Damilare "Dare" Oladapo is a former IVC student currently in his first semester at Cal. This is his report of the week's activities:
On June 12, 1993, I watched from the safe haven of my house as protesters took to the streets of Lagos defied the military order and demonstrated against the nullification of a free and fair election that should have declared the late MKO Abiola, President of Nigeria. As a child I lacked both a voice and a discerning intellect and all I could do was to share my parents’ catharsis for the protest.
On November 9, 2011, I stripped away the feeling of pity and fear and embraced pride and camaraderie as I protested alongside fellow students, faculty of UC Berkeley and the Berkeley community against the 81% tuition hike and the growing income inequality that plagues this society. We chanted, we raised our voices and fists to the sky and marched our cause to the city and the historic steps of Sproul plaza.
And now as I reflect, I realize that like the protest of June 12, 1993 in Lagos where the poor, the middle-class, tradesmen and women, university students, political factions, and countless others protested against the military government, the Occupy Cal movement included the different facets of the UC Berkeley and Berkeley community (Men, Women, Trans-gender, Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Heterosexuals, Homosexuals, Homed, Homeless). We all assembled with one voice to protest for one cause; we forgot our self-interests; we put ourselves in harm’s way of the weather and the brutality of the police. This indeed is a movement of the people, by the people, and for the people.
|(Robert Hass, UC Berkeley professor, former Poet Laureate of the United States |
and Pulitzer Prize winner, is batoned by UC Berkeley police November 10, 2011)
However, though Occupy Cal may generate emotions and rally individuals together into a community, its goal of change is far from being reached. And as the opponents of the Occupy Movement gaffe at the incredulity and austerity of our General Assemblies, we must realize that a consolidation of our oppositional fronts, which Dean Spade calls “differential consciousness,” is our hope for success.Rebel Girl is proud to report that Dare, too, like Lauren, is an English major. At Cal, they study with Professor Robert Hass.
“Differential Consciousness” is the application of all four forms of oppositional consciousness — Equal rights form, Revolutionary form, Supremacist form, Separatist form — that Chela Sandoval laid out in Methodology of the Oppressed. Presently, each Occupy Movement’s General Assembly has embraced one or two of these forms as the arbiter of its movement’s strategy. However, this is an ineffective approach because an application of either one of these forms would only alienate us from ourselves (the public). And just as the Trans-gender Movement championed by Dean Spade and notable others have utilized the differential consciousness, so also should the Occupy Movement. We need to adapt to the strategies of the enemy we confront; merely, calling out an ethos argument would only demonstrate us as the bitter and irrational sect of society. A simple example of the application of the differential consciousness took place — and am proud to say — at the Berkeley protest where protesters sought an end to the police brutality by identifying the police brutes as members of the “99%” and not separating them as tools or members of the infamous 1% (Equal rights form); whilst others chanted “Shame!” at the police for beating protesters (separatist and supremacist form). Together, we marshaled the police off the steps and occupied the Sproul Plaza till dawn; these are the possible effects of mobilizing our different fronts together.
In conclusion: to truly effect change in the US and around the world, there must be a movement of all; if not, we will derail, like the protest of June 12, 1993, into a mere historical movement that effected no significant change.
(Lauren Winder - Sproul Plaza)