Monday, November 23, 2009

Kufiyas at University of California Protests

Kufiyas were much in evidence at the University of California protests that erupted last week, against plans by the Regents to raise tuition by 32%. (Despite the protests, the Regents did the dirty deed.)

Here's a photo from the LA Times of students at UCLA on November 18, heckling two UC regents as police escort them from Covel Commons.

Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / November 19

And another one, of students at UCLA, demonstrating near Campbell Hall on 18 November, from the LA Times.

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / November 19

At Covel Commons, UCLA, linking arms to create a barricade between police and protesters. At least one student got tasered in this action.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Kufiyas were also in evidence in protests at UC Berkeley. At least one kufiya wearer was among those who occupied Wheeler Hall for 12 hours. Here the occupiers are catching food thrown to them, while they were barricaded on the second floor. (From the SF Chronicle.)

Michael Macor / The Chronicle

And courtesy twitpic, another shot of a kufiya-wearer in Wheeler.

Please note the diversity of the students. Note too that kufiyas have not been reduced simply to empty signifiers of hipsterdom. Don't believe the hype.

Since there will no doubt be need for additional actions like this, I hope at least some students from UC--and at other campuses where trustees are attempting to take the axe to education--will consider purchasing real Palestinian kufiyas from the last remaining factory in Palestine. Available from The Kufiyeh Project. I just got one in the mail--$12 + $6 shipping. But consider buying a kufiya-patterned tie as well for $25, with no extra shipping. Then you'll have a kufiya scarf to wear to all the protests, and a kufiya tie for professional drag.

P.S. Thanks to FB pals Jenny, Ken and Cathy for leading me to most of these items.