In January 2012, eleven UC Davis students and one professor staged a sit-in at the campus branch of US Bank. This particular branch shut its doors on February 28th. It was not until April that charges were brought against the Davis Dozen. According to the Dozen’s press release: “the charges against them serve to position the university favorably in a potential litigation with US Bank.”
How are we to take the retroactive criminalization of the Davis Dozen seriously? How are we to take the obstruction of movement in public space seriously when it no longer exists? UC Davis fully reveals this as it defends a now scorched space in the name of its breached, co-dependent relationship with a private bank, who only sees students as new customers in the university’s host body.
The Davis Dozen now face criminal charges of up to 11 years each in prison and $1 million in damages. THE UNIVERSITY IS FUKT (Financialized-University-Komplex-Technocrats)
FUKT has fully invested in the indentured risk society that it reproduces. FUKT’s efforts to criminalize dissent in the interest of hedging its own institutional liability is shameless. The action against its own students and faculty unabashedly unveils the educational institution as a confluent space for socializing governance and economic neo-liberalism. Who needs schools to learn this?
On May 10th the Davis Dozen pled NOT GUILTY.
…NOT GUILTY of the egregious and exaggerated charges levied against them in court by District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig – a despicable toiler for the corporate state and its interests – urged by the equally despicable UC Davis administration.
…NOT GUILTY of the “obstruction of movement in public space” – This space clearly no longer exists. The ground on which the Davis Dozen gathered is nothing more than a space of increasing privatization underwritten by a factitious figment of “the public.” What is the condition through which something like “a public” should be seen to come together as a unitary entity? We say a group that consciously decides to clear a space, to sit down together,creates something public more than any bank queue.
…NOT GUILTY of “conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor” – The act committed unfortunately fit a script prepared by the University of California President, Mark Yudof in his recent ‘travel advisory,’ which not only criminalized dissent in advance of any act of non-compliance, but managed to criminalize mere proximity to dissent. This advisory should be paid particular attention to, since it generated a context of guilt in advance of any action. It was a declaration of self-arrogated power to pre-emptively indict whoever: ‘Conspiracy is Fucking Everywhere!’
But the Davis Dozen are also NOT GUILTY in a deeper, more profound sense related to the imperative for disobedience and non-compliance with the normal functioning of a system of social relations based, precisely, on guilt and debt – words with deep etymological ties. The utterance ‘not guilty’ must be extrapolated from a merely juridical speech act to become an emblem of opposition to guilt and debt as the logic of capitalist social relations. ‘Not guilty’ must be seen to apply to anyone who struggles against the privatization of all forms of sociality, finance’s globalization of risk, and the displacement and foreclosure of huge swaths of the population. It must be seen to apply as much to the militants who sit down in the corporate atriums of banks that happily drive the population into debt slavery, as to anyone who feels a pang of nausea when coming home to find a credit card, student loan, mortgage or hospital bill in the mail. ‘Not guilty’ is not the sign of the beautiful soul, but a sturdy middle finger to the false prospect that one can finally absolve oneself of debt under the capitalist system.
We, who have no other name than the inculpable, the debtors who refuse to pay because we are not guilty, stand in solidarity with the Davis Dozen in the struggle against the theological narrative that Capitalism has taken-up to its own religious ends. The cultic psychosis of capitalism as the one and only true religion spreads through blind self-contradiction, without any horizon other than the infinitely deferred bottom line, and those who make the slightest trespass will be made an example of, as is happening currently to the Davis Dozen.
The bankers, their courts and their police enforce and preserve a nexus of debt that hangs together in the very misery of the social relations that they service and reproduce. The withering of the corporate state has led only to the full empowerment of increasingly personalized forms of government and control, of social domination based on identification with other parties whose very medium of existence is debt - as evidenced by the empty and stupid network of interrelated gadgets and readymade identity templates that constitute the totally administered and privatized definition of ‘society’. The corporate financialized system is guilt. It is guilty. It is guilty of the guilt that serves as its internal logic.
The origination of unending debt-slavery and industrial-professional individuation is one thing – but with this embarrassing slip of the Real, the collapse of the Ivory Tower reveals the heretofore hidden path for its students – a straight matriculation into an inescapable prison. Who are the new wardens?
FUKT may force branded debit-identification cards onto us, but with each purchase-verification we feel the true subtraction of our existence. How long can the intellect of the academic body be rendered as a docile resource for technological and financial extraction? The life force you seek is no longer.
The brutality of the situation is fully transparent: A silent, juridical execution of the not guilty. Pepper spray can be tasted, but this most recent assault slowly seeps through the campus like a gas to kill us in our sleep.
Friends of Octopus