We present here a short documentary about one of the student-worker occupations in California, at the University of California campus at Berkeley.
Some of us who participated in university occupations earlier in 2009, particularly over the summer at SOAS, will easily see the contrast between the attitude of student militants in this film, and members of the SWP who were an organised force in occupations in Britain. In this film, occupiers stick unrelentingly to their demands, including those in solidarity with sacked workers. They are not afraid to make police break down the doors as the price for the university’s unwillingness to meet those demands. They understand that the power of the movement is not in a careful retreat at every stage (and there are always avenues and opportunities for careful retreats for those who want to find them). Rather, the power of the movement is in its dedication to solidarity, its militancy, in the “ever expanding union” to which it gives birth. The solidarity with workers shown by the UC Berkeley occupiers puts the SOAS occupation in the shade.
In the future we must raise the slogan, better to be dragged out for something you believe in, than walk out willingly for something you do not!
(brief commentary by Joe Thorne)