This is a letter to the faculty and students of City College of San Francisco who are counseling compromise on a resolution that is being brought before the supervisors of San Francisco. It is a non-binding resolution and instead of asking for the “immediate” firing of the Special Trustee who dissolved the elected Board of Trustee of City College and started the rape and pillaging of the College they are asking the supervisors to pass a resolution the wording of which would allow the Special Trustee to essentially “run out the clock” on his contract which ends in July and on which he is already planning to leave.
It is undeniable that every single time one compromises on this attempt to destroy the Community in City College, a another slice out of our Commons is sacrificed.
4% decrease in salary now, 8% tomorrow. Pensions and healthcare?
Proposition A funds going to where the People ordained they go-DENIED. Right there the Will of the People was stomped on by the power of the Few and the Greedy. One has to ask the question, “Is this the United States of America we were taught about in our schools growing up?” Ever since at least Reagan’s handlers took over in 1980, after orchestrating the October Surprise, there has been an incremental chiseling away at that which the People together own, the Commons.
There comes a point beyond which compromise is acquiescence and suicidal. There comes a point where a line must be drawn in the sand or the 1% with the help of their police forces will sweep you up as so much garbage in the way of their paths to more profiteering.
It’s inevitable that a line must be drawn and only those who will be affected, which quite frankly is all of us, must draw it.
Of course one speech does not define a person’s complete stand on an issue. But some credence must be given that the Beyond Vietnam speech of MLK came at a time in his life, after much growth, self-reflection, and “on the ground” political experience that was the culmination of a lifetime of struggle and in that speech he drew a line for which he paid dearly. But he drew it, knowing the probable outcome. Even his closest allies abandoned him at his hour of greatest adherence to principle.
So at that point in his life, a year before his death, MLK delivered a speech he had been strongly counseled against by those who surrounded him and, much like what I’m reading today and started last night, had background history to it to it and all the appropriate things people say in suggesting compromise.
But he went ahead with it anyway, two years after he had written it. Imagine the struggle of those two years within his soul, the need to take his message to a deeper place in the American pysche…and for him to do it.
Every rationalization was stacked up against him just as every rationalization paralyzes the opposition to Agrella the Hun’s continuing rape and pillage of the People’s Commons when they compromise.
I’ve said this before that in 1968 through the uncompromising revolt of students and faculty together against S.I. Hayakawa, president of SF State at the time, the Black Studies Department (or whatever is the politically correct terminology these days) was born. Gender Studies, Labor Studies, Latin American Studies Departments, etc. ensued.
And I participated in that struggle and was welcomed by all those united by a common purpose. Strange irony to see how a community member today is marginalized by the very same individuals now part of those departments at City College by whose energies in 1968 their jobs exist today.
No one would accept it if a street mugger came up to him or her and said, “Gimme your money.” No one would say, “How about if I give 50% of what’s in my wallet. Don’t you think that’s a good compromise?”
Stealing is stealing and compromising on stealing is weakness. Stealing from the Commons is stealing by any definition. Compromising on what belongs to the People is no different.
I look at it this way. If we all put blinders over our eyes and think our little sliver of a struggle is the only one out there or that matters, then compromise a little here, a little there shrinks in importance.
But what if one steps back and looks at this country’s devolvement into plutocratic fascism exemplified by the citizens united supreme court decision, the dynamic changes dramatically. Because now City College’s fight is in on a much larger battlefield with many more combatants.
What if one questions why the banks got bailed out in 2008 and yet the People who had homes lost them due to the banksters’ manipulations of mortgage default swaps.
What if the Few and the Greedy are leasing fracking sites on our Public Lands and Parks (the Commons) and in the process poisoning our water by dumping 500 chemicals into the bowels of the earth to extract that gas, and that poisonous concoction seeps into our drinking and agricultural water causing the tails of cattle in Montana to fall off and sickening anyone who resides in the area. We’ve all seen the video of the man with a match lighting his kitchen faucet’s water on fire.
They want to build a pipeline for the TransCanada Corporation, the KXL Pipeline, that crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, an aquifer that stretches across South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. And that aquifer is only a few feet under the ground, not hundreds, not thousands. The Midwest’ breadbasket of thousands of miles of “fruited plains” and “waves of grain”_and a population dependent upon its drinking water.
Should we compromise for the purpose of exploiting the energy source under our feet and jeopardize and pay the environmental consequences detrimental to our health and the sustainability of our planet?
The privatization of education isn’t just happening at CCSF. It’s nationwide. We’ve one sliver in a large gaping festering hole in our National Commons. We have broad company.
The point is this, and I only mentioned a few examples, there is not only a national usurpation of our Commons and our Rights happening, there are international and planetary assaults on our water, air, and earth_basically for the same reasons Agrella and Tyler arrived to destroy the mother ship of community colleges in California. Profit at any costs.
I realize this is only a resolution, non-binding at that, but if you’re not going to push at this infinitely inconsequential level, what hope is there to do so when things “begin” to get life threatening or there is a breakdown of social cohesion, a dystopia. I say “begin” because with what I’ve just mentioned and more, when the economic depressions of Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina reach our shores and/or the continual wars we’re locked into or the pending ones we’re creating in places like the Ukraine and the Crimea, do you really think there won’t be repercussions and they won’t affect all of us and City College.
Do you think the Arab, Afghani, and Iranian worlds aren’t a little justified in being pissed at us, and do you not think that every day more and more terrorists from those countries are eyeing us for revenge? We and Israel are the two greatest purveyors of terrorism in this world. It’s unconscionably delusional to think otherwise.
Look at the short sighted picture, compromise, and throw the devil to the wind.
Look at the larger picture, confront the glaring patterns of annihilation upon us, and show some responsible but tough judgement in not compromising.
Or just deny and pretend everything you know is bad will be taken care of if we just trust our government and president unchallengingly.
I wouldn’t choose the last option. It was President Obama who sent General Tyler to “take care” of things and at Arne Duncan’s behest. And that’s not so far from being poetic license in saying so.
Occupy Bob comments: firstname.lastname@example.org