BREAKING NEWS: Protesters Leave Mrak

Cutting the cake becomes a moment of unity
Cutting the cake becomes a moment of unity

The following statement was issued by the protesters:

We, the protestors of the 5th floor of Mrak Hall, are writing to inform the community of our decision to end our five-week sit-in in Chancellor Katehi’s office. This exit from Mrak is not one of defeat, but rather of victory. Through our continual presence in Mrak Hall, we have effectively brought local, national, and international attention to the unethical behaviors of the Katehi administration and become a pivotal voice in the national conversation about privatization and administrative accountability. 

What we have accomplished is brave, righteous, and beautiful, and our exit from Mrak is by no means the end.  As we move into the next phase of our movement, we ask that you join us in demanding critical changes in the structure of UC management and an end to the corporatization higher education. The problem is not only with Linda Katehi and does not only reside at UC Davis. We are calling on students, workers, and faculty across the UC campuses and across the broader United States to speak out against their administrators and institutions that are placing pride and profit over students and workers.

What began as a small march to Linda Katehi’s office on Friday, March 11 has since evolved into a community movement united in pursuit of a fair and transparent administration centered on the needs of students and workers. Along with the reports that expose the incredible spending of tuition money to save public image by erasing the pepper spray incident from the internet, our 36-day sit-in demonstrates the UC prioritization of administrative employment over student voice. We have garnered an enormous amount of support both locally as well as across the nation. Encouraged and emboldened by the efforts of our supporters, we have persevered in the face of slander, threats leveled against us by the administration, constant police surveillance, transphobia, and mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Beyond all odds, we have maintained our hold on Mrak throughout finals week, spring break, and the first three weeks of the Spring Quarter. To the brave students, staff, faculty, and community members who have come forward, we offer our most heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Your courageous actions and unwavering support have energized this movement and helped bring our struggle into the national arena.

 At the end of week five, Fire Katehi has outgrown the sit-in, and it is time to change our tactics in order to accommodate the ever growing magnitude of this movement.  In the coming weeks, we will continue to mobilize and escalate our tactics in ways that incorporate a wider proportion of the community.  By moving the protest beyond the walls of Mrak, we will increase the visibility of our protest and continue to build public pressure towards the democratization of the UC.  As we enter this new stage, we would like to recognize and sincerely apologize for our continual use of the word “occupation” throughout our sit-in.  UC Davis and Mrak Hall sit on land stolen from the Patwin people, and the language we have used to describe our sit-in has perpetuated the invisibilization of this fact.  Our rhetoric has not been centered on decolonization and we must do better if we are to be a truly democratic and intersectional movement.  As we demand accountability from campus administrators, we also demand accountability from ourselves.  Moving forward, we must and can do better. 

The fight to democratize the UC does not end with Katehi’s resignation.  In fact, that is only the beginning.  The road ahead of us is long and hard, but we must persevere.  We know that we are on the right side of history, and together we can build a truly 21st century university. 

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Napoleon Pig IV

    I wonder how long they debated among themselves about including that piece on the Patwin people.

    Not a bad summary statement and declaration of victory by a quite diverse writing committee. Clearly, it’s long past time for Katehi to resign.

  2. Barack Palin

    Statement translation, for the most part there was only a small handful of us involved and we had too many fellow activists that wanted to quit the siege and the rest of the campus could care less so we have decided to end our occupation so we can enjoy the festivities tomorrow.

    Look for us on Picnic Day and please sign our petition at the Decolonization Booth at the Quad.

  3. Biddlin

    I hope everyone has a nice Picnic Day. The kids and the many faculty and staff who have supported their cause, in any and every sense of the word, have seemingly swayed many if not most of the academic community to their side,no?

  4. Tia Will

    It is a cold day in April in Davis when Bob Dunning and I see any controversial issue the same way. However, I would encourage anyone who doubts the reprehensible nature of the attempts to white wash the reputation of Chancellor Katehi to read his column in the Enterprise of this date. He spells out far more eloquently than I ever could just exactly how destructive these actions were.

  5. Misanthrop

    You guys are too much. Funny that outside of the usual suspects here on the Vanguard Katehi’s supporters seemed to have abandoned her since the internet scrub scandal broke, or at least they have been temporarily muted in their defense of the chancellor.

    The protestors have won and leaving Mrak will now hasten Katehi’s departure as UC can show her the door without looking like the students made them do it. Every newspaper in the english language is running the story and many are calling for Katehi’s resignation. She has once again become an embarrassment to the University of California and a liability to the reputation of the campus.

    She will be fine in the long run. I hear DeVry is hiring.

  6. Barack Palin

    Signing off for the day all my fellow V commenters.  I’m heading out to Picnic Day.  Look for me, I’ll be manning the Give UCD Back To The Patwin Tribe booth.  Come by and say hi.

  7. Jerry Waszczuk

    Nice statement of the condemnation by masses which ended  the  siege supported  by the  media and very few lawmakers from the California Assembly .  Obamorica 

  8. Alan Miller

    Perhaps what is not known widely (and should be) about the withdrawl from Mrak Hall is that the protestors  steam cleaned the carpets, cleaned up the entire area, and sprinkled flowers throughout the waiting area before leaving.

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