Friday, September 25, 2009

Finally! Something worth fighting about!!!

Berkeley has been crazy for years. I've lived there, and I know. It is a fun, kooky sort of crazy, an aging hippie crazy. It once believed it could change the world. It did--kind of, and mostly (mostly) for the better. But once the big cause of the Viet Nam war was taken away, and admittedly once corporate America found ways to profit off of the counter culture--it got confused. Berkeley, both the campus and even more so the town, has flopped around for the last forty years searching for causes that it can support because, obviously, the revolution wasn't won when the US pulled out of Viet Nam. So they've looked and looked, poked under every rock and corporate scandal, searching for a wrong to right. Sometimes, as in Apartheid, they found a good cause. Other times, like trying to save the redwood trees around the stadium, they've just looked stupid.

But now they've got a real cause: tuition hikes! Not only that, but tuition hikes coupled to budget cuts and staffing reductions. This is a cause everbody onc ampus can believe in, because it affects them personally. It affects their pocket books. Not since the war time draft has their been a cause that effected so many of the student body at the same time. And unless you think they are just being selfish, mark this: UC was originally free. Not only that, but the people who will be most affected by the tuition hikes are middle class students who dont' qualify for anything but student loans (and I have first hand experience with how bad those can be). But perhaps the most salient point is this: UC, the most prestigious public university system in the world, exists as a public trust, and that trust is being betrayed. Some see this as a crass conservative attempt to do away with public higher education entirely, and I am sure that is indeed the motivation of some people in power. But even if they are sincere in their attempts to save the university during a time of fiscal crisis, they should all be fired. From the governor on down.

This should not be allowed to happen!

So now the entire UC system has erupted in protest. Good! Shut it down! Shut the whole thing down! Who knows, perhaps shutting the system is what the governor wants, but at least it will go out with a fight!

Take to the streets and man the barricades! This is a cause worth fighting for!


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