Burnt Bookmobile

UW-Milwaukee Theatre Building Indefinitely Occupied

We’re writing from inside UWM’s Peck Theatre building which is currently being indefinitely and openly occupied by between 50 and 100 people. The occupation is happening after over a thousand students, TAs and faculty members walked-out of the University of Milwaukee. Those participating in the walk-out and subsequent march held banners reading “School’s out Forever” and “Strike, Occupy, Takeover” among other things. The stated intent of the occupation is to act in solidarity with those occupying the capital building in Madison, those striking and resisting austerity in the Midwest, and with the uprisings throughout the Middle East. People have announced a dance party later tonight. There is food and music and riot porn being projected on the walls. In general the atmosphere is festive and relaxed. A lot of people are socializing or re-decorating the space. Some adorable senior citizens brought us cheesecake as a token of their solidarity with the struggle. The general sentiment among the occupiers is to extend the occupation as long as possible. Word has reached us of an occupation on the UW campus in Beloit. (More info later)

We graciously request from comrades abroad:

-Pizza, Soda, Snacks (to be delivered to the UW-Milwaukee Theatre building)
-Incendiary propaganda relating to crisis, austerity and occupation
-Sweet Dance Mixes
-More occupations, strikes, walk-outs and sick-outs
-Love letters
-And anything else you have access to in abundance.

Fuck Scott Walker them all.

Packages can be addressed to:

732 e. Clarke Street
Milwaukee, WI

Plus a few people went wild and made this list of demands. Both “nothing” and “everything” are demanded.


UWM TA sick out: reports of spreading sickness

We’ve heard, from numerous sources and from talking to TAs at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, that a large and indefinite “sick out” is taking place among the teaching assistants. Exact numbers are unknown, but appears to be many. As state employees and students they are doubly effected by the new austerity measures proposed in the looming legislation at the Capitol. People who aren’t TAs or involved with teaching on campus are mostly hearing about this through rumors. Apparently there’s of a constant stream of emails in the email lists shared by the TAs, saying things like “It looks like I’m coming down with something. I’m not going to be able to teach my class. Can someone cover it?” To which others reply with “oh no, it looks as if I’m also coming down with something as well.” And this goes on and on. We can only hope that it continues, strengthening the resolve of others who are on the verge of their own collective sick outs, strikes or occupations.

brief reflections on the walk-out, demonstration and occupation at UWM on February 17th

Much of what we know about the events today is either experienced by us or is hearsay.

Today we witnessed the largest walkout and demonstration at UWM since at least the height of the anti-Iraq war era and if not more than that then since the Vietnam war spilled over into Cambodia, spreading a wave of occupations and rage filled demonstrations across the US. Throughout the demonstration thousands of people came with hand made signs, stayed to hang out, or passed through, but the mass of people that seemed to slightly exceed the protest ritual of the past in Spaights Plaza, that has been so easy to ignore, became a sight of interest in itself. Much of what was being said on a stage could not be heard over the crowd’s noise. People found friends or talked to strangers, gawking at the crowd and sometimes feeling power – this curious sensation that with this many people we could do pretty much anything we want. And when this passes, we also sense the frustration of squandering this moment.

The space of Spaights Plaza seems to contain within it a memory and ritual that informs the repetition of a specific form of political activity, which produces different quantities of the same. Organizers stand on a stage and talk at people. People who are close listen or sometimes chant along. Some hold signs. All the while the activity maintains a strict division between different levels of a hierarchy of organizers and organized participants. This goes on until it loses steam and people go back to work, class or home. One should ask, what is the function of the reproduction of this continual defeat? We ask this, not to merely cut down our political adversaries, but to ask how it can become more.

According to friends, many teachers were giving lectures or short speeches about the cuts and new proposed legislation, then told their students they were walking out and that they should follow. Across Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and other places today and yesterday thousands of teachers have called in sick in public schools. Combined with seemingly spontaneous walkouts by students many schools and some districts have been completely shut down. It’s unclear what is happening with other state employees on the campus other than our individual experiences and conversations with a few people. Some janitors of the dorms were apparently planning on taking part in the walk out and were threatened with immediate termination. After this they asked why a security camera has been put in their break room, to which their managers responded “you don’t have a break room.” There were rumors and passing remarks of workers throughout the city who wanted to walk out or call in, but were threatened and frightened into isolation.

As we were walking home a friend called us and told us Bolton 150, a large lecture hall, had been occupied. Exactly what was going on was unclear. We turned back around and headed toward campus. On our way, we hear a march of students that looked too young to be students attending the University. They were a group of a couple hundred Rufus King high school students who had walked out and had been walking for miles chanting. We ran across the street and informed them that an occupation had just started on campus, that they should come join it, and we were astounded by the joy and lack of deliberation that responded to our suggestion. They entered the Bolton Hall still shouting and were met with cheering and applause. This went on for a bit, then a discussion resumed, among people who had already been present, about capitalism and its connection to eduction. Appeals were made to shut down the Campus, but the discourse prevailed. The occupation had a planned deadline for 5pm, though it wasn’t clear why or how this was being decided. Some people had planned to join the thousands maintaining the occupation of the Capitol building in Madison and perhaps spreading it further in Milwaukee seemed less important in this moment.

Pictures of the Walkout Demonstration and Short Occupation of Bolton 150 at UWM

concerning “the start of the american insurrection” in Wisconsin

Things are moving fast in Wisconsin amidst what Glenn Beck is calling the start of the American Insurrection… We can certainly hope, but we admit we have been caught quiet off guard by these events. In an effort to facilitate the coming into reality of this insurrection we will be writing analysis and reports about these events and posting information as much as we can.

Audio from Glenn Beck’s show

16 arrested in confrontation with police at UWM

According to Fox6news:

“WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee and UW-Milwaukee police arrested 16 students Thursday afternoon during a protest over tuition hikes at the UWM campus. It was to be part of a national day of action for tuition rights.

Some 150 students taking part in the rally marched to the office of UWM’s chancellor. When they charged the officer, officials say the rally got out of hand.

Students threw snowballs at UWM police. The UWM police returned with pepper spray.”

Note the police getting hit with snowballs in the video.

More video:

Technologies of Resistance (presentation)

From the event description:

“Technologies of Resistance, a lecture and discussion on the ways social networking technology is being used by social uprisings and the surveillance opportunities such technology provides for the state.”

The event should be taking as an example the social uprising in Greece last December.

(look closely at the icons on the phone)