Thursday, November 19, 2009

The following appeal is from the United Students Against Sweatshops. Earlier today, after the Board of Regents of the U. of C. failed to listen to the demands below various acts of resistance began on campus. The situation at this hour is unclear.
University of California Crisis Fest:
As budget cuts devastate many of our campuses, the state of California is facing one of the worst budgetary crises in the nation. The UC Regents are meeting now and have already made an initial vote in favor of an unprecedented 32% fee increase for students and they continue to carry out devastating cuts and reductions to campus workers and faculty. Hundreds of students, workers, and faculty have been protesting for the past 24 hours to demand the UC Regents prioritize the needs of the larger community and have come up with an alternate budget that would save the UC system millions of dollars. Over a dozen students have already been arrested in these protests. As we continue to organize locally to demand that our schools prioritize the needs of the campus community and broader public over the needs of a privileged few, tell the UC Regents to stop attacking public education and working people!
Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): UC Regents 2009
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to the University of California Board of Regents.
Below is the sample letter:
Subject: In Defense of Public Education
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
We write in support of University of California system workers, students, and faculty that are currently protesting the proposed fee increase for students and the cuts and reductions that have already been made to the workforce and faculty.

We urge you to follow recommendations provided to you by unions for alternate budget decisions that would save hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings. It is reprehensible that students have been arrested for standing up for these basic values. The UC Regents have a responsibility to make decisions for the interest and needs of the larger public in the University of California system. We support the following demands:
1. Lower Student Fees.
2. Stop the Privatization of Public Schools.
3. Defend the Right to Quality Higher Education.
Prioritize funding to public education.
a) Provide budget transparency, provide transparency in the decision making process, allow for an independent audit of the UC budget, and implement progressive budget solutions.
b) Maintain our resources, including weekend library access.
c) Maintain comprehensive, critical, and culturally representative educational excellence.
d) Stop cuts to Humanities, Social Sciences and Ethnic Studies.
e) Cut funding for war. No military recruitment on our campuses
.f) Tax the rich and prioritize funding in the public interest.
4. Stop the Resegregation of Public Education. Ensure access and diversity in higher education.
a) Increase underrepresented minority student enrollment.
b) Provide full scholarships for AB540 Students.
c) No ICE/UCPD collaboration on our campuses.
d) Expand the Blue and Gold Opportunity Program to ensure access for low-income students.
e) Allocate funds for recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students.
5. Respect Workers' Rights and Contracts
a) Reverse the layoffs, protect vital services, and stop pay cuts for the lowest paid workers.
b) Stop the union busting and bargain in good faith.
c) No furloughs for workers who make $40,000 or less.
d) No ICE/UCPD collaboration on UC campuses.

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