UCSB Disorientation Guide 2019

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UCSB Disorientation Guide 2019

Date

2019

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Santa Barbara, California

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Table of Contents 
 

Weather Forecast for the Rest of Your Future
Student Organizations 
A Quick Guide to UCSB Labor Unions and the Labor Struggle
The Multicultural Center
Pan Asian Network
El Congreso​ de UC Santa Barbara
MUJER
Clementine Creatives
Environmental Justice Alliance
Students for Justice in Palestine 
Community Organizations 
The Santa Barbara ​Anti-War Collective
Black Lives Matter SB
Bonfire Coffee & Books
The Santa Barbara Democratic Socialists of America
Ethnic Studies Now! S​B
Standing Up for Racial Justice​ SB
Liberation S​anta Barbara
Food Not Lawns
Food Not Bombs - Isla Vista
Our Histories 
A Short Introduction to Chumash History
History of Some Rad Departments and Student of Color Organizing​!
Who Burned the Bank?
The History No Other Pamphlet Will Tell You
Mutual Aid 
A Consolidated History of the Isla Vista Food Co-op
IV Community ​Free B​ox!
The Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperatives
Food Banks
El Centro UCSB
El Centro SB
The Book Scam
The Santa Barbara Student Activist Network





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WEATHER FORECAST FOR 
THE REST OF YOUR 
FUTURE 
It has been over 12 years since the global financial system nearly collapsed, and still 
nothing has changed. The same system and policies that caused the worst economic crisis 
since the great depression are still in effect today. Hillary Clinton said that everything was fine 
and that “America is already great,” and even now her supporters and those without vision 
still seek some way to remove our current president. They believe that, somehow, the system 
that failed the first time with its checks and balances will miraculously save us and just give 
us business as usual. The fact remains, however, that “business as usual” for them means a 
life of monotony and servitude for us. 
 
And what of Donald Trump? During these 4 years of Donald Trump's presidency, we 
have meanered back and forth across the world. We came close to starting war with different 
nations multiple times. Even now, we are at risk of attacking China and invading Iran. Beyond 
this, our lives have improved little. For all the talk of draining the swamp and “making 
America great again” the swamp is still there, and honestly everything is still shit. Have any of 
our lives improved? Do workers receive better payment? Have people been climbing out of 
poverty more easily? Have the jobs come home? No. Instead, we are now closer to another 
even worse economic crash that will surely wipe out all of our livelihoods.  
 
And this doesn’t even begin to mention the amount of hate there is in this country! 
Outright Nazis march through the streets. White supremacist mass shooters are killing us at 
school and at Walmart. There are constant raids by ICE on families, thousands of whom are 
imprisoned in appalling conditions. On the border right now, children go hungry and freeze, 
slowly dying as a result of the system we have been complacent in. 
 
I know what you're saying: “What the fuck?! I just got to college: what is this bullshit?!”  
The inescapable fact is that we all have to do something, and we have to do something now. 
 
LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of colour are getting attacked on a daily basis. 
Millions of people go hungry or thirsty when there is an abundance of resources around them. 
We are all dehumanized and exploited in the workplace, where we have no real rights against 
the boss. Indigenous people all across the world, from Brazil to Ottawa, are being killed; 
closer to home, at Standing Rock, Indigenous comrades are being attacked and murdered for 
peacefully protesting.  
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Beyond all of this, our world is getting hotter every year. Scientists estimate that we 
have less than a decade to restructure our entire economy before the problem spins out of 
control. Yet our governments do nothing. Those rich industrialists, those visionary inventors, 
care little for solving the problem. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, states openly that 
the world is doomed and, rather than try to save it, he is going to invest his money on getting 
him and his rich friends to Mars. 
 
“But I'm just a university student! What's all this got to do with me?” 
 
EVERYTHING 
 
This university is a microcosm for the rest of the world. Our institution continues to 
deny people of color their rights. They continue to step on and marginalize Indgenous people, 
the very people whose land they are on. Our chancellor is directly responsible for the 
construction of buildings on Hawaiian sacred land. Our administrators refuse to listen to 
students, continue to exploit and oppress their workers, especially their student workers, and 
funnel people directly into military engineering professions responsible for killing thousands 
of innocents through drone strikes. 
 
To be here and deny everything, to just bury your head in the sand and go on like nothing is 
wrong, is to be complicit in all of it. ​You can't wash your hands of this. If you see a 
problem, you need to fix it. 
 
If you're afraid of all these issues--of looming authoritarianism, of ecological 
disaster--it's right that you should be. These may seem daunting challenges, and you may feel 
powerless. But you're not powerless. 
 
We are on a terrible timeline, but we can fix it if we work together. 
 
You may feel alone here, but you are not. There are so many friends, comrades, and allies just 
waiting to meet you. 
 
Because a better world is possible. But only if we fight for it. 
The following DisOrientation Guide is one tool in that struggle. It is by no means complete, but it hopes to 
offer some alternative perspectives, some new options, some groups, and some radical histories of UCSB 
that may dis-orient you from the way the University wants you to view it and yourself. Above all, it hopes 
to give you a glimpse of struggles from the past and the struggles of now to show you what is possible for 
the future.

 

 

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A QUICK GUIDE TO UCSB 
Labor Unions
AND​ ​THE LABOR STRUGGLE 
  

 
AFSCME 3299 leading a 3 day strike joined by UPTE-CWA 9119 and students organized under USLAC

by Michael Kile 
 
A new student-labor movement has been building since late 2016. In that time, UCSB has seen 
a shift from zero knowledge about local worker struggles to a multitude of strikes, legislative action, 
and coalition building over the topic of worker struggles and our place in those struggles as students.  
Labor organizing, as opposed to activism in general, takes a special focus on the power people 
have to disrupt the flow of capital by coming together to collectively bargain for rights. Labor 
organizing ended child labor and created the weekend, the eight hour workday, and parental leave. 
Today, a general strike with 2-3% of the population on strike could demand an end to concentration 
camps on the border, swift and real climate action, universal healthcare, and an end to wars. We don’t 
need politicians to make these changes for us; minimally, we need them to know that we have the 
power to shut down the economy in order to make it happen, and at most we need to take those 
efforts and use them to build our own economies based on solidarity and need instead of on profit. 
However, while it is important to think globally, we must first act locally and build 
relationships with our local union members. An organizer always meets people where they are at, 
both physically and ideologically. There are seven unions at UCSB that represent workers statewide, 
but many of those workers are in UC hospitals which produce over $3 billion a year in profit and make 
up a significant portion of the 227,000 UC faculty and staff. So we will focus on the four unions which 
have a significant impact on UCSB consciousness and culture. 
Each union covers a number of job titles organized under different units (service, patient care, 
research, technical, etc.), and while each unit has its own negotiated contract which determines 
wages, benefits and protections, multiple units can share a single union. Most unions are denoted by a 
national union followed by a local number; for example, AFSCME 3299 represents workers across the 
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UC system as discussed below, whereas AFSCME 1733 represents the Memphis sanitation workers 
who went on strike for 2 months in 1968 for the right to unionize. 
 
AFSCME 3299​: The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. A union that 
represents 25,000 service and patient care workers across the UC system, around 500 of whom work at 
UCSB. They have led 4 of the last 5 strikes, beginning with a 3 day strike in May of 2018, and have 
gained national attention in the leadup to the 2020 elections for their efforts. Their demands revolve 
around the right to live and retire with dignity and respect, which is especially important given the 
massive wave of gentrification in areas like Santa Barbara that have forced out over 10,000 Latinx 
people since 2011. They are the only union still continuing the fight against UC outsourcing practices, 
which threaten to permanently replace middle class jobs with low wage, no benefit jobs. 
 
UAW 2865​: United Auto Workers. This union, despite the name, is actually a union of TAs, tutors, and 
readers. They include CLAS tutors but are made up mostly of graduate students, who often take the 
burden of not just grading and office hours but also of teaching classes without the salary to match. 
Similar to many undergraduates, the UC has these student workers trapped under low wages, long 
work hours, and skyrocketing tuition and housing costs. Yet, they continue to fight for both basic 
survival and for better classrooms. Their working conditions are students’ learning conditions, and the 
success of their contracts determine the future for the next generation of graduate students. 
 
UC-AFT 2141​: University Council-American Federation of Teachers. Many universities like ours hire 
lecturers and adjunct professors to teach classes at impressively low wages. They have very few 
protections, unlike professors with faculty status, and are often abused for extra work at the threat of 
being fired for not going above and beyond a full day's work. Many of them work at 2 or 3 colleges to 
get by. UC-AFT also represents the librarians who look after the special research sections of the 
library. They have been fighting for more respectable pay and academic freedom. More recently 
however the University is attempting to completely remove reference librarians and gut the library of 
books. They University Librarian’s attack on UC-AFT is not just an attack on workers: it's an attack on 
our academic development.   
 
Teamsters 2010​: In the UC system, the Teamsters represent clerical workers, who are the ones 
behind the desks at financial Aid, BARC, and other advisory roles. Their union is made up of 80% 
women, and the discriminatory pay that women generally face is reflected in their own pay as well. 
They have one student intern each year, typically a student pursuing a labor studies minor, and the 
combination of Teamsters and AFSCME interns has been instrumental to creating a labor movement 
at UCSB. In particular, 2017 alum and former Teamsters intern Gabriela Romo set the groundwork for 
student-labor organizing and created a student-labor roundtable for union members to discuss future 
plans and collaborate. 
 
Students have the privilege to act with far fewer consequences, and that privilege should 
absolutely be used to ensure fair conditions for the workers that define our experience at UCSB 
through creating and maintaining our living and learning conditions. However, beyond fighting in 
solidarity alongside our campus workers, we also have to reflect critically on our current, past, and 
future positions as workers. Do we have family members who could benefit from having a union? Can 
we support local unions back home such as grocery store workers and truck drivers? Do our current 
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positions as student-workers outsource full time union workers? Will we be ready to fight from within 
our future workplaces? 
If your time at UCSB is meant to prepare you for the world ahead, then use that time to work 
alongside unions and learn the skills necessary to organize any workplace. Change is not about a 
single leader: it’s about the relationships we have with each other. Introduce yourself to the workers 
around you, find common ground, and make a pledge to fight for something better. If you can do it 
here, then you can do it out there. And together, we will realize that we have a world to win. 
 
USLAC 
Join the United Student Labor Action Coalition, a group dedicated to fighting for a more fair 
and equal university! We are students who work in conjunction with unions in order to ensure our 
workers are treated fairly. Campus workers are the most vital part of the university. Without them, 
there would be no clean campus, there would be no food in the dining commons, and there would be 
no TAs to teach and educate students. In summary, the university would fall apart. 
We have a duty to support the workers that ensure our education. Well above 70% of our 
workers face food insecurity, many have to work multiple jobs to support themselves, and many can't 
even afford to live in SB. Fellow students are also mistreated in the workplace. Student-workers are 
offered no real union protections compared to those around them. Many are used as cheap labor in 
the various dining commons and have been continually mistreated by dining administration. As 
students we have a unique platform to make change and show solidarity with workers and our fellow 
students. It may seem daunting, but as an organized group, students have power, because when we 
work together collectively, we can make are university an equal place for all who are here. 
 
If you want to help those that support you, 
If you hate inequality, 
If worker exploitation fills you with rage,  
If you believe in creating a UC for all, 
Join us and organize with USLAC! 
 

We meet regularly at El Centro, and you can follow and keep up with us at  
Facebook @USLACatUCSB 
Instagram @uslac_ucsb 
Twitter @uslac_ucsb 
 

 
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The multicultural 
center 
 
For the last 30 years, the Multicultural Center (MCC) has served, validated, and prioritized 
marginalized populations on campus, whether it be undergraduates, graduates, faculty, or 
campus community partners. Through various educational and performing arts 
programming--including our center intends to facilitate the retention of students of color and 
combat institutional racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and the many other 
oppressive structures that still exist on our campus and in society in general. 
 
In 1987, UCSB students of color demanded the creation of a hospitable and safe space for 
their use. Out of this initial impulse and the ensuing dialogues among students and allied 
faculty and staff, the MultiCultural Center was born. Students of color joined with 
international students to share a space, which, it was hoped, would realize these initial 
demands, and increase communication among people of different cultures. In time, 
recognizing the need to be inclusive of diverse value orientations, the MCC mission was 
broadened to include combating racism and heterosexism. 
 
In addition to continuing to provide a safe space for students of color, international students, 
and gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, the MCC today serves as a bridge to the entire 
campus community. An autonomous site under the direct control of the students, staff, and 
faculty on the MCC Board, the MCC strives to support student activism and maintain a 
mutually supportive relationship with its student users, as they work together in pursuit of a 
more just society. 
 
For more information, visit the MCC website at ​http://mcc.sa.ucsb.edu/​! 
You can also follow the MCC’s latest events on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ucsbmcc! 

 

 

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PAN Asian Network 
 

The Pan Asian Network (PAN) is a recently founded political organizing 
and demands team whose goal is to bring awareness to the problems affecting 
the Pan Asian community. Building upon our demands’ initial success last year, 
we are continuing to advocate for the expansion of the Asian American Studies 
Department, for an increased number of culturally competent staff, and for the 
creation of more permanent community spaces. Breaking the stereotype of the 
model minority, PAN is outspoken against the discrimination, marginalization, 
and lack of visibility that the Pan Asian community experiences.  
 
We welcome every person regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, 
gender, or sexuality. PAN is always looking for politically progressive individuals 
who are interested in being involved with multiple direct actions such as rallies, 
social media campaigns, campus climate surveys, and town halls.

 
For more information, you can reach us at: 
Email: panasiannetwork@gmail.com  
Facebook @ucsbpan  
IG: ucsb_pan 
 
 
 
 
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El Congreso 
​DE UC SANTA BARBARA 

El Congreso​ is a radical space that advocates a philosophy of liberation through 
self-determination, comunidad, and the collectivity of the people 
 
Founded in 1974, it is the combination of two groups: MECHA and La Raza Libre. El Congreso is 
committed to fighting against the diverse issues that Latinx people face through direct action, 
education, and organizing. 
 
La Raza College Day (RCD) is a huge event that El Congreso puts on every year that was 
created to uplift the Latinx community. It is a day put on by Congresistas that seeks to educate Latinx 
high school students about college. We also educate them about pathways beside colleges and how 
college is not the only option for folks. But it is much more than that: it is a day of workshops, 
presentations, and fun. It's a radical day that not only teaches students about school but also about 
their history and their people. 
 
El Congreso Is really a community of liberation. A place where Latinx students, especially ones 
seeking to free and better their communities, can actually be themselves. A place where someone's 
identity is not pushed to the side and where this institution doesn't hold us back.  
 
To all Latinx students: El Congreso is a space where you can embrace your identity and be 
unapologetically you. 
It's a space where we uplift communities forgotten 
by this so-called “Hispanic Serving Institution” 
 
¡Por La Liberación! 
 
Facebook @elcongreso.deucsb 
Email: ​elcongresosb@gmail.com 
Website: ​http://elcongresodeucsb.weebly.com 
Instagram @elcongreso.ucsb

 

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MUJER 
Stepping foot into a predominantly white institution was something very challenging for many 
of the members of M.U.J.E.R de UCSB. Many of us felt like we didn’t belong. But it all changed when we 
joined M.U.J.E.R de UCSB. Genéros Marginados Unidas por Justicia Educacion, Revolución is a safe 
space that advocates for students of marginalized genders in forms of education and outreach. It gives 
a radical space to members who otherwise would be heard or seen in this institution 
 
M.U.J.E.R has a unique meaning to each person that steps into the space. Here are some 
testimonies of current and past members: 
 
“Community in a place, in an institution where community isn’t meant to exist” - Shelsea Sanchez 
(She/They), 3rd year, Political Science Major. 
 
“A place where you can be your whole self” - Petrona Garcia (She/They), 3rd year, Feminist Studies 
Major 
 
“Community. It’s just being able to have a safe space and being able to talk and grow without being 
judged.” - Joanne(She/Her), 2nd year, Sociology Major 
 
“I’ve never had a group of friends that were family until M.U.J.E.R.” - Carolina Sanchez (She/Her) 
 
“It is a community unlike others and ever since stepping into the space, I have never had to pretend to 
be somebody else to fit in because of how accepting the space is. - Gabriella Silva (She/Her), 3rd year, 
Environmental Studies Major 
 
“ Time and time again, I have needed the support of an organization and MUJER has been that 
support system.” - Alejandra Melgoza (She/Her), UCSB ‘16 
 
“MUJER has helped me find community away from home and love within myself.” - Britney Martinez 
Zavala (She/Her/Hers), 2nd year, Sociology and Mathematical Science Major 
 
“MUJER is a home away from home. 
 
MUJER is liberating. 
 
MUJER is uplifting and empowering underrepresented individuals and communities. 
 
MUJER is love, friendship, and family.” - Marylin Favela (She/Her/Hers), 4th year transfer student, 
Sociology Major with a Minor in Applied Psychology 
 
 
“It made my Tuesdays bearable and enjoyable. I’m just glad to have the friends I have now. It 
definitely made me more social in a setting that was made to oppress me.” - Dana (She/Her/Hers), 3rd 
year, Political Science Major  
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How was this radical space founded? 
 
Its roots date back to 1969 as a small committee by womxn who were tired of being part of the 
male-dominated organization M.E.C.H.A (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). M.U.J.E.R, 
though, was not officially recognized until the late 1970s, known till then only as “the women [who] 
formed a Chicana Committee whose basic objective was to struggle for the democratic rights of 
Chicanas in particular, and for women in general.” The meaning and structure of M.U.J.E.R has 
changed drastically from this with it now including extension to the communities of Isla Vista, Goleta, 
and Santa Barbara. We still do have a strong basis and support for political action and voice within our 
organization. During the eighties, MUJER was actually named CLEAR (The Committee for Latina 
Education, Awareness, and Reform) and was a sub-committee under El Congreso. During this time, the 
organization focused on bringing Latina issues to the forefront by hosting events in collaboration with 
places like EOP and the women’s center. Members of CLEAR often were journalists who wrote for the 
newspaper ​La Voz​, which was the only newspaper that addressed needs of Latinx identifying folksa at 
that time. 
 
The first M.U.J.E.R conference, ‘Mujercitas’, was held on February 19, 1994, with its foundations 
being “mutual support, love, understanding, and self-determination. It acknowledges the need to 
address important specific issues that directly affect our everyday lives, all our lives, that are often 
ignored.” Today the conference is called Adelante M.U.J.E.R and still reaches out to local high school 
youth to inspire them to pursue higher education. 
 
M.U.J.E.R has always worked in solidarity with other organizations and student movements. 
Examples of solidarity include the co-formation of El Congreso, hunger strikes, organizing for tenant 
rights when the Isla Vista Tenants Union was established in 1999, and being part of a thirteen hour sit- 
in to pass 13 demands to support survivors of sexual assault in 2014. Today, we are heavily 
community-driven as well as inspired to combat injustices present at this institution. Above all we 
provide an uplifting and healing space for Latinx women and woman-aligned and non-binary folx. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Facebook @mujerucsb 
Instagram @mujerucsb   
Email: ​mujerucsb@gmail.com 

 

 

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Clementine Creatives 

 
Clementine Creatives strives to make an intentional space for individuals that have been 
historically marginalized in performance spaces to create radical performance art. We hope to 
empower through opportunities for creative expression, resources, storytelling, and community 
building. With the tenets of activism and radical politics at our core, our events and shows center 
envisioning and fighting for a world free of oppression. 
Clementine Creatives extends our actions beyond the art we create for our communities and 
stands behind organized action. We have stood behind members of Local AFSCME 3299 during strikes 
(and ALWAYS encourage vocal warm-ups prior to chanting) and have officially endorsed a call to 
condemn speakers who champion anti-immigrant propaganda and the call for UCSB to divest from 
human rights abuses committed against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Such decisions mean 
taking committed stances--and that’s who we are. 
 
Come create with us! 
Instagram @clementinecreatives 

 
 
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Environmental 
justice alliance 
Formerly known as UCSB Students for Environmental Justice, the Environmental Justice 
Alliance (EJA) is a group of students working on issues pertaining to environmental justice on 
campus. 
 
During the Fall 2019 quarter, EJA will be meeting the first and third Thursday of every month 
at 6:00 pm in Merton House (777 Camino Pescadero). We welcome anyone and everyone who 
would like to help make a difference and be part of a resilient community! 
 
This year, we will be forming committees that will focus on different projects, such as toxic 
tours, climate anxiety discussions, food security for DACA students, improving and 
incorporating EJ in the UC Sustainable Practices policies, and many more. 
 
If you have an idea that you would like to see happen or would like to work on a current 
project, add your contact information to ​our Project Interest Form​. We may be able to 
support additional projects with funding and publicity. We hope to see y’all come out!” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Students for Justice 
​IN 
Palestine 
Students for Justice in Palestine is an organization which attempts to amplify the voices of 
Palestinians living within the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel, and in the Diaspora. 
 
Palestinians, in our growing neo-colonial world, face extreme hardships by the Israeli 
apartheid regime. Palestinians must endure segregated bus lines and settlement roads, 
indiscriminate killings, military checkpoints, roadblocks, unlawful imprisonment, home demolitions, 
housing discrimination, economic blockades, destruction of infrastructure, and torture by the Israeli 
military and government. As an organization, we advocate for equal rights, humane treatment, and a 
just settlement, under international law, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
 
With that being said, we understand that Palestinians aren’t the only population which are 
subjected to dehumanizing treatment. We recognize the hardships that other communities face and 
attempt to connect their struggles to our movement (for example, in the case of the LGBT community, 
we talk about pinkwashing and the relation between colonization and LGBT-rights). Additionally, we 
advocate for the applicability of basic human and Indigenous rights against corporate and 
settler-colonial powers within the contemporary world. 
 
In advocating for the fundamental human rights of Palestinians, we are a strong proponent of 
the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which works to end international support 
for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. Usually, 
our main campaign insists on our student government passing a resolution to divest from 
corporations profiting from human rights abuses within the Israeli/Palestinian region. 
 
Our meetings are always open to new members. Our meetings are on Mondays at 7 pm on the second 
floor of El Centro. 
 
If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please contact us through Facebook (UCSB 
Students for Justice in Palestine) or email (​sjpucsb@gmail.com​).. 

 

 
 
 
 
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THE SANTA BARBARA  

Anti-War Collective 
 
The mission of the Santa Barbara Anti War Collective is to oppose unnecessary and criminal 
wars conducted by the United States. We aim to build awareness of the corrupting influence of the 
military-industrial complex and the misplaced priorities of military spending over the people’s 
welfare. We seek to expose how the military-industrial complex endangers and undermines human 
rights around the world. We work to build solidarity with people struggling to change oppressive 
systems everywhere. 

 
 
Many wars simply do not get coverage by either the mainstream or alternative media. For example, in 
the Congo, more people have died in the last twenty-five years than in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the 
former Yugoslavia, and Libya combined. All wars are perpetuated by a news narrative that 
systematically spreads disinformation about other nations and peoples. One has only to recall the lies 
surrounding Saddam Hussein’s supposed “weapons of mass destruction” to recognize the important 
role of the media in promulgating the pretext for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. 
In a world that is becoming increasingly imperiled by nuclear annihilation, the SB Anti-War 
Collective would like to bring an element of sanity to our country’s running confrontations with China, 
Russia, and Iran. A few of the campaigns we are currently working on include coalition building with 
Jewish Voice for Peace of Santa Barbara to raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians living under 
Israeli occupation. 
We are also working on a campaign to free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, who face 
espionage charges for exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.  
Past projects have included protesting Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at her 
speaking engagement in downtown Santa Barbara, as well as putting on educational forums about 
the impact of U.S. foreign policy on endless planetary warfare.  
 
We are the Santa Barbara Anti War Collective, and we say NO MORE WAR!  
 
You can contact us at ​sbantiwarcollective@gmail.com​. 
Don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page (Santa Barbara Anti War Collective)! 
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Black lives matter 
SANTA BARBARA  
 
Join us as we consider a Santa Barbara where Black Lives Matter. We are inspired by our 
closest local chapter, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and encourage folks to attend their 
general meetings once a month. 
 
We support Campaign Zero and affirm that “we can live in a world where the police don't kill 
people.” As such, locally we continue to pressure the Santa Barbara Police Department and 
the Santa Barbara County Sheriff to update their use of force policies in ways that center 
de-escalation and affirm life. At the state level, we continue to work with the ACLU to make 
these type of updates law and consider the recent AB 392 a small step towards a larger goal. 
 
We know that resistance is not just reactionary, so we also are invested in celebrating Black 
histories and futures by planning and hosting the citywide Juneteenth festival and 
supporting El Centro’s Spring and Summer Freedom School, as well as supporting black 
leadership development. 
 
 

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Bonfire Coffee 
AND 

Books 
The Bonfire Media Collective, also known as Bonfire Coffee & Books, is a Santa Barbara-based 
anarchist media collective. As anarchists, we oppose all illegitimate social hierarchies upheld by 
capitalism and the state, such as racism, anthropocentrism, cisheteropatriarchy, and ableism. We 
strive to challenge these hierarchies through local, regional, and transnational direct action, mutual 
aid, and solidarity-building. We publish and carry a range of radical political literature to encourage 
the general public to imagine and create a world in which all resources will be collectively held, 
people will have direct control over the decisions that affect their lives, and unjust borders and 
boundaries--between nations, genders, and species--will no longer exist. 
 
Bonfire conducts a number of political activities to fulfill its founding principles and ultimate 
goals. We are well known for our monthly book cafes, during which we table in a local community 
space with our books, zines, and other merchandise; sell homemade snacks along with coffee sourced 
from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas, Mexico; and hold workshops on 
crucial topics such as the Thomas Fire and anti-fascist self-defence. For the past three years, we have 
also hosted a May Day Festival in late spring to bring together various local leftist organizations, to 
celebrate workers’ struggles with games, talks, and food. We have also monitored and mobilized 
against local fascist activity, reported on Santa Barbara City Council meetings, raised funds to 
purchase basic supplies for our houseless neighbors, and fought against the Cat Canyon Oil Project, 
among many other actions. Bonfire uses a directly democratic consensus decision-making process, 
which means that we don’t have any officers or other managerial positions and our agenda is 
collectively determined by our members and meeting attendees. We welcome new friends and 
comrades who can help us expand the scope, reach, and effectiveness of what we do! 
 
Bonfire meets every week; come to one of our cafes and inquire about joining! You can contact 
us for more information and keep up with our troublemaking through our Facebook page: 
https://www.facebook.com/bonfirecoffee/​. 
 
We can’t afford to wait for the defenders of state repression and capitalist exploitation to have 
a change of heart. We have to take our political fates into our own hands if we want to cultivate 
another world, a world in which many worlds can fit. 
 
Hierarchy is chaos!  
Anarchy is solidarity!

 

 

 
19

 

THE SANTA BARBARA 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS 
OF 

AMERICA 
 
Our local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA Santa Barbara) is 
a growing organization open to anyone interested in joining. Democratic 
socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run 
democratically to meet the needs of all people and that the current capitalist 
economic system must be challenged by those it oppresses. We seek to build 
mass movements of working people to organize for material changes that will 
position us to take political power back from those who would exploit people 
and the planet for private profit. Ultimately, we are working to abolish class 
society and transform our political and economic systems because we have no 
choice, and building ambitious, aspirational political movements is vital to 
getting there. 
 
The members of Santa Barbara DSA use democratic decision making to organize 
strategic, grassroots campaigns, plan community events, and participate in 
electoral action that will directly benefit the diverse, multiracial working class of 
Santa Barbara. College students are encouraged to form or join an existing 
Young DSA branch connected to the Santa Barbara chapter to plug into 
campus-specific campaigns. With working groups around climate, housing, and 
Medicare for All, we have made some real gains in our past two years of 
existence: teaming up with local activist Ady Barkan and a wider local coalition, 
M4A organizers successfully pressured Rep. Salud Carbajal into signing onto the 
national Medicare for All bill. Organizers from our housing working group also 
joined the push to win a radical just cause eviction ordinance for the city of 
Santa Barbara and canvassed all over town for rent control on Prop 10. In the 
future, we’re looking at prioritizing a socialist political education “night school” 
that is free and open to all chapter and community members, working with the 
Bernie Sanders campaign, and starting to build tenants movements locally.  
 
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To hear more about what we’re up to or to get involved, join us at our monthly 
chapter meetings, and connect with an ongoing campaign. 
 
● Check our calendar and sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch at 
www.dsasb.org​. 
● Contact us anytime at ​dsasantabarbara@gmail.com​. 
● You can also reach us at the following social media accounts: 
○ Facebook: ​www.facebook.com/sbdsa/  
○ Twitter: ​https://twitter.com/sb_dsa 
○ Instagram: ​www.instagram.com/dsasantabarbara 
 
You can become a full voting, dues-paying member at ​https://act.dsausa.org/​ — 
but anyone in the community is welcome to get involved right away! 
 
“Active organizing for democracy is needed now more than ever. For this to 
succeed, both working and poor people--who are the majority--have to have a 
voice. DSA is one of those voices.”  
- Dolores Huerta 

 

 

21

 

ETHNIC STUDIES 

NOW! 

The Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara Coalition (ESNSB) formed in 
December 2015 as a community-led intergenerational collective with the goal of 
establishing an ethnic studies course as a high school graduation requirement 
in the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). After three years of 
grassroots organizing, the SBUSD Board of Education voted unanimously to 
require an ethnic studies course for high school graduation in November 2018. 
We celebrated this as a victory but also recognized that the next 
phase—implementing the kind of ethnic studies that really matters— will be 
even harder.  
 
From the start, ESNSB has had to simultaneously engage two primary 
modes of organizing: a) building community participation and mobilizing local 
support for the requirement and b) working with institutions to bring the 
requirement to Santa Barbara schools. Currently, our coalition is calling for 
students and community members to continue to organize free educational, 
cultural, and intersectional ethnic studies community events. In an effort to 
ensure that a high quality and sustainable ethnic studies requirement is 
implemented in a timely manner, core members of the ESNSB are continuing to 
work with the school district. While progress is slowly being made at the school 
district level, there continues to be a lot of resistance towards this requirement 
by some members of the Santa Barbara community. The passing of the 
requirement was a result of three long years of organizing and community 
support. Our work is not over. We need your ideas, support, and energy in 
continuing to build people power and in ensuring that the integrity of the ethnic 
studies high school graduation requirement is not jeopardized.  
 
To learn more or to get involved, please contact us at 
ethnicstudiesnowsbusd@gmail.com​, send us a message on Facebook 
@EthnicStudiesNowSBUSD, and visit our website at 
http://www.ethnicstudiesnow.com​. 
22

 

 

Liberate our Education
Liberate our Minds
Ethnic Studies Now!

23

 

 

SURJ

  

SB 
Showing Up for Racial Justice ​is a national network of groups and 
individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial 
justice. Through community organizing, mobilization, and education, SURJ 
moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with 
passion and accountability. 
 
They work to connect people across the country while supporting and 
collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ 
provides a space to build relationships and skills and political analysis to act for 
change. 
 
They seek to delegitmize racist institutions, fight for a fair economy that 
refuses to pit people against each other, and fight for a community of inclusion. 
  
SURJ SB is the local Santa Barbara chapter that continues the work of 
being allies and destroying white supremacy. 
 
 
 
 
 

24

 

Now Is the Time to  
DO SOMETHING 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Facebook @SURJSB 
Email: ​sbsurj@gmail.com 
Website: ​http://showingupforracialjustice.org 

 

25

LIBERATION 
SB 

Liberation Santa Barbara (LSB) is a volunteer collective of local activists that engage in a 
diversity of nonviolent tactics with the goal of dismantling the pervasive discrimination that underlies 
human supremacist ideology and enables the widespread exploitation and abuse of individuals 
belonging to nonhuman animal species--​speciesism​. LSB’s horizon vision is a world where all animals 
are liberated from human oppression, and are free to control their own bodies, lives, and destiny, and 
our members are devoted to fighting on behalf of animals while centering animals in their own 
struggle. 
 
As a group, LSB has been active in Santa Barbara for more than the last two years doing 
regular demonstrations, protests, disruptions, and public outreach events. Because speciesism is 
deeply ingrained in all human societies and cultures, LSB understands that animal liberation is a 
project that will not be won overnight, but will require consistent and sustainable outreach and the 
willingness to confront animal abuse when and where it happens so that social norms gradually begin 
to shift to the point that animal exploitation is no longer considered socially acceptable. . To that end, 
LSB engages in public demonstrations and outreach on a weekly basis, and undertakes larger protests 
and actions to coincide with festivals and holidays that are centered around animal abuse. 
 
LSB’s members are a part of a larger network of Santa Barbara human rights, animal rights, 
and vegan groups fighting for social and environmental justice. We understand that all forms of 
oppression are connected (racism, sexism, transphobia, etc.), and we welcome activists willing to 
participate in whatever capacity they are able. Follow our Instagram account for event notices, and 
feel free to message the page to get more information about our group or events. 
Instagram @liberationsb
Facebook: Liberation Santa Barbara
Email: ​liberationcollectivesb@gmail.com

26

 

Food Not Lawns is an international community of “avant-gardeners and 
permaculture passionistas.” 
The idea is in the name: they want to convert lawns into community 
gardens that grow food. They've been turning lawns into gardens since 1999. 
They organize under the principles of permaculture, gift economy, and mutual 
aid.  
They also organize local seed swaps, garden work parties, study groups, 
and all sorts of grassroots opportunities to make friends while learning more 
about how growing food in your front yard can improve your home, your 
community, and your life. 
Our community is plagued by food insecurity. 12.8% of American 
households are food insecure, which means 1 in 8 households had difficulty 
obtaining enough to eat throughout the year. Even more alarmingly for a 
community with three major collegiate campuses, 48% of college and university 
students across America face food insecurity. In one of the richest nations in the 
world, this is not only horrible: it's unjustifiable. Food is a human right and 
should be enjoyed by all. Food Not Lawns is a group that fights for your right to 
have food by growing it themselves. They directly attack the issue of food 
insecurity and food deserts.  
Santa Barbara has a local chapter for people who want to grow and share 
food. 

 
 

 
Facebook Group @SB Food Not Lawns 
Email ​info@sbfoodnotlawns.org 
National Website: ​www.foodnotlawns.com/about.html 

27

 

Food Not Bombs 
ISLA VISTA 
Food Not Bombs is an international organization of independent collectives that 
protest hunger in the midst of abundance. They meet the needs of the community by 
collecting produce from local grocery stores and markets and providing free vegetarian and 
vegan meals to all, no questions asked. 
Hunger plagues many communities in the United States. There are over 100,000 
homeless people in California alone. Even worse, it is estimated that there are over 1,153 
housless students at UCSB. California is one of the richest states in America, and yet its 
government and large corporations turn a blind eye to those struggling the most. The Food 
Not Bombs chapters across California help those that are the most in need by providing them 
with free food. But what they ​simultaneously provide is an alternative. A way to directly protest
the structures around us.​ Food Not Bombs is not a charity organization: it is a solidarity 
organization. They are dedicated to changing society so that food is a right, not a privilege.  
They've also helped others fighting for rights and equality. They've shown up and 
cooked for people at protests. They have made sure that activists were fed at sit-ins 
blockades, tree sits, marches, and lockdowns. Numerous times, they have fed hungry families 
during strikes and workers during factory or office occupations. Their volunteers are 
dedicated to feeding the community as it struggles for justice. 
FNB has a local chapter, known as ​Food Not Bombs - Isla Vista. ​Every Sunday, FNB - 
IV preps and cooks meals at the Merton Coop House (777 Camino Pescadero). They then 
serve free vegan meals in IV’s Acorn Park across from Bagel Cafe, starting at around 5 PM. 
They also do another meal on Wednesday at Children's Park, also starting at 5 PM. Food Not 
Bombs accepts any volunteers who wish to help in the cooking process. And if you wish to 
enjoy a free meal, they are always happy to serve you. 
 
Instagram @foodnotbombsislavista 
 
Facebook: Food NotBombs - Isla Vista 
Email: ​foodnotbombsislavista@gmail.com  
 
28

A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO 

Chumash History 
The land now called “Santa Barbara” was first populated over 13,000 years ago. The 
first inhabitants of the “Santa Barbara” coastline and the “Channel Islands” were known as 
the Chumash.  
 
The Chumash lived in over 150 different tribes, numbering at least 20,000 and speaking 
different variations of the Chumash language. The land of the Chumash people included the 
Channel Islands and stretched as far as Paso Robles, all the way to Malibu, and to the western 
edge of the Joaquin Valley.  
 
The Chumash were hunter-gatherers with a strong maritime culture. They created 
long plank canoes from redwood trees and used them for fishing. These canoes also 
facilitated trade and movement between different villages on the coastline. 
 
The Chumash were additionally proficient at intricate basket-making and beautiful 
cave rock art. Another key part of their culture was their amazing skill at bead-crafting and 
trading. Using seashells, they would finely craft beads for currency. Millions of different bead 
currencies have been found throughout all of “Alta California.” 

 
 
Then the Spanish arrived, and everything was quickly ruined. The first reported 
contact was with an expedition led by Juan Rodriguz Cabrillo in 1542. He died and was buried 
somewhere on San Miguel Island, which his ghost supposedly haunts. (I guess Europeans just 
can't let go of land that isn't theirs, huh?) 
 
Then in 1769, an expedition was led by Gaspar de Portola. (Yes, we did in fact name 
one of the UCSB Dining Commons after a colonizer.) In quick succession from 1772 to 1804, 
the Spanish created 5 missions in Chumash territory. These buildings witnessed the most 
29

brutal and horrendous conditions as the Franciscan monks attempted to forcefully convert 
the Chumash and the Spanish savagely used them as slaves to build their new colony in 
California. Conversion and enslavement killed thousands of Chumash, who were already 
being decimated by disease. 
 
 
In 1821, Mexico became independent from Spain and now governed California. Mexico 
promised equality and rights for all native peoples but didn't make any real changes, and so 
life for the Chumash people continued as it had been under the Spanish. So, in 1824, the 
Chumash revolted: they sought to free their people from oppression and forced conversion. 
The revolt took months of careful planning across 3 missions and was even supported by the 
neighboring Yokut Indgenous people.  
 
The brutal beating of a young Chumash boy sparked the rebellion on February 21st. 
Three different missions, Santa Ines, Santa Barbara, and La Purisima (all of which are located 
in modern day Santa Barbara County), erupted into rebellion. A lot of stuff was burned, and 
there was a lot of fighting between the Indigenous people and the Mexican army. Over 2,000 
Chumash and Yokut people were involved in the fighting. 
 
The Chumash then left the missions and went into the Santa Ynez Mountains to create 
an alternative society, a society of freedom and equality where they could practice their 
traditional way of life away from the Mexican Government. This went on for five months, with 
the new society engaging in skirmishes with the Mexican army. Eventually, the people began 
to starve, and a truce was reached between the natives and the government on June 11th. 
 
The Chumash had to go back to the mission system until its eventually collapse. All 
the land once owned by the Chumash was divided up and given to Spanish families loyal to 
the Mexican Government. The modern day cities of Carperternia, Montecito, Summerland, 
and Santa Barbara were carved out of the remains of the historic Chumash people.  
 
UCSB thus sits upon occupied land.  
 
However, this is not the end of the Chumash story, as people and history don't just 
disappear because of colonization. The Chumash continue to live and struggle to this day. 
 
Over the course of the 1800s, the Chumash were assimilated into the Mexican 
population and then the American population. As with other Indigenous people across the 
so-called “United States,” their history and traditional culture were denied and erased. A 
number of Chumash languages began to disappear. A Tongva women named Juana Maria, 
also known as “The Lone Woman of San Nicholas Island,” was the last known fluent speaker 
of the ​Nicoleño language​. She lived on San Nicolas Island in a whale bone hut before being 
30

brought to the Santa Barbara mission. She was unable to communicate to anyone except the 
three other members of her tribe. When she died in 1853, the Nicoleño language was lost. 
 
Another notable fluent speaker was Mary Yee. She was born in the 1890s and was one 
of a handful of children who learned to fluently speak the Barbareño language. In her 50s, she 
became a linguist and dedicated the rest of her life to documenting, describing, and analyzing 
the language. When she died in 1965, she was the last fluent speaker of the Barbareño 
language. However, because of her efforts in preserving the language, there has been a 
revitalization of Barbareño speakers and learners since 2013. 
 
This section cannot do justice to all of the other languages and dialects lost to 
colonization. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of stories, works of art, and other Chumash 
creations were destroyed by colonization and the continuing occupation. This wasn't an 
accident, either: it was the deliberate forced erasure of a rich, thriving Indigenous culture. 
 
But Chumash history still does not end there. 
 
The Santa Ynez Reservation was set up in 1901 and is today the only federally 
recognized Chumash reservation. It is home to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians; 
however, until the 1970s, not many people lived on the reservation. Like other reservations, it 
was impoverished by the United States, lacking running water and electricity. 
 
In the sixties and seventies, there was a renaissance of sorts for Native people in the U.S. It 
was a time of cultural revival and political action for Indigneous people and their 
communities. This was the time of the American Indian Movement, the taking of Alcatraz, and 
the standoff at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota 
 
Similar forms of revival and activism were taking place right here in Santa Barbara. As 
mentioned before, the Chumash people were seafarers who used canoes to travel up and 
down the coastline; for this reason, the Tomol, a type of canoe constructed from red wood, is 
a vital part of Chumash culture. The Brotherhood of the Tomol was the group that 
constructed and paddled the tomol for many years in order to keep this tradition alive . 
However, they were disbanded in 1834 as part of the decimation of the Chumash population. 
 
142 years later in 1976, a new Brotherhood of the Tomol was established. Using 
historical and ethnographic research, they were able to construct a modern day Tomol. It was 
named Helek (​Peregrine Falcon) and traveled from San Miguel Island to Santa Rosa and 
finally Santa Cruz Island. A second Tomol, ​Elye'wun​ (Swordfish), was launched in 1997. 
 
California also had a showdown similar to the Wounded Knee standoff. In 1973, a 
group of Indigenous people and their allies occupied 160 acres of land in Santa Margarita. Led 
31

by Chumash medicine man “Grandfather” Semu Hauate, they declared this area an 
inter-tribal and interracial community to be called the Red Wind Foundation. Despite many 
hardships, including sniper fire, the Red Wind Foundation has continued to exist in peaceful 
defiance of the authorities. 
 
In 1978, excavation began for a new natural gas facility at Point Conception near Santa 
Barbara. This was desecration of sacred land for the Chumash, for whom Point Conception is 
the site of the Western Gate, a passageway for spirits to enter the next world. Frustrated by 
unfavorable court hearings, the Chumash and their allies mobilized a year-long occupation of 
the disputed site, eventually forcing the energy company to abandon its plan. 
 
Over 14 different bands of Chumash people currently exist. The Coastal Band of the 
Chumash Nation and the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians have been trying to 
gain recognition for decades. A number of Chumash organizations fight for their land to this 
day, with a number of local areas coming under protection as a result of environmental direct 
action. In recent years, members of various Chumash bands and activist groups have 
mobilized against the expansion of the Chumash Casino Resort in the Santa Ynez Valley as 
well as the Trump Administration’s plan to open more than a million acres of Central 
California public land and mineral estate, including more than 110,000 acres in Santa Barbara 
County, to oil drilling and fracking 
 
However, at our university, the living history, culture, and politics of the Chumash are 
outright ignored and erased. Resources for Indigenous students are severely lacking, and they 
are not properly represented on campus. UCSB also hoards hundreds--perhaps even 
thousands--of Chumash and other Native American artifacts and refuses to return them to 
their rightful communities. All of this is hushed up or only partly acknowledged. 
 
The truth remains: UCSB sits upon occupied land. 
 
Intervening history 1824-1960s 
 
California was controlled by the United States of Mexico after 1824. In 1829, slavery was 
abolished; however, nothing really changed from Spanish rule, and the area known as “Alta 
California” was left to local and basically feudal rule, as a handful of land owning rancheros owned 
and controlled most of California. 
 
What followed was revolt after revolt as California continually attempted to secede from the 
Mexican government, even forming the Californian Republic in 1836, which is famous for having the 
most horrendous flag ever. 
 

32

 
 
Ten years later, the Mexican American War began. This resulted in Mexico losing half of its 
original land; even worse, it created a situation where the mostly Anglo-American government now 
controlled a trapped population of Mexican citizens. 
 
Unsurprisingly, California quickly became segregated and genocidal.  
 
California essentially declared a “War of Extermination” on the Indigenous people. Between 
1850 and 1870, California waged more wars on Indigenous people than in the entirety of the U.S. 
There were more massacres in Mendocino County than can be properly listed here. The situation was 
so horrific that the U.S. cavalry had to get involved to end the genocide.  
 
Incoming immigrants from Mexico and China were treated with outright hostility. They were 
forced into horrendous work conditions. Laws quickly sprung up that segregated and oppressed these 
communities, and oftentimes white American fascists would outright massacre these people. All of 
this racism and segregation would continue well into the 1960s 
 
Here where you come in 
The University of California, Santa Barbara was founded in 1944, though it traces its roots as 
far back as 1891. Also, for all you first years out there, tuition was free at this point and would remain 
so until 1977 
Essentially, UCSB wound up as a large, open, and very racialized and segregated campus, 
where various demographic groups, many of whom were facing intense societal oppression, could 
now talk and meet. On top of this, nationwide movements in the ‘60s and ‘70s advocated for an end to 
the War in Vietnam and for more rights and freedoms for all. UCSB students and community members 
saw inequality and oppression in the fabric of their society and on their own campus. 
 
And everyone said revolt.  

33

HISTORY OF  
SOME Rad Departments 
AND STUDENT  
OF COLOR ​Organizing: 
Passed down from the 2005 Dis-O Guide Collective, transcribed from Disorientation Guide 2009-2010 

 
UCSB BLACK STUDIES: KNOWLEDGE OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE 
 

Black students at UCSB joined with the national Civil Rights Movement in 1968 to end 
racial segregation on campus and to remove institutional racism from the university 
curriculum. They wanted something other than a mere supplement to the academy’s course 
offerings: they wanted to move ​real knowledge​ of ​real people​ back into spaces of institutional 
power. Over 4,000 students signed a petition demanding more racial and cultural diversity, 
but the university administration ignored them. A core group of activists persisted and put 
their bodies on the line by occupying North Hall, the location of the university’s computer 
facilities at the time, and renaming it Malcolm X Hall. “It was like going into South Africa,” one 
activist commented. “People looked at us like we were lost.” 

 
1968: Students reclaim North Hall, dubbing it Malcolm X Hall. 

The students presented the university administration with a set of demands that 
changed this campus forever: the creation of a Black Studies department and the Center for 
Black Studies to monitor, coordinate, support, and encourage research in the community. 
 
Scholarship within the department creates new knowledge on topics of religion and 
sexuality, media studies, music and black popular culture, critical and feminist theories, 
traditions of black radicalism in and outside the U.S., global political economy, multicultural 
34

education, and Francophone African and Caribbean literatures. At the department’s thirtieth 
anniversary celebration, Professor Cedric Robinson reminded the audience, “​Black Studies 
knowledge yields consequences… . When you introduce Black Studies, the field of history is 
transformed, economics is revolutionized, and political science is disturbed. It doesn’t stop 
there, it moves on.” 
 
CHICANA AND CHICANO STUDIES 
 

In Spring 1969, a group of Chican@ activists and intellectuals met at UCSB and 
prepared the foundational document ​El Plan de Santa Bárbara,​ which stated: 
 
“Chicanismo draws its faith and strength from two main sources: from the just 
struggle of our people and from an objective analysis of our community’s strategic 
needs. We recognize that without a strategic use of education, an education that 
places value on what we value, we will not realize our destiny. Chicanos recognize the 
central importance of institutions of higher learning to modern progress, in this case, 
to the development of our community. But we go further: we believe that higher 
education must contribute to the information of a complete person who truly values 
life and freedom.” 
 
Inspired by their communities, this group generated an educational program to 
represent the histories, knowledges and experiences of Chican@s and provide a bridge for a 
new generation of Chican@s into higher education. Highlighting the central role of 
knowledge in power structures and in producing real social change, the Plan was the 
intellectual model for the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCSB and continues 
to exert a profound influence on teaching and activities here. 
 
UCSB is the only UC campus with a Chicana and Chicano Studies department, a 
Chicano Studies research center, and a library collection devoted to the field​. Over the past 
three decades, the department has developed an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on 
gender, culture, and institutions. Courses probe the roots of a cultural tradition beginning 
with the pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico and extending into many the areas of 
contemporary American society, including politics, education, literature, the arts, and 
religion. At present, the department has more majors and double majors than ever before 
and is expanding its course offerings.  
 
ETHNIC STUDIES REQUIREMENT 
 
In April of 1988, students commemorated Martin Luther King’s assassination by 
protesting to the lack of progress made in increasing minority faculty and minority students 
on campus. They presented then-Chancellor Uehling with a five-part plan to combat racism 
35

and followed up for nearly a year before pulling out all the stops. Seeing insufficient progress 
by February 1989, the students pledged to go on hunger strike until their demands were met.  
 
Nine students refused food for 15 days while 30 others abstained for 3 days. They set 
up camp with more than 10 tents and held ground across the entire lawn of Cheadle’s 
entrance for 15 days in rain and 40-degree weather. A few faculty and university staff showed 
their solidarity by fasting and visiting the encampment. Black Studies Professors Girard 
Pigeon, who fasted with students for 4 days, and Cedric Robinson set up a “Faculty Club” at 
the site. Six days later, students at all UC campuses unified to end institutional racism and 
lack of minority student participation in university governance. 
 
The struggle lasted for several months, with students renaming several university 
buildings, staging rallies, and threatening to resume the hunger strike. The Academic Senate 
finally agreed to a vote on the resolutions. 
 
UCSB’s MultiCultural Center, the Asian American Studies Department, the Native 
American Studies Program, the divestment of university holdings from companies with ties to 
South Africa, and the undergraduate Ethnic Studies GE requirements are a few of the fruits 
born from that struggle.  

 

WHO​ BURNED  
THE BANK?  
Part I: The Burning of the Isla Vista Bank of America and the Murder of Kevin Moran
The following is a section of a transcript, edited for clarity and conciseness, of a talk given by Professor Richard
Flacks on May 4th, the anniversary of the Kent State Massacre, about the burning of the Isla Vista Bank of America
and the political turmoil of late 1960’s Isla Vista. For the full transcript, contact the Student Activist Network.​ ​Professor
Flacks runs a radio-show called C
​ ulture of Protest​ at 6pm every Thursday on KCSB streaming.

FLACKS: I've been at UCSB since 1969, and what that means now for me is having memory that's 
needed for people to understand some of the context of what we're experiencing now and maybe 
learn some lessons from it. I'd like to download some of what I know. But there's so many things that 
could be talked about that I'm not going to try to give you a history of the last fifty years. Let me start 
this way: May 4th. What's the historic significance of May 4th? 
 
AUDIENCE: Kent State massacre? 
 
FLACKS: So what do you know about that? 
36

 
AUDIENCE: There were some students protesting the Vietnam war at Kent State...is that correct? And, 
my understanding is that they were peacefully protesting and the police shot a bunch of people. 
 
FLACKS: Yeah, they shot students who were protesting. 
 
It's a good starting point: you think, “Why talk about Kent State at UCSB?” but it will become 
clear in a minute. On April 30th, 1970, President Nixon expanded the war into Cambodia. US troops 
were sent into Cambodia, which is adjacent to Vietnam. This was a very serious and scary escalation of 
what was already a war that had a huge opposition and that led to a student uprising across the 
country and included campuses like Kent State University, which had not been a scene of a lot of 
mobilization up until that point. 

 
Students descended on Washington as they often did during that period and Nixon, like other leaders 
of the country, felt quite free about calling people epithets, like “these are cowardly bums, they 
should study, and shouldn't be protesting.” 
 
Ronald Reagan used to be Governor of California before he was our sweet grandfather of a 
President; he was not so sweet as Governor, especially towards students. He actually said a few things 
during that same time period: “If it takes a bloodbath to stop the students [in Isla Vista] we better do 
it.” The governor said that. Then the Governor of Ohio calls out the National Guard at Kent State. 
There had been buildings attacked, I think a fire on campus, the National Guard came armed, facing 
students who were unarmed. There may have been some rock throwing, epithets by the students; 
suddenly, they opened fire on this crowd of students. Four people died, and others were wounded. 
And that event created the largest mass mobilization in American history. The reason I'm bringing this 
up in part is not only because it is the anniversary, but the fact is that's forgotten by most people. That 
four million students went on strike for the rest of the school year around America because of the Kent 
State Massacre. And then there was a horrific shooting of students at Jackson State in Mississippi, also 
forgotten; that's a Historically Black College, and the National Guard of Mississippi opened fire on the 
dormitory, riddling it with bullets. No one was killed at Jackson State but a number of people were 
wounded. These are things that were happening in that period of time in America that I think all 
students should know about. It's just a part of my life, but I think it’s part of the identity of what we 
37

mean by The Student Movement in America.  
 
Kent State events were investigated widely--why did that happen? Why would they open fire 
on unarmed students? And, you know, it's never been fully settled, but there seems to have been 
some premeditation. There was a civilian in the midst of the guard who fired the first shot, and there is 
a plausibility to the idea that some people in the government wanted what Reagan himself 
advocated---“a bloodbath” as one way to stop this uprising. So, why bring that up in relation to a 
conversation about our history here in Isla Vista?  
 
You know, the Kent State Massacre occurred after a huge amount of rebellion and turmoil had 
happened in Isla Vista. A faculty member, Bill Allen, an anthropology professor, was denied tenure. He 
was a very popular teacher. Bill was the epitome of the hippie professor: bearded, tie-dyed clothes. 
Bill had been in the US Marines. He had been a student at UCSB before he went into the service, so he 
was a pretty complicated, interesting person, and as a teacher was regarded as such. Anyway, here he 
is fired, essentially, so radical students organized a petition on his behalf, and thousands of students 
signed the petition. It wasn't received with any seriousness by the administration. Students occupied 
the area around the administration building. Then-Chancellor Cheadle was presented with this mob of 
students who blocked the entrance to the building. Police were called.  
 
And then toward the end of February, the student government invited Bill Kunstler, a very 
famous civil rights lawyer, and Kuntsler came to campus. So he came to speak at the stadium, which 
had a big crowd, and this is interesting for UCSB history, that big crowds were turning out for these 
political events. This was also a sleepy upper-middle-class student body that was not part of the 
student movement through the whole 60s. Stuff was going on in Berkeley and many other places, but 
not UC Santa Barbara. And yet, at this moment, a big change was happening in the student body, and 
so Kuntsler speaks at the stadium, and people are coming back. I think there was some people had 
called for a rally at what was Anisq'Oyo' Park, but as thousands of people were leaving the stadium, a 
kid named Rick Underwood was attacked by cops. I mean they just jumped on him, in plain view of 
everybody else. Why did they jump on him? Well, he was swinging a wine bottle. Why would that be? 
Why would the cops want to jump on him for that? Of course people don't realize that they thought it 
was a molotov cocktail---a bomb. Was it?  
 
That wasn't a molotov cocktail in Rick Underwood's hand, and this police attack precipitated 
hours of protest. Physical protest, rock throwing, cop cars set fire to, mobs in the street, rocks thrown 
at realtor offices, breaking windows. The police withdrew. And that's when some people set fire to the 
dumpster, rolled it into the then Bank of America, which is now Embarcadero Hall, and that bank was 
burned down. And that's of course a famous event in UCSB history, but it also got worldwide 
attention.  
 
These are all things happening before May, and so police occupied the town, marshal law was 
declared, in February until early March. Then there was a second episode. One of the Chicago 
conspiracy defendants, named Jerry Rubin, who was very popular in student popular culture at the 
time and a founder of the Yippies, was invited to speak. It was declared that he was not allowed to 
come. I've never been clear what authority the Sheriff has to prevent that, but Jerry Rubin didn't 
come. And people were rumoring, “Oh, he's going to come by boat, he's gonna land on the beach.” 
38

 
No, that didn't happen. His wife came with another person. There was a huge gathering of 
people, and some people decided to attack a little structure the bank had put up, and that led to 
another mobilization of armed police, coming into town, riding in on dump trucks. They had been told 
that there were snipers in Isla Vista who would attack them. And that was the information these young 
cops had. So they come to this temporary building. Associated Students had called on people to come 
and stand in front of this temporary bank and sway people from burning it, so there was a group of 
people doing that.  
 
Suddenly, shots ran out and one of those standing in front of the building was killed: Kevin 
Moran. And the police said it was sniper fire. A couple of days later, an investigation found it was a 
police bullet, so, in fact, one of those armed cops had fired a gun and killed him. This was defined as 
an accident, but you can imagine that this happened here before Kent State. Kent State is much better 
known as a kind of global historical incident, but we'd already been experiencing here some parallel 
kinds of repressive acts. And the fact that this intelligence was given to the police, that they were 
under danger, may well be similar to what was being said at Kent State to those national guardsmen, 
putting them in a frame of mind that would then consider these young people they are facing as very 
dangerous enemies, yes? 
 
WHO BURNED THE BANK? Part II: The National Student Strike and the Crisis Curriculum 
 
So yes, there's turmoil all through this period on campus. Turmoil meaning normal 
interactions in classrooms is being replaced by a lot of intense discussion, and, when many 
well-known activist and leadership-type people would come speak on campus, big crowds were 
listening. When Jerry Rubin‘s book, ​Do It,​ came out there was a huge line of kids waiting to buy the 
book at the UCen, and I was amazed because I didn't know that students even read books. I'm joking... 
not that much.  
 
Okay, so what happened locally? Well, there was this National Student Strike in response to 
Kent State, but the Governor of California, Reagan, said that rather than have a strike, we're going to 
close the University of California. So he unilaterally declared the University closed. Now, what would 
you do as a student activist if the governor of the state declared the University closed? You go and 
occupy. We're not going to let the campus be closed. It was like a reverse strike to keep it open. The 
39

free speech area that was really used in those days was between the UCen and the Lagoon, on this 
grassy slope, and so people gathered there on that morning---faculty and students. That was a 
memorable moment for people. I especially remember this very well because it was quite a moving 
thing.  
 
What does it mean to keep the university open under these circumstances? And what people 
started to talk about was to have classes, but not the classes we had started this quarter. Let's create 
new classes that deal with the crisis and out of that came its name: ​The Crisis Curriculum​. And there 
were like 20, 30, maybe more faculty at this gathering, all of whom said “Okay, I will sponsor a class.”  
 
You could have a theatre class, you could have a music class, you could have a history class or 
sociology class, all dealing with things that had some relationship with not only the war, but the 
overall crisis in the society and how to study it. If they had a theater class, they might create some kind 
of guerrilla theatre activity and go up and down the region doing street theatre and so forth, relating 
to the war as an example of what was happening. So, a lot of us said, well we're not going to be 
teaching our regular classes but we will be teaching ​these c​ lasses, and this is sort of a miracle showing 
what can happen in a crisis. The then very conservative Academic Senate here said, OK, we will accept 
if a faculty member or several sponsor a course and present a proposal. We will accept that as an 
alternative way of giving credit for completing spring quarter for students to take this course, and you 
could take up to 12 units of crisis courses Pass/No Pass.  
 
Now that sounds like Mickey Mouse, but I was astounded because of the kind of work that 
people were doing; it really energized people educationally. People wrote research papers. They did 
field work of some kind or did art; all kinds of presentations were put together. In the class that I set 
up, there were hundreds, I don't know, a couple of thousand students who were involved in this 
program. And the university, statewide, eventually accepted this whole arrangement, and it may have 
happened similarly enough at other campuses, and some people in the university administration said 
“Well, when the earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, Berkeley stopped its regular curriculum and 
had special courses, so we will consider that a precedent that we can use for this.” I mean it's 
interesting how a crisis that threatens the very existence of an institution can be met either with force 
to put it down (and that did happen) or with an attitude that said, ”How do we save this thing?” An 
attitude that said, ”Well, let's create precedents in our mind, let's construct a rationale that will make 
this acceptable within some framework legally in terms of the rules that we have.” And so that's one 
way to understand that point that the institution accommodated at that moment---something that if 
you'd asked anybody a month before, “Would you let this happen?” They’d say, “No! What? We would 
never let students and faculty stop their regular courses and create this kind of stuff. We would never 
trust them to.” In the moment of crisis, something changed. 
 
More interesting even than that, is that there was a kind of collaborative educational 
experience between faculty and students that was sort of the epitome of experiential education, a 
different kind of pedagogy that became standard. I have no idea how influential that may have been 
on any of us who continued to teach after that. How we changed practice. But certainly that was a 
period during which, not just because of Kent State and all, the general cultural climate in academia 
was this space where people were questioning how education traditionally was being carried on and 
how we could break down our relations and how we could involve students directly in their education.  
40

THE HISTORY NO OTHER 

pamphlet will tell 
you 
Like me, you probably paid more than $30,000 this year in tuition and fees. You did it through 
loans or out-of-pocket payments, but the general principle is you're gonna be paying about $30,000 
this year. 
To be very honest, you shouldn’t have to. This is a place of learning and knowledge, and that's 
not something that should be monetized. Education should be free and available for all. But for some 
reason, we here in the so-called “United States” have decided to put a paywall on education. We have 
decided to put a paywall against the poor and those less fortunate, the very people that yearn for and 
would benefit from education. 
Now the idea of free college is a real huge issue right now, and a lot of people talk about 
Europe, but screw that-- let’s talk about UCSB! 
UCSB is a Californian public university, and, since its early inception, it was free to attend for 
California residents. That's right! It was free for all residents of California. Now, of course, this 
restricted many international students and students from out of state, but, even then, tuition adjusted 
for inflation was little more than $2,000 a year. 
Then, like with many things, Ronald Reagan ruined everything for everyone. As governor, he 
fought to impose tuition. The reason why? To be very blunt he hated people. His main goal as both 
Governor and President was to oversee the most extreme privatization and tax cuts in America. He 
really believed that those with the most money somehow needed more. He was thwarted; however, in 
1968, registration fees were increased. 
Then in 1980, tution was finally imposed on all students. Combined with the mandatory 
service fees, tuition was over $2,000. Now, this wasn't all too bad, but things quickly spiraled into 
terribleness from here. 
In 1990, UC tuition stood at approximately $3,000 a year. Still, not too bad. 
In 2009, there was a 32% tuition hike, setting UCSB tuition at $10,000. 
And now, in 2019, it’s at over $14,000. It has more than quadrupled since 1990. Together with 
the numerous fees and service charges, that adds up to $30,000 for every year here. 
The worst part is it doesn't have to be this way. For years and years, this university was free 
and open to all California residents. It did not function any worse as a university, and, in fact, I’d argue 
it probably functioned better because it wasn't so expensive. It was only changed by the whim of a few 
people who sought to monetize education at the expense of students. 
As a public institution, UCSB should be open and free for all students. It was founded with the 
ability to be free to students, and it should once again be free for students. 
Also, to debunk a popular rumor: when the workers at this university receive a wage increase, 
our tuition doesn't go up. You see, because we are a public institution, they are public employees. Our 
state taxes pay them, not our tuition. In reality, whenever our tuition goes up, our administration and 
regents seem to get richer for some reason. Just more proof of how we don't really need tuition. 

41

 
 

A CONSOLIDATED HISTORY OF THE  

ISLA VISTA
FOOd Co-op: 
  

Written for Shape of Voice, September 2008 By Melissa Cohen, featured in Disorientation Guide 2009-10 

In February of 1970, the Isla Vista branch of the Bank of America was burned to the ground. 
This action followed a series of protests at UCSB that underscored the overwhelming discontent of 
many students regarding bureaucratic and unilateral decisions made by the administration at the 
university, which ultimately created an alarming sense of disempowerment among some of the 
student population. The protests and sit-ins that were organized as a response to the issues at hand 
were discounted amongst the university administration, and, rather than being met with respect and 
dignity, the protestors were met with police officers and tear gas. Disenchantment and futility were 
thusly reinterpreted into violence and rioting, and Isla Vista became the location for the war. The Bank 
of America became the symbol of a population disillusioned by the overarching capitalism and 
corporatism that seeped into all avenues of existence between the university and the United States of 
America. And they burned it down. The riots that engulfed Isla Vista into an anarchistic frenzy over the 
following months saw the streets of the seaside town tainted with the blood of violence and murder 
and the death of a community that was once a beacon of hope for the dawning of an Age of Aquarius. 
 
And then there was rebirth. 
 
As leaves fell from the trees in the autumn of 1970, community members and student activists 
began to reclaim the streets of Isla Vista. And a group of people decided that the best “N-O!” they 
could give the corporate system was by never buying their food from “the man” again. And thus, the 
Whole Wheat Buying Club was born. 
 
Isla Vista was divided into 6 cells of operation, broken down geographically by the streets in 
the town. Every cell had an organizer, who was charged with distributing order guides to each 
household involved. To become involved, a household merely had to contribute $5.00 in “equity” to 
42

the Buying Club (collateral for supplies and storage), and stay on top of submitting and receiving their 
order. At the height of the Whole Wheat Buying Club, over 450 households were meeting in Anisq'oyo 
Park every Saturday, staggered by the location of their cell, receiving and breaking down 50 lb wheels 
of cheese, hundreds of pounds of potatoes, loaves of bread, all necessary foodstuffs to get their 
families and friends through another week of living outside the confines of the corporate food chain. 
 
And then, a local student activist decided that he wanted to start a storefront food co-op in 
Isla Vista, as an independent study project in the UCSB Sociology Department. Many of the original 
organizers of the Buying Club were appeased by the thought of a fully operational store, where people 
could shop at their leisure rather than in a confined appointed time while still supporting a 
community-owned and operated not-for-profit anti-corporate venture. After a capturing of a $13,000 
loan from the Legislative Directors of the Associated Students at UCSB, the project was deemed 
successful, and in January of 1972, the Isla Vista Füd Co-op was open for business.  
 
The supporters of the cellular, guerilla-style of food distribution that the Buying Club appealed 
to were less inclined to favor the more permanent setup that a fully operational storefront co-op 
provided, and ran the Buying Club for a while after the Füd Co-op was open for business. Once the 
success of the Co-op became apparent and most households had switched their equity into the 
storefront shop, organizers ultimately decided to dissolve the Buyer’s Club so that more energy could 
be put into the day-to-day operations of the Co-op. 
 
36 years later [at the time of this writing in 2008], the IV Food Co-op is one of the last 
remaining community resources created in the aftermath of the riots of the 1970’s. While the 
operations within the store have changed as the business has grown, the Co-op remains dedicated to 
the perseverance of a different way to buy groceries and produce, where the customer is the owner 
and will always have a much larger voice than merely the amount of money in their bank account. 
Whether it’s the Produce Manager receiving a delivery from one of the thirty local farmers the Co-op 
supports or community artists organizing shows to be played on the Co-op patio or even a place 
where KCSB will take priority over commercial radio any day, there’s something to be said for the little 
funky Food Co-op that most thought would fade away as the hippies grew up and moved away. 
There’s something to be said for what can happen when you decide to start a locally owned and 
community grown revolution. 

 
 
 

 
 
 
43

 
IV COMMUNITY  
Free BOX: 
Taken from Disorientation Guide 2009-10

The Isla Vista Community Free Box is what it sounds like: a box of free 
things in Isla Vista. It’s been around in different incarnations for 40 some odd 
years and is currently located in front of the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks 
District (IVRPD) offices at 961 Embarcadero del Mar (at Deville Rd). In this 
waist-high bin, you can find all sorts of goodies, including but not limited to: 
clothes (shoes, hats, jackets, underwear, costumes), kitchenware (pans, dishes, 
small appliances), electronics (clock radios, toys), books, and chotchkies. 
 
The Free Box is also a great place to drop off anything you don’t use 
anymore. A good idea: start a free box at your own place, and, when it gets too 
full, take it to the IV Free Box! The Free Box is also a great place to chat with 
people as you rummage--and it’s just a short walk away from the IV Food Coop. 
The Free Box is run by community volunteers, and it was saved from extinction 
in 2005 when a community organization (Friends of the Free Box) fought to keep 
it alive. Make sure to read the rules for using the Free Box, and happy 
“shopping!” 

44

THE SANTA BARBARA STUDENT 

Housing  


COOPERATIVES 
 
By Esha Shuri

The story of the Isla Vista Housing Coop is directly connected to the history and 
community sentiment of this town from the 1970s until now. To learn more about why and 
how the coops were created, I interviewed Frank Thompson, one of its original founders. 
 
The Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative was created in the 1970s, when the 
energy of civic engagement was as thick as the familiar morning ocean fog. Frank explained 
to me that, at that time, “people became more radical even if they didn’t want to be. There 
were a lot of police, and the police would stop people for no reason. When I came to school, 
everyone had a draft card. So virtually any male could be stopped at any time. It was clearly 
the police and us.” This frustration spewed into the burning of the Bank of America that once 
stood at what is now Embarcadero Hall. 
 
Frank came to Isla Vista after the bank had been burned and reparation efforts were in 
full force. These took the form of community based organizations that aimed to rebuild Isla 
Vista into a community that felt acknowledged and supported. Out of this sentiment came 
the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (SBSHC), started by Frank during his second 
year at UCSB. He worked with several of the same people who were starting the Isla Vista 
Food Coop and AS Bike Shop at around the same time. “We weren’t waiting around for 
someone to fix it for us: coops are organizing to solve the part of the problem we can get our 
hands on.”  
 
One thing Frank was motivated to fix was the exploitation within IV’s housing market. 
“We have this fight between tenants and landlords. It’s a win-lose--there’s no middle ground. 
You either have rent or you don’t. And when there’s a shortage condition, it gets worse and 
worse. The landlords are winning, the tenants are losing. Coops don’t have that. Us is them.” 
In SBSHC, every house has a board representative who has a vote in deciding funding, grants, 
member issues, etc., giving each house a platform for their needs to be addressed as well as 
continuous, direct involvement in the organization’s decisions. This structure embodies the 
motto: “We own it!”  
 

45

Additionally, he wanted to address a social issue he noticed was quite common for 
students starting college. “There’s lots of people who are largely alienated. People who don’t 
fit in but feel like they have to stay here or want to be here, but they just don’t have a 
connection. It’s sad, too: lives go by pretty fast. People sometimes don’t know what they’re 
missing and don’t know how to fix it.” From my experience, I can definitely say that the 
housing coops fill this void. The fulfillment of contributing to and receiving from a group that 
you feel connected to and who you know will always be there for you gives a sense of 
comfort, community, security, and genuine human relationship reminiscent to family that is 
deeply valuable but also so hard to find in a place as in flux as college.  
 
But the limitations and potential of a coop lies in the same principle: contribution. A 
coop can only be what its members give, create, and decide to foster together. So it is best 
suited for self-motivated types of people who want to pitch in and be involved.  
 
I feel that the situation in Isla Vista today is maybe not as extreme but at least 
reminiscent of Isla Vista in the 70s: ICE raids target undocumented peoples regularly, 
landlords disrespect tenants as a norm, there is heated conflict on campus over U.S. 
involvement in war, and of course the flux of sit-ins and protests screaming at the world to 
wake up to the reality of an insensitive money-hungry establishment. Conducting this 
interview showed me that the coops and other long lasting forms of protection that have 
stayed existing in Isla Vista were created by the community for the community, using the 
negative as motivation for creation. Their existence, like so many of ours, is an act of rebellion 
itself, actively uprooting established greed through people power, community engagement, 
and autonomous creation. As Frank said, “The bigger system is still in control but we can 
make it work for us.” Joining and sharing with the Santa Barbara Student Housing 
Cooperative helps establish alternatives to housing, organization, and hierarchy by 
embracing and appreciating what every student has to offer, making for a fulfilling lifestyle 
that’s easy to believe in.  
  

 

46

Food Banks 
Food insecurity is an issue that plagues most college students. About 48% 
of community college students and 41% of university students on average are 
affected by starvation. In our own community, an estimated 10,150 UCSB 
undergrad students face food insecurity  
A cool resource available to all students is the A.S. Food Bank. Located on 
the third floor of the UCEN, it operates on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 
from 9:30 AM- 4:00 PM. All you need to use it is your Student I.D.. You can go in 
and take a set amount of food out absolutely for free. It's all covered by your 
tuition and should really be utilized and funded more frequently, given the 
amount of starving students. 
Santa Barbara also has a food bank. They operate all throughout Santa 
Barbara County with the goal of ending hunger in the area. They provide 
nutritional education as well as disaster preparedness but, more importantly, 
they provide food. They set up mobile farmers markets and mobile food 
pantries in different low income communities across SB County.  
These resources are sadly not advertised to students as regularly as they 
should be, which is an utter shame. With the abundance of food in the world, no 
one, not even students, should go hungry.  
-Jarod 
UCSB Food Bank: ​https://foodbank.as.ucsb.edu/ 
SB Food Bank: ​https://foodbanksbc.org/ 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

47

 

El Centro ​

UCSB 

The 60s was a decade of activism and the height of the Chicanx movement at UCSB. In 1969, a 
group of Chicanx activists drafted El Plan de Santa Barbara, which called for the creation of a 
Chicanx Studies Department.  
 
At this point, the small 406 building behind the library was used as a meeting space by the 
activists and Chicanx students. After months of intense protest and activism, the department 
was finally given a home; the 406 building was chosen as the place, but it's now more 
popularly known as El Centro. 
 
At one point, everything was located here: the Chicanx Studies Department, La Colección 
Tloque Nahuaque (Chicanx Library), and the Chicanx Educational Opportunities Program, 
though these programs eventually settled elsewhere.  
 
However, the building remained. It became a space of acceptance and a nurturing 
environment for all students. And it did all of this for 40 years, despite neglect from the 
university.  
 
In 1994, there was a hunger strike. It was made up of 39 members of El Congreso, a group that 
meets at El Centro. The main demands of the strike was the establishment of a Multi Cultural 
Center, recognition of El Centro as a space for Latinx students, a stop to fee hikes, and an end 
to budget cuts to EOP. They were joined in solidarity by a number of other allies, and, after 9 
days, the Chancellor finally agreed to the demands, although these demands were never 
properly fulfilled. 
  
Even then, the university continued to neglect and even attack El Centro. It was left in total 
disrepair for years, and the university attempted to demolish the space in 2016. It was only 
through the efforts of Latinx students and their allies that attempts at destruction were 
pushed back.   
 
48

El Centro remains open after years of struggle. It remains a place of emotional and physical 
enrichment for all marginalized communities. A place of solidarity and collectivity for all. It is 
a hub for many different organizations, such as USLAC, El Congreso, Celmetines Creatives, 
SJP, La Escuelita and more. 
 
But beyond that, it's just a really nice community building. It’s essentially a second home for 
many students. There's a kitchen, multiple study rooms, conference rooms, and the main 
activity room with couches for people to relax on. Beautiful art and murals adorn the walls, 
and shelves of pictures and items that students leave behind add a touch of remembrance to 
the space. It is all around a warm, loving community space that feels like home. 
 
Facebook: El Centro UCSB 
Email: ​elcentro.mesadirectiva@gmail.com  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

49

El Centro​  

 

​SB

El Centro SB, also known as the Santa Barbara Lower Westside 
Community Center, is a volunteer-led grassroots community space located on 
the lower Westside of Santa Barbara. It centers people working towards 
liberation for people of color, womxn, youth, Indigenous communities, and 
queer people.  
El Centro was established for these groups to exercise artistic expression, 
fundraise, and host meetings and educational events. They build local networks 
that connect neighborhood residents and event participants to collective 
struggles for self-determination, self-empowerment, self-expression, and 
liberation of the global community, and, perhaps most of all, shared collective 
joy. 
It is a space "for the community by the community," with committed 
volunteers and organizers who are building critical dialogue and action for 
justice and equity. 
They host and book a number of events every week. Every first Friday, 
they host an open mic session, and every first Saturday, they hold a “Solidarity 
Saturday,” where they discuss strategies of collective action. 
Facebook: ​https://www.facebook.com/elcentrosb/ 

 
 

 
50

The book Scam 
You’ve probably already heard this before. It's been joked and talked about so much that it's 
been memed into oblivion: college books are for some reason worth their weight in gold.  
 
“Oh, cool, 600 bucks! That will buy me three books and allow me to rent one!” 
 
This is an exaggeration. Or is it? Either way, it’s a scam. Nothing actually differentiates the 
books bought in the bookstore and any other books out there. They're made of the same materials 
and the same information that you could probably download elsewhere; the only real difference is 
that it's yet again another paywall for college. Just another way they squeeze money out of you. 
So screw this: screw this scam. Get books elsewhere! 
Introducing LibGen: Library Genesis is a search engine for articles, papers, and books. They 
provide content that is usually restricted behind a paywall (such as our bookstore). They could 
potentially have a paper or book that you need for a class and for absolutely free, too.  
Another good free online book source is Project Gutenberg. They also offer hundreds of free 
downloadable books from hundreds of authors on hundreds of different subjects. You could 
potentially find your required readings here or even restricted books for research. 
Theres also b-ok.org or Z library. This is again another free digital library which currently 
contains over 4,000,000 books and over 75,000,000 articles. And a lot of these titles are new too so 
you're bound to find something you like! 
More of the science-inclined type? Well, Sci-Hub has hundreds of free scientific articles, 
research papers, and books. Again, these writings don’t have a paywall: they are 100% free. 
Don't want to use these sites or can't find your books on them? No problem: the A.S. Book 
Bank has you covered! The Book Bank is located in the Associated Students Annex and was created 
with the mission of providing textbooks for students while reducing the financial burden. It's a rather 
simple process: you simply check their online catalog to see if your book is available, fill out a 
checkout form, and then pick it up in person. It should be available for the entire quarter, and once 
you’re done with it, you can simply return it to the Annex at any time. They have over 2,500 books and 
are always receiving new donations. 
Whether you download or rent freely, it's important to remember that the system of forcing 
students to spend money on necessary materials is a scam. It is a scam meant to restrict poor people 
even more from college.  
Knowledge should be free and available to all.   

-Jarod 
The A.S. Book Bank is located in the A.S. Annex building 
Facebook @ASBookBankUCSB 
Online catalog: ​https://sites.google.com/view/sirrcbookbank/home 
 
Library Genesis: ​https://libgen.is/ 
Project Gutenberg: ​https://www.gutenberg.org/ 
B-ok: ​https://b-ok.org/ 
Sci Hub: ​https://whereisscihub.now.sh/ 

 

51

We live in the most defining point of our lives and probably the most 
defining part of the world. Every day seems to bring worse and worse news, 
whether it's the Amazon rainforest being set ablaze, innocents being dragged 
out of their homes, or even just the depressing jobs we work everyday. We’ve 
seen thousands of Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folks, and people of color get 
attacked openly in the streets. Our government continues to roll back 
protections on the environment, attack workers rights, and push all of us closer 
and closer to another war.  
 
All of this can make us feel powerless and small  
 
But we are far from powerless. Individually, we may be alone, but 
collectively, we could make real change: we could be unstoppable. If you feel 
angered by daily societal problems, if you feel threatened, if you are tired of 
being marginalized and exploited, then it's time to do something about it. It's 
time to get organized. 
 
We, the Student Activist Network, want YOU to join us in organizing the 
movement against the forces that oppress all of us. We are a non-sectarian, 
non-electoralist organization dedicated to racial justice, women’s liberation, 
queer liberation, immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, the rights of people with 
disabilities, and the struggles of marginalized people everywhere. 
 
Follow us on Facebook at ​facebook.com/SBStudentActivistNetwork/​. You can 
reach out to us via Facebook Messenger or email us at 
52

ucsb.activist.network@gmail.com​ if you have any reportbacks, updates, or 
announcements or if you’d like to get involved with SAN. 
 
Another world is possible -- but we have to fight for it! 
 
In Solidarity, 

 

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Item sets