactics undertaken thus far don’t affect the 1% in the only place they’ll ever notice any pain – the pocketbook. As long as they can direct the action from atop their piles of cash, we aren’t going to get any real change. To whittle those mountains down to size is going to take a risk on the part of a large number of us.

  47. 47
    mistermix says:

    @jewelbomb: You’re right – the “events transpired” to actively pepper spray the protesters.

  48. 48
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Seebach: Are you the B-J spokesperson? It seems to me, people are upset with both issues.

    mistermix is asking what is wrong with giving the protestors half the park, and others are asking me what the protestors are doing to disrupt campus activity. Maybe you should explain to them the consensus Balloon Juice opinion on the matter?

  49. 49
    andrewsomething says:

    @Yevgraf:

    When you begin to sound like Peter King and Rush Limbaugh you might want to think about what you’re trying to accomplish.

  50. 50
    jeff says:

    I wonder if the police used these same tactics on the anti-choice folks when they link hands and refuse to leave the abortion clinics? The clinics are legal and yet I dont know of anytime that these tactics have ever been used to remove protestores from the clinics.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Ah, the first “Good German” of the thread.

  52. 52
    WereBear says:

    @Jennifer: Preach it, Sister!

    This is how we CAN help OWS, get the message across, and put some money in our own pockets for a change!

    If you have ideas to implement this, or something, I am SOOOOO there.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @cmorenc: Is the Occupy movement dissipating its focus on a theatrical tactic, as you say, when it needs to focus on specific political achievables*? You could argue that it isn’t: if the tactic of occupation weren’t a real thorn in The Man’s side, would The Man be overreacting like this?

    I wouldn’t dispute that the Occupy movement should think about doing other things, taking more direct action. But it might be setting up a false dichotomy to argue that to do those other things, Occupy should end the tactic of occupation. Protests of this indirect form are theater, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    So far, occupation has yet to exhaust its theatrical effectiveness after just two months in New York. And I see no reason why Occupy can’t do both at once. In fact, doing both together would make the case that occupy is not just theater but also a real end evolving force. It helps, for instance, that an academic like Elizabeth Warren, who has deep intellectual connections to Occupy, is running for US Senator. It helps that labor groups like AFL-CIO are strongly in support of Occupy’s aims. These are signs of an Occupy+, if I may coin a term, and should in some sense count as part of what’s going on to complement the occupations.

    The occupations themselves should continue as long as they are effective in keeping some part of the political and economic conversation focused in Occupy’s issues. Political theater is an essential part of any political movement. Of course, at some point, occupation will lose its effectiveness, and by then the Occupy movement will have thought of something else it can do. I hope so, anyway.

    (*Please to excuse a little bit of pointy-haired boss talk.)

  54. 54
    Jennifer says:

    @WereBear: I’m guessing the best place to start is right here on the internet…maybe by setting up a site where people can sign on to an agreement to participate in a strategic debt default to commence on date X. Get enough people even saying they’ll stop paying, and there’s a good possibility we’d never even have to pull the trigger to see some action. If you have 15 million people pledged to tell the banks to go fuck themselves, the 1% will shit a river and likely start directing the government they own to give in on a lot of the stuff they’ve been paying them to stymie.

  55. 55
    Dustin says:

    @jennifer: Talk about a pipe-dream. You really think 10% of the population shooting their financial security in the head will fix the problem? Not a chance, all you’d do is get ruined lives and a new target for Fox and Friends to deflect blame onto.

  56. 56
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Yevgraf: So… you want the protesters to be violent? Right.

    No, I actually think you would prefer that, Rush. Since all you care about is finding reasons to hate those goddam hippies, a few violent assaults on the police would surely make you happy. Then you’d have something real to bitch about, rather than this weaksauce bullshit you’re grasping at.

    Look Hannity, believe it or not Americans as a whole don’t hate these people as much as you do. Asshole right-wingers agree with you, sure, but middle America does not.

    Did it hurt when you became a bitter, out of touch old crank, Coulter? Seems like a miserable way to live, if you ask me.

  57. 57
    Yevgraf says:

    @andrewsomething:

    When you begin to sound like Peter King and Rush Limbaugh you might want to think about what you’re trying to accomplish.

    50 years of “fail” out of our professional left is the problem. Ask yourself why Europeans generally manage to do a better job of extracting concessions from their governments, and I’ll show you the difference between squalid, unnecessary campouts and gas bomb hurling at cops and financial offices.

  58. 58
    Jennifer says:

    @Dustin: Now THAT’S the kind of go-along-to-get-along rhetoric that Fox and Friends depends on to protect their cronies!

    Why don’t you enlighten us all on what the better path is?

  59. 59
    Yevgraf says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    Ah, and the candy-assed, sepuchural deep tones of the unnecessary and poor imaging Portland protest chimes in.

    Your guys had a needless, pointless occupation, you negatively impacted the better ones elsewhere, and you wound up scaring nobody in the process.

    The point of a protest should be to either advance a discussion or to frighten the PTB – one or the other. You did neither – you simply trashed a public space and acted as a homeless magnet.

    Another professional left failure, AFIAC.

  60. 60
    Jennifer says:

    @Yevgraf: Europeans get concessions because a few hundred years ago they chopped off some heads and the powers-that-be haven’t forgotten it. And also, they strike on a regular basis to remind their governments who is really in charge.

    We don’t do that here because…see Dustin @ 54.

  61. 61
    mamayaga says:

    @cmorenc:

    “occupy” is merely a theatrical tactic toward that end, not the goal itself.

    @keestadoll:

    Hmm, I recall walking AROUND the [insert early 90’s issue here]protesters on the way to class.

    Camping is just a tactic, yes, and not the only one available. But, as keestadoll points out, it’s a tactic that has been used so often and for so long that until the Occupy movement it would have been considered banal. What is it about camping this time that drives the Powers That Be bonkers? Even by American standards the response to these peaceful assemblies has been amazingly disproportionate. Is it because there’s a relentless presence when Occupiers camp out? Is it because camping evokes homelessness?

    It would be worth it to identify the elements of this form of protest that hit their nerves so strongly and think of ways to incorporate those elements in other tactics. One problem with camping is that you are a centralized, static target. Maybe some whack-a-mole protests popping up everywhere at once would be equally effective and harder to stop.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @Dustin: I do not think you get it.

    a) What financial security? VIsit the 99% tumblr site and read ONE page. You’ll see that debt, crushing, usurious debt, is their biggest problem. If they didn’t have those dollars (that still doesn’t reduce their principle, BTW) being sucked out of their pockets every month, they would be able to live better.

    b) Once you are sinking in the cesspool of 30% interest (we didn’t miss a payment, even if it meant eating beans, so they moved our due date around on us and surprise! we now are charged 30%) you have no credit rating anyway. They have already trashed it on you… you are a risk and must pay the “risk rate.”

    c) The point of the OWS movement is that no matter how we struggle, we cannot help but fall behind. THE GAME IS RIGGED IN THEIR FAVOR. If I want to stop losing money with every turn of the wheel, I have to leave the casino.

  63. 63
    Dustin says:

    @Jennifer: You propose the kind of mass coordination end-game solution that’s only viable in movies ala “Fight Club”, one that WILL destroy 20+ million people’s financial future, and I’m a toady for pointing it out. Quit being a damn idiot.

  64. 64
    Yevgraf says:

    @mamayaga:

    Maybe some whack-a-mole protests popping up everywhere at once would be equally effective and harder to stop.

    Pop up and disrupt their society galas, dinners, wedding receptions and the like. Disrupt their “feel good” charity events (there’ll be a load of cameras and journos in attendance). Picket their gates, picket their churches, picket their parents’ homes, picket their private schools. Show up at the trendy nightclubs their young congregate at.

    Make their little life pleasures less pleasurable – let them feel what it is like to experience diminished enjoyment. You know – the current middle class experience.

    That doesn’t require an annoying encampment.

  65. 65
    MikeBoyScout says:

    “occupy” is not merely a theatrical tactic.

    “occupy” goes to the heart of the argument, and it is why it has spawned such a series of violent reactions on the part of the power structure.

    As a tactic to engage the argument of the 1% suppressing the 99%, there has not been a better political tactic than the peaceful non-violent “occupy” tactic in many, many years.

    It is the beginning of the beginning.

  66. 66
    Seebach says:

    BTW, everyone’s doing the think where if you get junk mail credit card solicitations, you put some OWS information in the postage paid envelope, and send it back and the banks’ expense, right?

    Because that shit is fun.

  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Even by American standards the response to these peaceful assemblies has been amazingly disproportionate.

    Anacostia Flats, 1932…

    Violence is as American as apple pie, as some guy said once.

    Incidentally, this really helps… Come on, people.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    @Dustin: What financial security? Visit the 99% tumblr site and read ONE page. You’ll see that debt, crushing, usurious debt, is their biggest problem. If they didn’t have those dollars (that still doesn’t reduce their principle, BTW) being sucked out of their pockets every month, they would be able to live better.

  69. 69
    mirele says:

    @Blue Neponset: Is there a reason I should believe the UC Davis chancellor when she says they’re interfering with the flow of University activity? Well, after the police spray pepper spray directly in the faces of protesters, I think, yes, I think I should doubt anything that the chancellor is saying.

  70. 70
    WereBear says:

    @Jennifer: We need to pick a date.

  71. 71
    Yevgraf says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    “occupy” goes to the heart of the argument, and it is why it has spawned such a series of violent reactions on the part of the power structure.

    *laughter*

    Exhibit A on why the professional left needs to get over itself and recognize its decades long failure in messaging.

  72. 72
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    It is the beginning of the beginning.

    Tthe beginning of the beginning of what?

  73. 73
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Yevgraf: Oh, so sorry. We should have found a nice Blue Dog to phone bank for instead.

    Just because you hate the sight of people who aren’t as dead inside as you are, it really doesn’t mean that everyone else in America agrees with you. Seriously, you hate these protests more than the average American. Check the polls.

    You’re choosing to side with the far-right. Why the fuck a supposed lefty would do that, I don’t know. I do know that in America, leftists throwing gas bombs would be as counterproductive as you seem to think Occupy is. Why, it’s almost as though you want the whole movement to be a failure! It’s almost as though you’re a worthless ratfucking piece of shit.

  74. 74
    Jennifer says:

    @Dustin: You conveniently ignore that most times, it’s just the threat that the nuclear option might be used that does the job.

    Of course that can’t happen when a bunch of Pollyannas are running around pointing out that it could never work and no one would ever go through with it.

    BTW, how many people in this recession have already had their financial futures wrecked beyond repair? Unemployment (the official number, not the actual) is down a little to 9%. Which works out to…oh, 10 or 15 million who are already irretrievably fucked. Sucks to be them, eh? Especially since it happened in such a slow, time-release fashion, such that the bloodsuckers were able to extract the pound of flesh from each of them.

    Your assumption that continuing to color inside the lines will keep your financial future secure is touchingly naive.

  75. 75
    Blue Neponset says:

    @mamayaga:

    Camping is just a tactic, yes, and not the only one available. But, as keestadoll points out, it’s a tactic that has been used so often and for so long that until the Occupy movement it would have been considered banal. What is it about camping this time that drives the Powers That Be bonkers?

    The answer is right in front of you. The UC-Davis Chancellor spells it out in her letters. The basic reason is money. It costs money to babysit a bunch of campers. If something goes wrong (like your police force overreacts and needlessly pepper sprays the campers) it costs money because of lawsuits and bad publicity. The Mayors, Chancellors and Cops are protecting their jobs.

    Having thousands of squatters in a city park also causes businesses in the city to fear they will lose money because fewer people will want to come into the city. The longer the campers stay and the louder they get, the more their presence negatively affects the business climate.

  76. 76
    Yevgraf says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    The second incident took place around 7 a.m. Friday when protester Alan Porter, 45, of Portland, began banging on a drum to wake other members of the group. According to police, several of the protesters objected and one kicked the drum. When Porter continued to drum, police allege that Danny Arnold, 34, with no permanent address, ran up to Porter and tried to choke him.

    Were giant puppets in attendance? LOL

  77. 77
    Gwangung says:

    I remember sitting in the Preisdents Office and central administration to encourage divestment in South African stocks a long time ago. I remember getting derided for being in the way and breaking rules. I don’t remember tear gas or mace,

    Hm. How did that turn out?

  78. 78
    andrewsomething says:

    I meant to post this the other day when someone was harping about how we all need to wear our Sunday suits like Alinsky. Here’s an interesting conversion between a few organizers in a couple different membership based community organization about their collaborations with OWS. Community Voices Heard is an amazing group that I’ve worked with in the past. It always makes me so happy when I see them out in the streets.

    http://www.organizingupgrade.c.....nd-occupy/

  79. 79
    Gwangung says:

    @Blue Neponset: I remember people like you back in the day.

  80. 80
    WereBear says:

    @Blue Neponset: So you’re explaining WHY IT WORKS.

  81. 81
    Blue Neponset says:

    @mirele: So if her stated motives are all lies then why did she truly want the campers to leave?

  82. 82
    Dustin says:

    @werebear: i don’t know where you live but here in rural Wisconsin defaulting on your car is a financial death sentence. Without transportation you don’t have a job, it’s really that simple. Hell I want the whole system burned to the ground and reset, but short of a “Storm the Bastille” solution It. Will. Not. Happen. A grand conspiracy to fuck ourselves over in hopes that we’ll force a financial reboot is naive at best.

  83. 83
    Yevgraf says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Having thousands of squatters in a city park also causes businesses in the city to fear they will lose money because fewer people will want to come into the city. The longer the campers stay and the louder they get, the more their presence negatively affects the business climate.

    And when we’re talking about these businesses, we’re truly talking Main Street. Those downtown businesses, by and large, are locally owned, operated responsibly and have razor thin profit margins. Right now, those local businesses are the backbone of challenging the economics of corporate chains, and are responsible for the recent revitalization of core urban spaces.

  84. 84
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    One problem with camping is that you are a centralized, static target. Maybe some whack-a-mole protests popping up everywhere at once would be equally effective and harder to stop.

    Flash mobs. There’s been all kinds of anxiety about people suddenly congregating, gathered by texting/twitter in an unexpected place and time.

    Of course, hard for the media to cover, but so what. Flash aggregate, make noise, flash dispersal.

    By the time the cops arrive, there’s no one to pepper spray.

  85. 85
    Seebach says:

    @WereBear: Totally. Blue seems to get it, but he doesn’t understand why that’s a good thing.

  86. 86
    Blue Neponset says:

    @WereBear: How is it working? Public opinion of OWS is dropping, and more and more the story is about squatters rights instead of how the 1% is screwing the rest of us over. Is this what you call a success. OWS is being marginalized before our eyes.

  87. 87
    Yevgraf says:

    @Gwangung:

    I remember sitting in the Preisdents Office and central administration to encourage divestment in South African stocks a long time ago. I remember getting derided for being in the way and breaking rules. I don’t remember tear gas or mace,

    Hm. How did that turn out?

    Black folks in South Africa made their own way to controlling their destiny, no thanks to the American left (feel free to apply some Ben Gay to the dislocated shoulder from all that effort made in patting your own back).

  88. 88
    WereBear says:

    @Dustin: No, you don’t want the whole system burned to the ground and reset… you are willing to continue being screwed over as long as you have nothing to lose.

    Lots of people already have nothing to lose. They will sign up.

  89. 89
    WereBear says:

    @Yevgraf: Black folks in South Africa made their own way to controlling their destiny

    Yeah, right! Without the MONEY threat from activists in many countries, the oppression and murder would have continued… the way it had for over a hundred years prior.

    Oh, you slay me!

  90. 90
    andrewsomething says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    Of course, hard for the media to cover, but so what. Flash aggregate, make noise, flash dispersal.

    That was one of the issues with Thursday morning in New York. We had people all over the place, but almost all the mainstream news video/pictures were of a single incident in the park which conveniently took place directly in front of where the news vans are all parked.

  91. 91
    Jennifer says:

    @Blue Neponset: Oh, so if the media marginalizes the cause, it’s time to go home?

    I’m pretty sure newspapers in most of the South were not sympathetic to civil rights protestors, as most of the (white) public in the region also was not. But I don’t think going home was the answer.

    Public opinion of OWS is dropping, as was entirely predictable from the media’s negative portrayal of the protests. Running away isn’t the answer.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I remember Soweto-like shanty towns being built on college campuses through the 80s. My little, rather liberal, university had no issue with them.

  93. 93
    Blue Neponset says:

    @Jennifer: No, it is time to change tactics. Stop investing so much in the occupy part of the protest, and concentrate on the message.

  94. 94
    WereBear says:

    Here’s an interesting factoid:

    Total U.S. revolving debt (98 percent of which is made up of credit card debt): $793.1 billion, as of May 2011
    __
    Read more

    Because Dustin has a point; people won’t sign up to lose tangibles, and not having a car in a rural area sucks.

    But UNSECURED credit… the kind they say, “Whoopsie! We’re gonna charge you leg-breaking interest because we can!” is something that won’t change people’s lives… except to put all that money back in their pocket.

    And there’s sweet damn all they can do if enough people sign up.

    Occupy Credit Card

  95. 95
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sad thing is, that was then and this is now.

  96. 96

    I am just now interacting with the world and watched the video ABL posted below.

    Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

    This was a demonstration of peaceful protest in the face of violence like nothing I’ve seen since the Civil Rights Movement.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Blue Neponset: I don’t really agree with most of what you’ve been saying on this thread, but I do agree that the Occupiers need to keep changing tactics. It is the only way to stay in the public eye given the ADHD of the media. Also, if they are constantly shifting shape and style, it will make it harder for opponents to counter them.

  98. 98
    Jennifer says:

    @WereBear: The example of losing the car was choice. AS IF anyone who has a car repossessed can’t go out and buy another one the very next day (hint: they can, and do). Sure, it would suck to have your car repossessed. But there’s no way the repo men can get to 10 million cars before the folks that hold title to them go bust. And there’s no way businesses are going to write off 10% of their potential future business because a lot of people have black marks on their records from strategic default. Hell, they don’t do this now. About the only thing that a bankruptcy really outright prevents is the ability to buy a house, and the number of people for whom that isn’t an option anyway is large and growing. A bad credit score becomes meaningless when everyone else, or a big enough portion of everyone else, has a bad score too.

  99. 99
    Dustin says:

    @WereBear:

    Pie in the sky bullshit solutions are as detrimental to fixing the problem as the problem itself.

    There are only two ways our system fixes itself. Either we elect enough representatives to force an in-system change or we break the system we have and start over. It’s not about money, it’s about power, and until you recognize the root causes of the power imbalance you’ll never be more than a nuisance to the “1%”. Threatening to not pay them won’t fix anything, because they already have enough money to wait you out. You have to make them fear that they’ll lose what they already have, not that they’ll lose future income.

    Threaten what they have, the imbalance that already exists, and they will fight tooth and nail against you but eventually your numbers will win out. Threaten to take your ball and go home and they’ll just pay their thungs to come take your ball one at a time.

    @Jennifer: Again your fixated on the idea that you can get 10+% of the population to strategically default. You remind me of my econ professors who only ever dealt in theoretical. Yes in theory it will work, but you’ll never see it actualized. That’s not me bending over and accepting the world as it is, it’s me telling you that you don’t understand motivation psychology worth a damn.

  100. 100
    sullyVan says:

    There’s more you can do if you don’t play along.
    “Screwed if you default on a car loan”.
    Get rid of the car, buy one you can afford, CASH only.
    “Credit Card companies will punish me”.
    Who cares.
    You have to buy within your means, with CASH.
    As it is now, after 5 years re-building credit, “Your Golden” again anyway.
    That is why nothing will EVER change.
    Even the SMALL things are too much of a sacrifice to our…”Way of Life”.
    “You bore Me, Frost.”

  101. 101
    Yevgraf says:

    @WereBear:

    Without the MONEY threat from activists in many countries, the oppression and murder would have continued… the way it had for over a hundred years prior.

    That would probably surprise the South African resistance folks, as there were large local demonstrations and assassinations which preceded the end of apartheid.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I would like to think that Lawrence University (Go Vikes!) would be receptive even today. Also too, our University president back then showed up at the anti-Apartheid protests as a supporter, so we had that going for us, which was nice.

  103. 103
    Mark says:

    Ironically, I met Linda Katehi in 1999 when she was still a prof at Michigan. Seemed like a nice woman, not the type who would use riot police against her students. I guess you can never tell.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yevgraf: Yes, the South African people get almost all the credit for what happened there, but don’t pretend that money played no part at all.

  105. 105
    Yevgraf says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    No, it is time to change tactics. Stop investing so much in the occupy part of the protest, and concentrate on the message.

    Na – the Professional Left, once on a path which is an uncontrolled downhill slide in a direction opposite the goal, cannot help but embrace it more to prove its brilliance.

    They’re enthusiastically doubling down on 22, and arguing with the dealer about making the bet.

  106. 106
    Jennifer says:

    @Dustin: Good luck coming up with the money to elect the white knights; with every day that passes we have less money with which to impact the system that is built on it (and isn’t going to change from within) and they have more with which to buy it.

    As for the 1% “waiting out,” there’s no “waiting out” an investment in a company that goes bankrupt in the space of a couple of months because no one was paying their debts. Bank of America might not even last a month with such tactics, because it’s a zombie already. Secondly, as for “paying thugs” to come and take your stuff, you can’t take stuff that’s unsecured. Even if you could, you can’t hire enough thugs fast enough to take enough of it before you’re out of business – and what is the bank going to do with a fancy used washer/dryer combo, anyway? There’s nothing to take that will recompense them for the loss. And you can’t take a house because someone didn’t pay for their car, or their credit card bill. You especially can’t take it if the courts are so clogged that you can’t get in them to go through the procedure to take it, and the bank facing imminent bankruptcy doesn’t have that kind of time.

  107. 107
    liannetic says:

    @Jennifer: This.

    Was talking about just such an option with a friend yesterday. If it was just credit card defaults (so cars aren’t repossessed, say)…It seems to me the difference between @dustin’s concern of folks facing long-term financial ruination via loss of credit and/or poor credit scores and long-term financial ruination via never-ending payments isn’t all that great.

    The upside is more money in people’s pockets every month, which should help offset the impact of a lowered credit score anyway.

    The challenge, of course, is organizing. A few thousand people is one thing; several million quite another. But it’s gotta start somewhere, right?

    *Back to lurking*

  108. 108
    Dick Move says:

    @ the various trolls dismissing OWS as a misguided, mismanaged waste of time:

    If what you want is a debate over whether OWS is doing the right things, the right ways, have at it. Personally, I find the whole exercise largely pointless. Anyone who thinks they could do it better is welcome to prove it.

    The idea that, somehow, the existence of OWS and the methods it employs diminishes the opportunity for smarter people to do it better is a complete load. It’s an arc of a circular argument. If you know what ought to be done, and how to do it, then fucking do it. Nothing convinces people like success. Go get some for your self, then come back here and flaunt it.

    Or, fuck off. Your call.

  109. 109
    WereBear says:

    @Jennifer: I have come up with this:

    $78 BILLION (with a b) of unsecured debt on credit cards. 1/78th of that is a (Dr Evil voice) Billion Dollars!

    People sign up, stating the amount of credit card/student loan/etc debt they will ditch… when the trigger is pulled.

    Date OPEN – when the pledges reach a BILLION DOLLARS the trigger gets pulled… all in the same month.

    Thoughts?

  110. 110
    handsmile says:

    @Davis X. Machina: (#65)

    On October 23, a chemical bomb (a so-called “Drano” bomb) was tossed into the Occupy Portland encampment. Its explosion caused minor injuries and damage to protesters’ property.

    Has there been any further police investigation or even arrests in that attack? I did my own check through the Portland Press Herald archive before posting this comment, and could find nothing beyond an article written two days after the incident.

    As you are a Maine resident, I thought you might be better informed on the matter and could update.

  111. 111
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Dick Move: Amen!

  112. 112
    ChrisNYC says:

    @WereBear: Is this not financial crisis of September 2008 part two? Right? I mean, the banks say, “Oh shit this stuff is worth nothing, this debt we hold.” And then their counterparties say, “Oh shit, we hold the hedge bets.” Financial system on the verge of collapse. Then, I think, the bailout happens. Right? What am I missing?

  113. 113
    Elliecat says:

    As Peter Marcuse writes, “the defense of the permanent and round-the-clock occupancy of a specific space can lead to a fetishization of space that make the defense of that space the overwhelming goal of the movement, at the expense of actions furthering the broader goals that that space is occupied to advance.”

    “Liberty Park Can Be Anywhere” by Todd Gitlin
    edited to fix link

  114. 114
    Yevgraf says:

    @Elliecat:

    As Peter Marcuse writes, “the defense of the permanent and round-the-clock occupancy of a specific space can lead to a fetishization of space that make the defense of that space the overwhelming goal of the movement, at the expense of actions furthering the broader goals that that space is occupied to advance.”

    But Wavy Gravy and his ideological descendants say “its all, like, real important, man. We got to stick it to the man.”

  115. 115
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @handsmile: There’ a vague id on the vehicle, no arrests. My guess — redneck kids from out beyond Buxton. North of the Turnpike, Maine goes all Upper Pennsyltucky. in a hurry.

    There are enough real militia types up here to cause real problems, though.

  116. 116
    WereBear says:

    @ChrisNYC: Makes sense to me.

    Right now, people keep paying that debt out of fear. So… our debt is real money. That’s a guaranteed income, and also a protection racket.

    Nice little credit score ya got there. Pity if something happened to it…

  117. 117
    Dustin says:

    @werebear: my apologies before things go to far, by I didn’t notice the tangible vs intangible comment before posting. You and I are 100% agreement on the whole “occupy credit card” thing.

  118. 118
    ChrisNYC says:

    Wouldn’t divestment equal selling off bank stocks? Pension funds, u endowments, 401ks, etc etc etc. You’d have to figure out where to put it (George Bailey’s bank, for example) and there would be pain for the people who relied on the returns but, that would be ‘divestment’ proper, I think (?). But if the point is to vote against banks I think you pull your dough on the equity side.

  119. 119
    WereBear says:

    @Dustin: Dang! I was thinking the same name:

    Occupy Credit Card

    No prob, you sharpened my thinking. What do you think of my expanded idea, above: triggered at a billion dollars in pledges?

    And… all that money would go back into the economy, instead of into banker’s pockets who are refusing to invest in the country, like it is now.

  120. 120
    Brian R. says:

    @Seebach:

    What part of asking them to leave requires pepper spray? Is it how Officer Pike communicates? Does his voice not work?

    Maybe. That might explain why he gets paid over $110,000. He probably needs the extra salary to afford his team of physical and mental therapists.

  121. 121
    Peter says:

    Yet another thread shit on by Yevgraf, professional concern troll.

  122. 122
    WereBear says:

    @ChrisNYC: But if the point is to vote against banks I think you pull your dough on the equity side.

    That’s part of the problem though; there’s no good place to put investment funds. With the 1% trying to hog & rig the good places…

    Also… dude… the problem is people have no money to invest. Now debt; that they can donate.

  123. 123
    Jennifer says:

    @ChrisNYC: Yep, it is financial crisis part 2…IF it gets to that point. Here’s the difference: in this case, the “no one could have predicted” excuse is pre-empted, because the strategic default protestors have given ample warning that if X doesn’t get underway by Y date, they’re going to pull the trigger. Government then is under pressure to get Y rolling before X date rolls around. And they’re under pressure from the people that own them not to let the trigger get pulled.

    Suppose the trigger does get pulled, and they get bailed out once again. Who got bailed out? The people who told the banks to fuck off and stopped paying them. The money they defaulted on paying back now resides in their pockets; this is the amount that the government stepped in to pony up for the bailout.

    Look, I don’t for one minute believe that it would be a desirable state of affairs if this came to pass. It would fuck the economy hard. But I look at it this way: the banks and 1% had their own “give us money with no strings attached or we’ll destroy the economy” moment 3 years ago; the “give me what I want or I’ll kill this kitten” tactic isn’t a strategy that can only be used by one side. Sure, the rich are insulated from bad economic times in a way the rest of us aren’t but they also make a whole lot less in a depression than they do when their taxes go up a few percent, they’re forced to divest their ownership of goverment, or they have to follow more regulations. They own everything and therefore have a lot more to lose.

  124. 124
    ChrisNYC says:

    @WereBear: Well, it’s completely not true that people have no money to invest. Pension funds and universities are some of the biggest investors on the planet. And there’s more than $2 TRILLION dollars in 401ks. Trillions.

  125. 125
    Jennifer says:

    WereBear – I like the Occupy Credit Card idea, but I’m not sure $1 billion is a large enough number. It needs to be scarier – the financial equivalent of the rogue wave that dumped the Poseidon.

  126. 126
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Jennifer: I see it. Thanks. And there is something beautiful and ironic about precipitating it or threatening to precipitate it. I don’t know if the country is there yet, maybe it is, but this would happen organically if things are really that fucked. I mean, what’s the point of husbanding a credit score if all it is is a ticket to eventual bankruptcy.

  127. 127
    WereBear says:

    @Jennifer: Sure, we can choose a different number… the way I was thinking, it would ratchet up demand… the mere thought of having that money be their own again would work on their mind… encouraging them to sign up their friends and make the magic day arrive sooner.

    And no, I don’t feel bad about it. As someone who got into credit card debt because the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the life-saving treatment for my chronically ill husband (and it worked, by the way) I paid that debt over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

    And I know I’m not the only one. Time was, a shylock would get thrown in jail for that kind of interest.

  128. 128
    Roy G. says:

    You know they don’t care, but the Concern Trolls are really reaching when they get to: “WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE GRASS!!??’

    The First Amendment guarantees the Right to Peaceably Assemble, and nowhere does it make exceptions for arbitrary deadlines given by University Chancellors or Billionaire Mayors.

  129. 129
    andrewsomething says:

    @Yevgraf:

    But Wavy Gravy and his ideological descendants say “its all, like, real important, man. We got to stick it to the man.”

    I know you’re just trolling us, and I shouldn’t bother responding to you but…

    All of you who keep insisting that we need to move beyond the encampments and keep the focus on Wall St seem to be willfully ignoring that a lot of folks are trying to do just that. In New York, we took the protest as close to Wall St as possible on Thursday morning. This was planned even before the eviction.

    Try working to encourage and support the type of actions you want to see rather than shitting on everyone else.

  130. 130
    Anya says:

    So, Tweety said this:

    I don’t think the Obamas are happy in the White House. I don’t sense the gratitude. The American people can see that.

    WTF does he mean? Did he ever ponder whether Bush the Lesser and Laura had sense of gratitude?

    P.S. sorry for the OT.

  131. 131
    andrewsomething says:

    @Anya:

    Tweety is a god damn embarrassment.

  132. 132
    Egg Berry says:

    strategic bankruptcy won’t erase student loans.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @Anya: It’s fucking Tweety. He lives for the insipid. Not to mention there’s a major Broderism vacuum occurring within the Beltway.

  134. 134
    WereBear says:

    I dunno… they got SHOT AT while living in the White House… so there might be some conflicting feelings there.

    On the other hand, Tweety has been nutzoid about the pathetic Republican lineup, calling it what it is. But of course, it just makes his job harder…

  135. 135
    Anya says:

    @andrewsomething: @Yutsano: I think another thing is at work — getting attention for his book. The righties on twitter are loving his comments and re-tweeting it furiously. Unfortunately for him, they will not buy his book.

  136. 136
    g says:

    I happen to be acquainted with a person whose job it is to write stuff like that for a UC Chancellor (not at Davis). I also happen to know that the office of a certain UC Chancellor has a secret trap door dating from the ’60s, to escape from rioting mobs.

    It’s hilarious.

  137. 137
    Egg Berry says:

    @Anya:

    I don’t think the Obamas are happy in the White House. I don’t sense the gratitude. The American people can see that.

    you’ve heard of armchair quarterbacks?

  138. 138
    Jennifer says:

    @Egg Berry: Maybe not.

    But there is big value in reminding the PTB that “the economy” isn’t just composed of the 1% Galtian Supermen. And while the loans may not be “erased”, there’s precious little anyone can do to FORCE anyone else to repay a debt, particularly if the borrower has no assets.

    If we had adopted tactics of mutually assured economic destruction long ago, things never would have gotten as bad as they are now.

  139. 139
    LiberalTarian says:

    Having lived on the UC Davis campus (3 years ago), I can assert how unbelievable the police reaction re pepperspray was. The normally placid, well-behaved rah rah undergrad and grad population have actually gotten upset that their tuition is skyrocketing and the response of the corpulent administration is to effectively privatize the school.

    In response the students are making the administration uncomfortable. Call out the hounds.

    Administration at Davis is top heavy. An administrator for every faculty member. 20 years ago it was one administrator for every three faculty members. How to support the new ratio? Raise the percentage of overhead from 30% to 50% of every research grant the school wins (which promptly priced them over what more prestigious universities charge). So, for every $2 million grant, $1 million goes to administration.

    What you see happening is a bunch of bureaucrats struggling to keep their $100,000 + per year jobs. I have a close friend in the development department (the ones who go soliciting donations) who has watched the clerical staff getting laid off while the bosses hire temps to maintain their pyramid structure that they must have to keep their salaries. What’s more, the “partnerships” they are developing are with enormous conglomerates, so no research comes out that is outside the corporate line.

    There is good reason to protest. We’ve just been late to the realization.

  140. 140
    Egg Berry says:

    @Jennifer:

    And while the loans may not be “erased”, there’s precious little anyone can do to FORCE anyone else to repay a debt, particularly if the borrower has no assets.

    In some states you can’t be hired for gov’t jobs if you are delinquent on student loans. Also, your wages can be garnished.

    I’m not disagreeing with you, but it’s not that simple.

  141. 141
    Michael says:

    If one were so inclined, Chancellor Katehi has a blog. The latest post is about (and I’m not making this up) UC Davis’ “Civility Project.” Might I suggest this would be an opportune spot for people to comment on the Chancellor’s understanding of “respect, equality and freedom of expression.” Your comment will have to await moderation before being posted, but I’m fairly certain someone in her office will have to read it first.

  142. 142
    Yutsano says:

    @Egg Berry:

    In some states you can’t be hired for gov’t jobs if you are delinquent on student loans. Also, your wages can be garnished.

    On the federal level a debt cancellation is considered income and must be reported on a tax return. And if you don’t, the credit card company will. That can start its own vicious cycle that can be very difficult to unwind.

  143. 143
    RSA says:

    @Anya:

    I don’t think the Obamas are happy in the White House. I don’t sense the gratitude.

    Thank you for your… observations, Counselor Tweety. Dismissed!

  144. 144
    piratedan says:

    for all you folks that think OWS is not the right way to get at whatever you think is the problem, i.e. there being no message focus, too many foci, lack of leadership, improper tactics… whatever… Please feel free to put yourself out there on the front lines and stage the appropriate response to what matters to you, start your own movement, rally others to your cause and if you’re right and effective, others will follow. Naturally you’ll gain the approval of others and you’ll co-opt other movements followers and gain media attention and have the village punditry decry and support you based on whatever their corporate masters tell them….

    or maybe you can watch the following Monty Python sketch for any additional pointers…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNfGyIW7aHM

  145. 145
    handsmile says:

    @Davis X. Machina: (#112)

    Thanks for the update and the link to the BDN article.

    I realize that my comment/question to you was incomplete. What I should have written was “As you are a Maine resident (you lucky bastid)….”

    Ah well, hopefully someday. Enjoy the weekend!

  146. 146
    gbear says:

    @Jennifer:

    Jennifer, have you ever heard of peer-to-peer lending? I’m only vaugly familiar with it but I liked what I heard. It’s a way to invest or borrow that bypasses wall street.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anya: I guess it just shows how much of an O-bot I am that I assumed what that comment meant was that Obama is stuck with a thankless job and hasn’t gotten enough consideration for it.

  148. 148
    Jennifer says:

    @gbear: In fact, I had not heard of it. But I like the concept as well.

  149. 149
    Three-nineteen says:

    @Blue Neponset: Have you heard about the woman who started camping out for Black Friday already? I wonder how many times she’s been pepper-sprayed.

  150. 150
    Mike says:

    Share you admiration for the policy
    Chancellor:
    chancellor@ucdavis.edu
    Cop:
    japikeiii@ucdavis.edu,
    Other admin people:

    Executive Management Support
    Lisa K. Chance, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
    Phone: (530) 752-2067
    lkchance@ucdavis.edu
    Jill Woodard, Chancellor’s Residence Manager
    Phone: (530) 756-0100
    jjwoodard@ucdavis.edu
    Gary Delsohn, Speechwriter
    Phone: (530) 752-9608
    gadelsohn@ucdavis.edu
    Office of Ceremonies and Special Events
    Louise Uota, Director
    Phone: (530) 754-2007
    lfuota@ucdavis.edu
    Fax: (530) 754-2294
    Office of Government Relations
    Marjorie Dickinson, Assistant Vice Chancellor
    Phone: (530) 752-2619
    mmdickinson@ucdavis.edu
    Fax: (530) 752-4931
    Office of Regional and Community Engagement
    Beverly “Babs” Sandeen, Chief Regional and Community Engagement Officer
    Phone: (530) 752-2616
    basandeen@ucdavis.edu
    Office of University Communications
    Cynthia Barbera, Executive Director of Strategic Communications
    Phone: (530) 754-4437
    Fax: (530) 752-4068
    http://ucomm.ucdavis.edu
    Office of the Campus Counsel
    Steven Drown, Campus Counsel
    Phone: (530) 754-6295
    sadrown@ucdavis.edu
    Fax: (530) 752-4931
    Office of Campus Community Relations
    Rahim Reed, Associate Executive Vice Chancellor
    Phone: (530) 752-2071
    rreed@ucdavis.edu
    Fax: (530) 754-7987
    Internal Audit Services
    Jeremiah Maher, Audit Director
    Phone: (916) 734-7991
    jeremiah.maher@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
    Davis Office
    Phone: (530) 752-7596
    Fax: (530) 752-9170
    Sacramento Office
    Phone: (916) 451-8232
    Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
    Don Roth, Executive Director
    Phone: (530) 754-5000
    droth@ucdavis.edu, jeremiah.maher@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

  151. 151
    ruemara says:

    @Jennifer: You sound astoundingly naive. If I’m struggling under the burden of debt, you think I have money to buy another car if mine is repossessed thanks to this protest idea? I see that this default on your debts idea has hit Balloon Juice. You are preaching some dangerous ideas there. I’m all for boycotts, I’d like to find a way to pass on my school loan debts, but this whole don’t may thing would have disastrous consequences for the people you ‘re supposed to be helping. If people want to do this in protest, they can do it, but you damned better understand that you are playing a waiting game of money with people who have all the money.

    And with regard to the real topic, these kids were occupying maybe a sliver of the quad. There was no reason for this. All the UCD alma mater I know are writing letters of disapproval and requests for resignation even as we speak. I did say Davis itself would not stand for the UC’s actions. The local Occupy group has been peacefully encamped for weeks without much but complaints that the sprinklers aren’t turned off. We won’t do that, they are there illegally and they’re killing the lawn. Otherwise, they can sit out there with the “Everything for Everyone” sign until they get bored.

  152. 152
    Jennifer says:

    @ruemara: Regardless of how much debt you have, there are plenty of “tote the note” car dealers who would be all too happy to sell you a car – even if your last one got repossessed yesterday.

    The strategy of capitulating to the idea that the other side has all the power so all we can do is march is what I see as woefully naive. They don’t have all the power but you’re never going to be able to remind them of that without something that costs them. I never said it wouldn’t cost anyone else anything either, but if the numbers are big enough, it won’t cost everyone or even the majority. This notion that we can get the change we need without taking any risks has been around for 30 years now and you tell me – have things gotten better, or worse, in that time?

    Contrary to what the Galtians are fond of spouting, without us there IS no economy and hence no money to be made by the oligarchs.

  153. 153
    Peter says:

    Jennifer, your plan is a pipe dream. You’re never going to get enough people willing to wreck their personal finances in the hopes that enough of them will do it at once that it’ll cause the banks to shit themselves.

  154. 154
    WiseFather says:

    You guys will love this. I made a video protest recently for my blog. It is quite funny even if you are pro-megabank. I called my credit card’s customer service line to do some negotiating. Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little and make a few points about the unfairness of the credit card lending system. Since it’s a protest at home, I called it my kitchen counterstrike against Bank of America. I think you might enjoy it. http://www.ragingwisdom.com/?p=508

  155. 155
    Jennifer says:

    @Peter: Yes, you’re right.

    People are never going to risk comfort to reverse their fortunes, just as they never have in the past. Much better to all just quietly slip under the poverty line, one by one.

    The naive view is the one that doesn’t see that we’re all going to end up in default eventually anyway as the 1% suck more and more of the pool of financial resources into their insatiable maw, and insists that if we continue to struggle under the yoke of debt oppression up until the bitter end, we’ll somehow all end up better off.

  156. 156
    Peter says:

    @Jennifer: Or maybe we can come up with plans that don’t involve being the financial equivalent of suicide bombers. Your plan is also kind of a stupid one.

  157. 157
    Brandon says:

    Back in my college days (public west coast U, but not at UC-Davis), I believe for at least half of the academic year, each year, we had people living in tents “on the quad” protesting the School of the Americas. There was a separate tent-a-thon for the “salvage rider”, which was a forest policy issue. It was a normal activity and highly uncontentious. I had assumed that this was normal college-type stuff, but from reading the comments it seems that many commentators are of the persuasion that they “had no right” to camp in tents on their campus as a form of protest. Up til this moment I had always assumed that this form of protest on a campus was pretty uncontroversial.

  158. 158
    Jennifer says:

    @Peter: Your plan is also kind of a stupid one.

    Stupid? Only if you think there are other ways to get there. I sure didn’t see any of the Wall Street looters showing any overt concern over their suicide bombing of the economy.

    Let’s hear your bright ideas, since so far Goldman Sachs doesn’t seem to care too much about campers or marchers.

  159. 159
    Peter says:

    Man I don’t need to have an alternative to see that you you’re suggesting is impractical, unworkable, and won’t achieve the ends you intend it to.

  160. 160
    Jennifer says:

    @Peter: It’s a lot more practical than camping in a park. All you have to do is not write a check. You get enough people not writing checks and it becomes a very big problem to the folks expecting to receive those checks.

    But you’re right. I’m sure we can take them down with super secret ninja moves, lashing out with lightning speed from our defensive crouch. Fetal position to deadly in .6 seconds!

  161. 161
    sullyVan says:

    @Jennifer: There is no-body on this “Blog” that would EVER do ANYTHING to jeopardize their way of “Snarkin”.

  162. 162
    RSA says:

    @Brandon:

    Up til this moment I had always assumed that this form of protest on a campus was pretty uncontroversial.

    I think it still is. Back when I was in college the big issue was apartheid; I actually got arrested as part of a group protesting in front of the embassy in DC. Later in grad school there were students occupying administrative buildings to show support for unionization. Within recent years I’ve seen tent cities on my current campus, raising consciousness about homelessness, and various other demonstrations and protests, some of which seemed to go on for a fairly long time.

    The Occupy movement seems to be treated differently, though.

  163. 163
    Peter says:

    @Jennifer: No, look. In order to carry out your plan, you need to get a whole bunch of people to pledge to blow up their financial future. You first have to ensure that you have enough people representing enough money to cause waves at these huge financial institutions.

    That’s a lot of people and a lot of money.

    You then have to trigger it and hope that you’ve herded your cats well enough that they all blow themselves up at once. Protip: you won’t have. People will fall out at the last minute.

    Then, if you have managed to gather enough people, and gotten them all to blow up their financial futures, your best-case scenario is that the financial institution you target will be in the same circumstances they found themselves in in 2008. And then, because the institute will still be TBTF and your plan does nothing about government and regulatory capture to prevent it, they get bailed out on the taxpayer’s dime.

    And no matter what the outcome, the suckers you drag along into this with you? Just blew up their financial future. Yes, you can say that they didn’t have financial security anyway. But there’s a difference between insecurity and not having one at all.

    Because of that, the banks aren’t going to believe that you’ll actually pull the trigger or that your lemmings will actually jump off of that cliff. And they shouldn’t because it’s an obviously empty threat. You aren’t going to be able to change their behavior with an empty revolver chamber.

    It’s a pipe dream. Maybe it could work in some science fiction story, but in the real world it’s never going to happen.

  164. 164
    WereBear says:

    @RSA: The Occupy movement seems to be treated differently, though.

    It’s worth asking: Why is that?

    Regarding the “Don’t Pay the Protection Money” line of thought Jennifer & I are discussing:

    After my husband’s career cratered for the sin of Being Sick in America (and yes, there was health insurance) we lost it all, and slid into debt for the further sin of doing something about it that wasn’t covered under health insurance.

    The debt we slid into turned into backbreaking levels because Bank of America, in particular, played games with the actual payments, losing them for days and putting them on the wrong account; on purpose, to push us into higher interest rates. The irony is that the accounts that wound up in Bank of America were mergers from what we thought were better banks; we never wanted to do business with them.

    I couldn’t prove anything… I had taken screenshots of the online payments, but I was told I could have photoshopped them. Write checks, you say? They didn’t arrive in time; and I have no way of proving otherwise.

    Once you reach this point, the only thing to do is legally reduce those rates by going into debt consolidation. Then you don’t have any credit anyway; they are still sucking money out of my pocket every month; and if I need snow tires, which I do, and other bills come up, which they did, I’m screwed for a while, because “savings” is a dream of avarice at this point.

    What the credit card companies did was legal. I’m sure that somehow, there’s a way of withdrawing our support. Maybe a huge transfer your balance day… or a class action?

  165. 165
    Jennifer says:

    @Peter: For fuck’s sake, you talk as though no one has ever risked anything to gain anything.

    People died in the labor movements of the early 20th century. People died in the civil rights movement. But here you are, “oooo, people’s CREDIT could get ruined!” As if it’s an equivalent.

    I guess our only recourse is to go down and willingly sign ourselves into slavery to our corporate masters. Because anything else might be risky. And we’re going to end up there eventually anyway, so resistance is futile.

  166. 166
    RSA says:

    @WereBear:

    After my husband’s career cratered for the sin of Being Sick in America (and yes, there was health insurance) we lost it all,

    My sympathies, WereBear. I’ve almost been in the same boat, though eventually our former insurance company did grudgingly pay up. It’s shocking how precarious your finances can be, without your even knowing. Many in the anti-OWS crowd seem not to get how serious the stakes are, and how many people are affected.

  167. 167
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sullyVan: Yeah, the people who have participated a variety of protests and reported their firsthand impressions of what was going on over the four or so years that I have been a regular reader of this blog have never done anything. Drag your self-righteous shit somewhere else.

  168. 168
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I sense potential ODS. But I could just be overly cynical.

  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @Jennifer:

    I like your idea. A lot. I think it is probably the only type of idea that will bring about rapid change. I just don’t think enough people will be willing to risk the downside. Even if the downside is not bad long term. A lot of us have been forced to live week to week or month to month just to survive and risking what little if anything we have is against human survival instincts. I think it things get worse (unemployment goes up a point or two or…) this idea may take on an air of necessity but right now?
    I do think paying off your credit cards if at all possible and moving your money to a good local small bank or credit union will do the same thing for our individual monetary salvation. At a slower time frame of course but effective. On the other hand, we are a consumerist economy and not purchasing stuff while you pay down your cc will kill a lot of small (and maybe not so small) retail businesses. I know it has done wonders for my cash flow in my retail business. Not.

  170. 170
    mclaren says:

    Youse guys just ain’t gettin’ it. This is what I was advocating 3 years ago, when Obama started to betray every promise he ever made.

    Now that people all over the country are actually starting to do non-violent protests, the Linda P. B. Katehis of the world are their biggest friends. Morons and halfwit thugs like Linda P. B. Katehi abound in America…and when unemployed Americans get a bellyfull of their 84-year-old grandmas and their college kids getting pepper-sprayed in the face for basically sitting around doing nothing and endangering nobody, boy, whaddaya think’s gonna happen?

    This is the way whole populations get radicalized. You pepper-spray my grandmother? Guess what, assholes? My whole FAMILY is gonna join Occupy tomorrow.

    As Gandhi pointed out, the entire goal of non-violent resistance is to provoke exactly the kind of reaction the Linda P. B. Katehis of the world are eager and raring to dish out. Because America is just chock full of Linda P. B. Katehis, they’re in power from one end of this country to the next. Small-minded thuggish little pissant zitbrains whose idea of an appropriate response to anyone who questions their wisdom is to bash the offending questioner with a blunt object.

    Pray for more Linda P. B. Katehis. If this keeps up, the Occup movement is going to become irresistable. It’ll turn into a goddamn tidal wave and nobody will be able to stop it.

  171. 171
    Jebediah says:

    @WereBear:

    And… all that money would go back into the economy, instead of into banker’s pockets who are refusing to invest in the country, like it is now.

    I think that is an excellent selling point, both to get people to participate, and a moral justification – “they have the ability to invest in America, but they refuse, so we have to do it. Why don’t they love America enough to invest in it?”

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