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Archive for September, 2009

Occupy Everything: Sit Down at Park Hyatt Chicago

September 30, 2009 2 comments

About 200 hospitality workers and supporters arrested in Chicago civil disobedience. Park Hyatt Chicago, Sept. 24, 2009

On August 31, Hyatt fired 100 long term housekeepers in three Boston-area hotels and replaced them with low wage workers from a subcontractor after telling the workers they were training “vacation” replacements, according to the Boston Globe. The housekeepers, most of whom were women who made approximately $15 per hour with benefits, were replaced with workers making close to minimum wage and with no benefits.

After a huge public outcry the Hyatt relented by announcing that they will rehire 98 housekeepers at their original salary.

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Our future has already been looted by our present leaders…

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

we want

EVERYTHING

As college students, we are told we should be grateful for being here. It’s our supposed salvation from a lifetime of wage slavery and misery, but it’s becoming very obvious that our future has already been looted by our present leaders. Most of us will spend most of our lives in debt, chained to commodities, working for things we’ll never own. We become students in order to sell our activity as complex labor, to become technicians of this vast capitalist machine we call ‘society’. That is to say, not because it’s the best possible use of our lives but because other means of survival have been foreclosed. Being a student, like being a worker or prisoner, is a social role defined by its relation to the reproduction of the economy of capital. Now we live like lost children, because capitalist society has no future: it is collapsing in on itself, and trying to take us with it. We are nothing, and to become anything at all we will have to take everything we need.

If one thing is brutally obvious, it’s that there is no point demanding anything from a system which is trying to eat us alive, or negotiating with rulers who will never see us as anything but numbers. From budget cuts at our schools to mass layoffs and foreclosures, from police murders on BART to the exploitation and persecution of migrants from the south, from the criminalization and incarceration of youth of color to political activists facing decades in prison, from the destruction of UCSC’s Upper Campus ecosystems to the giant plastic garbage dump in the middle of the sea, these ‘problems’ are all symptoms of a system based on private property and the police who enforce it. The solution cannot be granted to us by anyone: we have to build it ourselves by organizing autonomously, developing collective power and generalized self-management.

This won’t be easy. All our lives we have been trained to obey authority instead of to subvert and resist it and trust ourselves and each other. We can only learn by doing. We can only find each other in struggle. We have begun.

WE ARE students, workers, unemployed; we are undocumented and on probation; we are sick of being ripped off by bosses and bullied by cops; we are the youth, we have no future, and we are power-hungry.

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS;

YOU’LL NEVER BE ALONE AGAIN.

-an autonomous committee at occupied ucsc

They have no goals!

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

There are no goals. Yes, they note a lot of the pain the UC schools, faculty, administration, and students are feeling. But they only call for everyone to “occupy and escalate.”

Charlie Eisenhood, WSN Bungles the UCSC Occupation

we want EVERYTHING

UCSC Occupation

Nobody is sure what this will look like yet

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

We’re tired of hearing UC President Mark Yudof talk about making the UC more “efficient,” more “competitive,” about “human capital,” not because we are against some notion of what it means to be efficient, to not be wasteful, but because his speech demonstrates he needs a more complex analytic of the dynamics over-taking the UC system in this crisis. A broad-based social movement that has the capacity to articulate an alternative collective vision to the narrow, corporatist special-interests that control our budgets and strategic planning will be necessary. Nobody is sure what this will look like yet.

–Spokesperson, UCSC Occupation

UCSC Occupation

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

More from the occupation

An interview, and some more video from Youtube:

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UCSC Occupation Dance Dance Revolution

September 27, 2009 3 comments

From here

Be realistic: Demand the impossible!

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Other takes on why capitalism didn’t end in 1929

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Since the question of why capitalism didn’t end in 1929 has such obvious relevance to our present circumstances, it is no surprise some of the most important – or the most irritatingly ubiquitous – voices in economics have weighed in with their various theories. All of these theories consist, in one way or another, of a description of how Washington and its many subdivisions fixed the economy, and set it back on the road to ceaseless expansion.

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Why didn’t capitalism collapse in 1929? (Final)

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Continued from here

If we try to reconstruct the underlying events leading to the Great depression according to Marx’s theory, we arrive at this narrative:

At the beginning of the Great Depression the owners of businesses would have been  experiencing some definite fall in the profitability of their operations. They would have then began implementing the previously mentioned four options to deal with it: (1) Slowing the rate of new investment in plants and machinery; (2) closing existing plants, etc.; (3) reducing wages of their work force; and (4) aggressively seeking new markets for their products.

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Note from Tom Walker: The jobs are not coming back

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Tom Walker gives his short take n the jobs crisis:

… [T]he jobs aren’t coming back. At least they’re not coming back in the form they were previously. The raison d’etre of capital is to lower labor costs by using improved technology and embedded labor (capital) to reduce the current and total expenditure of labor time. It is, of course, possible to create “positions” and call them jobs. It is possible to divide up any given amount of work (whether or not that amount is “fixed”) into fewer or more jobs. And it is possible to generate an endless array of “new wants”.

One consideration must be borne in mind, however. Each of the three possibilities mentioned above is predicated on EITHER a huge shift of claims on future income streams away from returns to capital or a huge enlargement and perpetuation of debt that must, in principle (as well as in “principal”!), ultimately be unredeemable. Of course if the debt becomes explicitly “never-to-be-repaid”, what’s the advantage (in terms of jobs created) in maintaining the fiction of debt? More loan officers and tax collectors, I suppose. Overgrowth of the soulless bureaucracy.

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