Statement of Solidarity from the Board of the Free Speech Movement Archives

November 24, 2014

The Board of the Free Speech Movement Archives is in solidarity with
UC state-wide protests against increased tuition fees.  In raising
tuition, the Regents are in direct violation of the Master Plan for
Higher Education, the Donahoe Act, signed into law by Governor “Pat”
Brown on April 27, 1960.

This standing law guarantees that tuition at the UC campuses will
never be charged, in order to make higher education in the state
accessible to all people.  Whether the discriminatory charges are
called tuition or fees, they violate the guiding principle of the law:
that higher education ought to be available to all eligible California
high school graduates regardless of their economic means.

We also call on the Governor and the State Legislature to live up to
their responsibilities, as required by the CA Education Code, “to
ensure that resources are provided” to permit all eligible students
wishing to attend the University of California to do so, without
demanding reductions in the quality of the UC education offered to


The Board of Directors of the Free Speech Movement Archives

Lee Felsenstein, Gar Smith, Anita Medal, Bettina Aptheker, Susan
Druding, Barbara Garson, Jackie Goldberg, Lynne Hollander Savio, Jack
Radey, Barbara Stack, Robert Cohen

Phone Campaign: Join us in putting pressure on the State and the Regents!


in solidarity for affordable and accessible higher education

On Thursday, the UC Board of Regents voted to increase tuition by 5% each year over the next five years in response to the lack of state funding.

In 2008, tuition was $7,126 per year for in-state students, by 2014 it rose to $12,192, and by 2020 it is set to reach $15,560.

Public education is under attack. We can save it.

Please join us in calling President Janet Napolitano and Governor Jerry Brown in support of public education and against tuition hikes:

Governor Brown: (916) 445-2841

President Napolitano: (510) 987-9200

You can also join us at the Wheeler Commons to discuss the future of our university.

General Assembly meeting at 8PM, Wheeler Hall

A Statement Regarding the Movement

Phone: (510) 556-4402


Berkeley, Calif. November 23, 2014 –

We, The Open UC, are a movement. After the 28% tuition hikes passed, we created the Wheeler Commons, but the context for our movement has existed long before this. We are demanding no tuition hikes, more transparency of the UC budget for students, and the dropping of charges against UC Berkeley student Jeff Noven, arrested at the UCSF Regents Meeting protest. However, the ideology of our movement goes much deeper. We are asking for the state to reinvest in schools and are ultimately standing for an accessible system of public education here in the U.S. and worldwide.

People everywhere are and always have been oppressed. Education is the best way to free people from the manipulative and exploitative practices of oppressors. Knowledge is power. But education is an institution, and often during our time in college we are forced to follow certain rules and abide by certain agendas in order to get our degree, which in today’s world has become a large receipt and a prerequisite for success. With higher tuition, students will have to face more debt coming out of school, an extremely oppressive burden.

Education is a universal human right. These tuition hikes, as well as concerted efforts by the UC’s to privatize their schools, have attempted to transform education from a right into a privilege. That is what is at stake here. Financial burden from public education, which should be free, is perpetually placed on students instead of the state. This must end.

We love our school, but we need it to be affordable. It is our hope that someday everyone in the world will have the opportunity to attend a school like Cal without having to make enormous sacrifices. But this is a long-term goal. Right now, we have a tangible and important issue of education here in California.

The UC system employs some of the greatest minds, produces some of the best students, and has been the foundation for the flourishing of the state. Reinvestment in the University of California is the greatest investment for the future of the state. An educated public is paramount to a successful and effective government. A school is not public if it is not accessible. Let’s make our representatives accountable for representing our interests, and re-fund the public university system for the future of California, the U.S., and the world.

We stand in solidarity with students everywhere calling for affordable public education.

Bera “extremely disappointed” with U.C. tuition hike

2014.11.14, Letter to Rep. Napolitano to freeze tuition

Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. released the following statement in response to the University of California (UC) tuition hike that Regents voted on earlier today:

“I’m extremely disappointed that U.C. Regents today voted in favor of an unreasonably high increase in tuition for students for the next five years. These hikes break a promise that was made to students and threaten to jeopardize the affordability of education for middle and low income students at a time when middle class families are already struggling. I attended U.C. schools for undergraduate and medical school because they were affordable and the education I got there has helped me pursue the American Dream. We need to work to bring down the skyrocketing cost of education so that that same dream is available to this and future generations, and I will continue to fight to do that.”

Earlier this month, Bera led the California delegation in urging U.C. President Janet Napolitano to maintain a tuition freeze (link to letter). Bera is a co-chair of the California Public Higher Education Caucus.

Source: Webpage of Congressman Ami Bera

UC-Wide Walkout Against the Fee-Hikes and for Accessible Public Education

The general assembly in Wheeler hall has called for a day of action on Monday to continue our struggle for accessible public education.

We will have:

Morning teach-outs ~ come join discussions on a variety of topics

11:30: Academic Workers’ Rally for Public Education:

12pm: Rally at Sather Gate in solidarity with statewide movements for public education

March through campus, then to downtown, passing big banks, BCC, and BHS

March returns to campus for a General Assembly to decide on a major action for Tuesday morning


Throughout the day, there will be Open University teach-outs on issues that cross student, worker, and community issues. Please message us if you would like to speak.

Films From The Frontlines: Screening and discussion with the Global Uprisings media collective

November 23 @ 7:30 PM
Wheeler Commons aka Occupied Wheeler Hall,
University of California, Berkeley

Join the Global Uprisings media for a special screening of their films covering international social movements!

Global Uprisings is an independent news site and video series dedicated to showing responses to the economic crisis and authoritarianism. Since 2011, filmmaker Brandon Jourdan and researcher Marianne Maeckelbergh have produced 24 online viral documentary films about the uprisings, rebellions, revolts, and revolutions that have spread around the world. All of their films are completely free online at

Their short films detail social movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US. Their films cover strikes and demonstrations in the UK, the large-scale housing occupations and street mobilizations in Spain, the various general strikes, protests, and factory occupations in Greece, the revolution in Egypt, the Gezi Park uprising in Turkey, the 2014 social explosion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the revolt against austerity in Portugal, and the occupy movement in the United States.

The Global Uprisings series has received hundreds of thousands of online views, been translated into multiple languages, screened at various international film festivals, theaters, galleries, and other venues around the world, used in university and high school classrooms, screened on Democracy Now!, and on the US TV station Free Speech TV.

Global Uprisings Creators

Brandon Jourdan is a journalist and filmmaker who has contributed to Democracy Now!, the NY Times, CNN, Reuters, Deep Dish TV, Independent Media Center, Now with Bill Moyers, Foreign Exchange, and Free Speech TV. With over ten years of experience in documentary filmmaking and journalism, his films have played in film festivals around the world including DocLisboa, Movies That Matter, and the Aljazeera International Film Festival and featured in the 2005 Whitney Biennial, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, the Contemporary Art Meeting Point in Athens, and the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight. Since 2011, he has worked together with Marianne Maeckelbergh, an independent news site and video series dedicated to showing responses to the economic crisis and authoritarianism.

Marianne Maeckelbergh is Assistant Professor in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She is author of The Will of the Many: How the Alterglobalisation Movement is Changing the Face of Democracy (Pluto Press, 2009). She is co-founder, an independent news site and video series dedicated to showing responses to the economic crisis and authoritarianism. She is currently a Marie Curie fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.