12/11 – Never Forget!!

It was one year ago this very day that the UC community was terrorized by the most brutal act of barbarity in recent memory.

December 11, 2009 was a day that has gone down in infamy for its unparalleled destruction and incomprehensible chaos. It was on this fateful day that a motley horde of torch-bearing urban guerillas conducted a well-coordinated midnight siege on the opulent residence of UC Berkeley Chancellor Bobby Birgeneau. The violence committed was merciless; the casualties were dear. Among those we lost during the harrowing attack was none other than Bobby Birgeneau’s favorite clay pot.

When the smoke finally cleared the next morning, Governor Schwarzenegger condemned the violent onslaught as an act of terrorism. And Chancellor Birgeneau – not wanting to waste a golden opportunity to slander his students – issued a statement from an underground bunker in which he justly called all those wanting to keep public the world’s most renowned public university “criminals not activists.”

Yet these plutocratic protagonists of the privatization struggle were hardly alone in their unimpetuous and understated responses. Even a wide array of UC Berkeley’s very own armchair-Marxist faculty – finding their liberal sensibilities shaken by this disgusting act of political praxis – bravely came out in solidarity with Chancellor Birgeneau and the inanimate victims of 12/11. In so doing, they and many others valiantly chose to all but forget the relatively minor act of violence done to students earlier that morning (which ostensibly precipitated the terrorist attack on Chancellor Birgeneau’s residence).

One year later, we here at the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP) remain outraged by the inhumane atrocities committed that evening. We are determined not to rest until each and every terrorist who supports public education is wiped off the face of the earth. Moreover, we are committed to honoring the martyrs of 12/11 by refusing to forget the ultimate sacrifice they made in the struggle to dismantle public education. UCMeP urges everyone to take time today to remember the heroes we lost on 12/11 and to never forget the heinous crimes that are committed on a daily basis in the name of public education.



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3 responses to “12/11 – Never Forget!!

  1. perhaps Bobby B finds y’all tiresome and unsophisticated
    “Birgeneau says that the University of Toronto, which he headed before coming to UC Berkeley, was a far more cosmopolitan place with many foreign students. ”
    btw, that rootball says that plant desperately needed to be transplanted …

  2. During Chancellor Birgeneau reign the signs of University of California Berkeley’s relative decline are clear. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC Berkeley the second leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place. Source Forbes.
    University of California Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and 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 in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Competent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and 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 and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.
    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC president, Board of Regents, and California legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, Academic Senate, Cal. Alumni, financial donors, benefactors await the transformation. The senior management operates author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way senior management work.

  3. Pingback: Just chill ya’ll! | UC Movement for Efficient Privatization (UCMeP)

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