UC Rebel Radio presents a mock funeral for education this afternoon at UC Irvine.
Faculty, staff and students wearing black are expected to participate in a 1 p.m. gathering at the flagpole, where speakers will eulogize young people's future before departing for a procession around the campus.
"The desire for the free and equitable cultivation of thought which spurred the creation of the University of California has been smothered, due in part to privatization and the increasing lack of availability of an excellent UC education," states a letter from a group of participating groups.
May 4 was chosen as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Kent State massacre, where four unarmed students were killed and nine injured by Ohio National Guardsmen called in to quell a protest over the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. It is also 10 days away from the 40th anniversary of the incident at Jackson State College, where two student protesters were killed and 12 injured by city and state police.
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"As we mourn the deaths of these students and the dimming of the future of education we will protest in kind," states the UCI letter. "We will let our voices ring in the halls of our campus, and to the question 'whose university?' we will answer 'our university!'"
Organizers cite the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, which stated:
. . . this notion [raising tuition] is, of course, an incomprehensible repudiation of the whole philosophy of a successful democracy premised upon an educated citizenry. It negates the whole concept of wide-spread educational opportunity made possible by the state university idea. It conceives college training as a personal investment for profit instead of a social investment (p 173).
"In the spirit of the Master Plan, therefore, and in accordance with our beliefs we will mourn the future of public education on May 4," states the letter, which is signed by "The concerned students, faculty and workers of UC Irvine."