This is the third article in a series covering my quiet investigation and monitoring of the goings-on at CLICS, a former library on campus that has been taken over by a group of leftist UCSD students. You can find the other parts below:
What came of my investigation? Find out after the jump!
First, it turns out that the media coverage wasn’t scrubbed, but it was largely along the lines I described in the previous postings – more or less entirely ignoring OR downplaying the focus of the protest which was political reasons over the stated intent of freeing up study space:
the San Diego Union Tribune — Mentions Occupy ties, but also mentions the group attempting to distance itself from Occupy, which was a complete lie judging from the posters plastered on the wall a mere two days into the occupation.
ABC Channel 10 News — No mention of occupy movement, ‘poor deprived students’ angle.
I’ve already shown that during Finals Week, the intention of ‘Reclaim CLICS’ was to take over the library and use it as a platform for promoting leftist causes and the Occupy Movement over their proclaimed intent of simply providing study space. We’ve seen loud support for the Occupy protests, as well as for Socialism. We also know that for various reasons which I’ll address later, the University continues to allow these groups to occupy the space and continues to discourage media and police from being in the area. Let me repeat that – The University is allowing radical political groups to advertise for free on campus property.
Since then, I have been observing and taking photos, and my statement of intent last posting was directly tied to a planned get-together sponsored by the UCSD Socialists. The talk was supposed to cover the topic ‘Could it Happen Here?’, referring directly to the Arab Spring. This position paper was offered to prospective attendees. Please, take some time to read that. I’ll offer some enlightening qoutes. Emphasis mine:
Let’s return to the question with which I started: “When will something happen here?”… First, before struggles break out on a large scale, few people expect them. I visited Britain a few months before its mass student demonstrations took place and heard people complaining about the lack of activity and the “apathy” of young people. Even a year ago, the Mubarak regime, with its vast internal security apparatus, seemed unassailable. Weeks before January 25, Egypt was the scene of communal violence between Coptic Christians and Muslims. In retrospect, it was years of patient organizing, building networks in communities and workplaces, coupled with the destabilizing effects of the global economic crisis, that laid the groundwork for a mass revolutionary upsurge.
Hedges also believes that the time for talking, even among ourselves, is past, and he disparages gatherings like New York’s annual Left Forum as academic talk shops detached from reality. “The only gatherings worth attending from now on,” he writes “are [ones] that organize civil disobedience.”
Although none of these periods of radicalization fulfilled its full potential, the demise of the movements thrown up by them was by no means inevitable. There is nothing inherent in U.S. social structure or political culture that doomed them to failure. Rather, the collapse of these movements was ultimately rooted in shortcomings in the political understanding and strategies of the organizations and individuals that led them.
Despite the current weaknesses of the labor movement and the left, objective circumstances will once again produce the potential for mass struggle in the United States What becomes of that potential will be up to us.
The International Socialists are not exactly a nice group. They’re highly radical and actively subversive in their long term goals. Now, I’m not trying to pull the OMFG CONSPIRACY card here. I’m merely highlighting the fact that a group calling for revolution in this country is being promoted by a group that’s currently being allowed to use CLICS as a advertising platform.
Now the meeting didn’t happen. Either they backed out, never really booked the room, or changed the location at the last second – a different club had the meeting space at the designated time – so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to quietly listen and glean their intentions. But I think it’s safe to say that the University of California, San Diego, might want to reconsider allowing a group directly flirting with –revolution– to occupy CLICS.
I’ll say it again – if the CLICS reclamation shifts to supporting their -initial- stated claim which was to simply provide neutral study space – I can dig that. What I can’t dig is the shifty radicalism at play, and the apparent ability of these political radicals to have what seems to be immunity in regards to campus rules. IE: They’re allowed to do things no other organization would do because they either intimidated the University into playing along or have sympathizers in the University establishment. I don’t think sleazy, shifty deception is a very good way to promote a message, but that’s just me.
Now, there was a very good comment left by an individual involved in all this on my first article on this, and I’d like to encourage all of you to take a look at it. As a general response to the poster’s thoughts on trying to break down the left/right barrier – I am absolutely for that. I still think that the broader tea party movement and elements of occupy could get amazing things done in this country if they set aside a lot of their platforms and united on a few key issues such as combating corruption and advocating for more transparent and accountable government. It’s not impossible, it could be done, and we could set the major philosophical battles for different arenas. The problems in this country demand action and soon – but I think all parties HAVE to do everything possible to fix the system within the system before they entertain outright anarchy. That opens too many dangerous doors, and I personally don’t think we are at that point yet.
I’ll cover this more as time goes on. Since I still think Occupy is going to do a Spring Offensive of sorts, it will be interesting to see if they attempt to use CLICS as a base station of sorts for that purpose. Time will tell.
Edit 6/10/13: Light polishing