This evening, the Fine Arts Auditorium on Indiana University’s campus was seized by around fifty of us- students, graduates, employees, and others fed up with the implementation of austerity, both here in Bloomington and internationally. We’ve opened the space not only for the purpose of having ground from which to scheme and plan actions, but also as an immediate making-common of university property and resources, for students and non-students alike.
In our distrust for the media, we’ve begun production of a massive amount of propaganda, staying up all night carefully crafting and printing statements and analyses. Our skepticism of the media is well founded: the Indiana Daily Student has already passively declared the Occupation a non-event, opting to highlight an empty pizza box and a leaky air mattress over more inspiring moments such as the well-attended mass assembly that lead to the occupation, the excited buzz of conversation in the auditorium, the beautiful chalking and banners now covering the building, and the palpable ripeness of the space.
Here is the first communiqué, released this evening around midnight.
SHIT’S NOT CHILL, and so…
…the fine arts auditorium is occupied, and we need you now.
Schools perpetuate the existent order by preparing people to become obedient consumers and workers. They reproduce inequality by excluding those who cannot afford it or who don’t have the correct legal status (undocumented people) and by emphasizing conformity of thought and behavior. We want to create a space for authentic, empowering education, which we believe can only be done by educating each other (that means everyone) rather than relying on experts to convey information to passive learners.
The fact that we are here occupying this space should also disabuse everyone of the illusion that bodies like the student government or trustees represent our interests. These are merely different levels of gatekeepers to the resources that should justly be at our own disposal at all times, and at all times these managers conspire against us. When we take control of the resources in an auditorium or a building, as we are doing now, we assert that we are not children – we see through their empty democratic rhetoric at the same time as taking it far more seriously than they have ever imagined.
This space is yours when you need it, and the space needs for you to claim it. It needs you to make it yours because communized spaces cannot exist without a strong united front against the imminent repression by those who are interested in keeping us powerless. To be explicit, police have come twice to scope us out, and we need as many people to come NOW* to help us defend this.
You are welcome to join us in this space, but please never limit your resistance to what we present to you. Any action you take to exercise your freedom, to claim anything for the good of yourself or your community, to deny any encroachment on your agency, we are in solidarity with you.
We send our love to: the Latino Youth Collective, Dream IU, and those who’ve continued to struggle against borders and the exclusion of immigrant students from IU. Our comrades who were brutally beaten and those who fought back against police violence in St. Louis during March 2012 occupations there, and to everyone murdered by the cops and their allies, Trayvon Martin first of all. The ones who didn’t join us because they’ve defined their own active struggles against austerity. The underpaid staff of this university (custodians, you rule!)
*The auditorium is located in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, which is the building on your left when you come into the traffic circle at the dead-end of 7th St on campus. The auditorium is the first room on your left when you walk in the front door.