- One to watch – a famous speech delivered by activist Mario Savio in 1964
12 Jan 2018
Who is Mario Savio? Mario Savio is was a well known American activist and one of the top members of the “Berkley Free Speech Movement”. His passionate speeches resounded through many a Californian university hall as he advocated for many causes such as helping to gain voting rights for African Americans, taught at black children in McComb, Mississippi before returning to Berkeley. He joined the “Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee” whereby he tried to raise funds for them only to find out that the university had put a ban on fundraising and political activity. This, in turn, led many a famous quote and conversation from Mario which led him to become one of the most prominent leaders of the “Free Speech Movement” which was formed in 1964. The famous “bodies upon the gears speech” A long-standing protest by the students of the University of California, Berkeley called the “Free Speech Movement” was started in 1964 and followed through that academic year to 1965. Students of the university, led by Mario Savio, who at the time was a Berkley graduate student, were demanding that the universities ban on political activities is lifted and that their right to academic freedom and free speck be recognized and acknowledged by the university. On the 2nd December 1964, upon the steps of Sprout Hall, at the University of California, Berkley, Mario Savio delivered his speech “bodies upon gears” (also known as the operation of the machine) that became a turning point for the movement in the lifting of various bans and giving rise to freedom of speech for all. The speech highlighted how over the years the strength of movements such as the “Free Speech Movement” were made stronger by the overreactions of the 1% suppressing free speech! For his efforts, Mario Savio became a person of interest to the FBI and was designated by them to be detained without judicial warrant in any national emergency event. He was also surveilled and continuously hounded by the FBI, spent time in prison for his passion but through it all, he never gave up on what he believed in and continued to fight the good fight for the good of all American students. Conclusion The “Free Speech Movement” was associated with the “New Lift”, “American Civil Rights Movement” and the “Anti-Vietnam War Movement”, these movements were the foundations that brought about a lot of changes in values and political views for the following generations of the general public, students and university administrators alike throughout the USA.
- November 28 UC Regents meetings
29 Dec 2017
The rescheduled bi-monthly meeting of the UC Regents The November 16th meeting of the UC Regents was rescheduled for the 28th November 2011 and was held by teleconference which included conference calls from UCSF-Mission Bay Community Centre San Francisco, Activities and Recreation Centre Ballroom, Davis campus, James West Alumni Centre, Los Angeles campus Kolligian Library and Merced campus. The minutes of the meeting All of the records for the Regents of the University of California are kept at the “Office of the Secretary of the Regents” and have been since the year 1868 to present day. You can read the open sessions of the meeting at the following website: http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/minutes-index/index.html The issues over the hike in fees were addressed by a student of the university and how into her now the second year at the university she had already experienced a 40% increase in fees which equated to $4000 more a year. She went on to discuss how this negatively effects parents who start to save for their children’s college funds for years only to come up short due to these hefty increases. Another student, raised the issue of the budget transparency in that the income from sales like the UC bookstores and apparel was not readily available but restricted access only and why it is not being used for funding of fundamental academics. The questions were raised as to how this revenue was being allocated and the actual cost of an undergraduate education was. It was stated by an unidentified student that education was not a privilege but a right that everyone should have access to. One UCSD student a campus senator for the Associated Students of UCSD was advocating the provision of funds to aid undocumented students who pay into the universities financial aid system but have yet to actually be allocated financial aid. This was an urge for the university’s support for the DREAM Act. Finally, the effects of the universities fee hike over 2011 were having on the middle-class to low-income students who attend UC. Due to the hefty fee increases over that year, many students were forced to drop out as they were unable to sustain the increase in their education fees. Conclusion The increase in education fees has been felt across the nation for colleges, universities and even schools where cutbacks in budgets have forced the education department to layoff necessary teachers, aids and various faculty members causing a serious void in facilities that were once offered and overcrowding of classrooms.
- LA mobilization to make Wall Street Banks Pay
14 Dec 2017
The LA mobilization of “Refund California, Occupy Cal and Occupy Cal State” movement The “Refund California”, “Occupy Cal” and “Occupy Cal State” groups organized protests in order to deliver their message to UC regents and various board members was thwarted by the cancellation of the UC Regents bi-monthly meeting Threats of violence from rogue elements Through the fear of potential violence, UC Regents cancelled their scheduled meeting on the 16th November 2011. A meeting they had been planned and invested in months before. The university police had reported to getting information on “rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers” With no new date set for the UC Regents bi-monthly meeting, it left students leaders very disappointed in the fact that the postponement of being able to voice theirs and the groups they represent discontent with the state budget cuts which badly affected tuition at Cal State and UC. The vote to increase annual tuition in the fall of 2012 While the UC Regents meeting may have been cancelled but that did not stop the CAL State Board of Trustees meeting that was to take place around the same time as the UC regents meeting. The CAL State Board of Trustees meeting was held in Long Beach under heavy security where it was put to a vote to raise the annual tuition fees by 9% in the fall of 2012. While Cal State was tightening security around various other campuses where faculty members were staging a strike in protest of a salary dispute. Although the university assured members of the Occupy groups that it had nothing to do with what they were protesting about, the university was not taking any chances and beefed up their security against potential threats. Conclusion Fast forward to 2017 and teachers have started to protest the lack of progress in cities such as Sacramento’s education facilities and funding. Teachers are demanding that all classes have a teacher with solid credentials, that class sizes be reduced and that there is more school medical and related personals such as nurses, counsellors and psychologists be employed by the schools. All students should be able to participate in music, physical education and the arts. But with the rise in costs of various school necessities the annual budget is expected to exceed that of which it was set to with a result the future may see more cuts in the school budgets and rise in school tuition fees.
- Refund public education action week of 2011
14 Nov 2017
2011 Call to action for “Refund public education action week” Due to huge increases in tuition for UC, community college and CSU students. Since 2008 to 2011 saw a 200% increase in tuition fees and a threat of a $2.5 billion education and public services cuts. This saw the rise of the “Refund public education week” in California in 2011. The mobilization of the action California’s students, workers, and educators called on the various leaders of California’s universities, colleges and schools for their support in the bid “for refunding of education by making various Wall Street institutes as well as the very wealthy pay for parents, students and communities”. The action was mobilized on 9th November 2011 for the message to be delivered at the UC Regents and CSU Trustees’ meetings on the 16th November 2011. Who is the Refund California Coalition? Refund California is a coalition of community members, faith leaders, students and homeowners who work together to make corporations pay for the destruction of communities and loss of employment due to their corporate greed and irresponsible business acts. Their drive is to create jobs, fix the housing crises and inject much-needed capital into the economy and making the corporations and bodies responsible for the various losses and destruction accountable for their actions. The outcome of the Refund public education action week The campaign, having drawn a lot of national attention changing the political debate as to who should be paying for public education.At the beginning of November, the coalition managed to get the port of Oakland shutdown. As many as 600 000 odd bank accounts were withdrawn from large banking institutes and transferred to smaller credit union institutes. The November 16th meeting of the Regent drew near they were put under pressure to pledge their support to make the wealthy and banking institutes pay to “refund California”. The regents meeting was cancelled due to fears of violent protests. Whilst students and other protestors took to occupying various campuses forcing a feeble pledge from the UC President of 2011 to request more state funds with no direction or source of funds for this. Conclusion Coalitions such as Refund California, ACCE Action and ACCE institutes along with their many other supporters tirelessly fight to ensure better education and communities for everyone. You can read more about the November 2011 Refund public education action week at this link: http://www.refundcalifornia.org/2011press