Second day of hunger strike wraps up

Allies gather with the hunger strikers for an open mic

Tonight marked the end of day two of the hunger strike by a coalition of students representing Ethnic Studies, African American Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies.  In the mid-afternoon, 3 strikers and 2 of their allies went into negotiations with Vice Chancellor Harry Le Grande but refused to reach an agreement since Le Grande would only agree to the final two demands:

  • Publicly support the Legislative Resolution ACR 34, co-authored by Assemblymembers Ricardo Lara and Luis A. Alejo in support of Ethnic Studies in California
  • Publicly acknowledge the unfulfilled promise of the creation of a Third World College at UC Berkeley

The team was told that the firing of staff from their departments was a done deal, but they held out, insisting that they wouldn’t stop striking until the first demand was met:

  • Reinstate the FTE staff positions in Ethnic Studies cut by organizational simplification under Operational Excellence

The final demand then appears to be negotiable:

  • End the current process of Operational Excellence

The negotiations came on the heels of a 3 pm rally of between 60 and 100 supporters.  Another gathering was organized for 10 pm tonight, when dozens attended an open mic night (see picture above).  With a critical mass, those who wish to stay in front of California Hall are safer against UCPD incursions.  Last night the cops came and kicked everyone out by midnight.  We suspect something similar will happen again tonight.

Come out to California Hall at UCB tomorrow and support the hunger strike!  Defend Ethnic Studies!


2 responses to “Second day of hunger strike wraps up

  1. Pingback: Berkeley Ethnic Studies Hunger Strike Enters Third Day « Student Activism

  2. We believe the best course of action for University of California Berkeley is to hire a new Chancellor. (The author who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)

    Cal. Chancellor’s gross over spending, inept decisions: recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians; spends $7,000,000 for consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; NCAA places basketball program on probation.

    Chancellor Birgeneau’s ($500,000 salary) fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, & the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies & then crafting a plan to fix them. Able oversight by the UC Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on inefficiencies and on what steps he was taking to solve them during his 8 year reign. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the timid regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, & the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.

    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste & inefficiencies during his 8 year reign. Faculty & staff raised issues with Birgeneau & Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($7,000,000) consultants to tell him & the Provost what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged people. (Prominent east-coast University accomplishing same at 0 costs)

    Cal. and Californians have been badly damaged by Chancellor Birgeneau. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired. But you never want a crisis to go to waste.

    Increasing Cal’s budget is not enough; we believe the best course of action for University of California is to honorably retire Cal Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary)

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