Every night hundreds of students gathered and danced in the space outside of the occupied Humanities 2 building. In the past it was been called Electro-communism, Riot-pop or ResisDance. Some people raise the criticism that this dancing is apolitical. They say that the students are only there to party and do not care about austerity and fee hikes. However, our collective voice that cries out above the music “fuck the regents,” begs to differ
The distinction between politics and everyday life, in this case dancing and partying, is a false one. It is a distinction that says the politics are something that is only done by serious people in serious places. This sentiment is elitist, and should be opposed as being in keeping with the interests of the capitalist state. We know that everyday life is already political, and we echo the Women’s Liberation movement in declaring: “the personal is political.” To win we must grasp and liberate the politics of everyday life from capital and the state.
The capitalist state relentlessly attempts to commodify and limit all things, including joy. People who want to dance and party must go to state permitted and sanctioned places, such as bars or clubs, and almost always pay to be able to enjoy themselves. If they reject this imposition they face the violence of the state in the form citation, arrest, and assault.
To wit, normally, when students play loud music and dance in a non-permitted area they are dispersed and issued citations by the police and administration of the university. However, these are not normal times. Janet Napolitano and the UC Regents repeatedly raise the cry of crisis in order to justify cuts to education, tuition hikes, and mistreatment of workers. They use the crisis in order to threaten and atomize students and further degrade and destroy their university.
In the fall, students reacted by attempting seize at least part of the university towards the creation of a free university. The occupation and anti-austerity movement politicized the space that we danced in. The police and administration knew that they could not so easily break up a mass dance-action. And, while the occupation and movement protected and politicized the dance, the dance literally protected the occupation. It is not so easy for the police to evict an occupation defended by a mass of hundreds of angry, but blissful, dancers.
In part, and sometimes unconsciously, by dancing, dancers protest the imposition of laws and regulations, which limit their freedom to assemble wherever and whenever they want. We are not waiting for someone to grant or affirm some sort of legalistic right of free assembly; instead we will seize it and create it ourselves. Make no mistake, our dance party is a form of direct action. It is our university. We live and work here. If we want to dance, why should we not be able to?