Monday, March 2, 2009

Gilroy, CA: Riot At High School

Most of Gilroy High School's 3000 students got to go home early today - those that didn't leave in handcuffs, that is. On a day that state officials were visiting GHS to consider it for an academic award, students embarassed the administration by engaging in food fights. The administrators' response was to promptly called the cops, who arrived in force with riot gear and dispersed a large crowd of students. At least 11 students were arrested and the school says there are 15-20 more it plans to "discipline".

The school said the fights were "gang-related", then had to backpedal on that statement. A number of comments from students on the
Gilroy Dispatch article also contradict this claim. GHS officials admit that there were no weapons used or significant injuries. Reportedly around 100 people, but possibly a lot more -- the majority of the school, according to one student, and official estimates always underestimate the participation in disorders -- participated in the second incident, mostly by throwing food, before it was broken up by police. "A lot of kids think this is a big joke, but it's not," groaned Principal James Maxwell in dismay.

Obviously, there are at least 11 kids who know this. As for the rest, was the creation of disorder in the prison-like institutional setting enjoyable? Why shouldn't it have been? Was it somehow planned to go down on the day the state reviewers came? In any case, students posting to the Dispatch website report a lot more disgust and fear towards the actions of police and administrators than any of their peers', "gang member" or no. The early dismissal was announced on the basis of alleged threats of drive-by shooting -- not very likely, with the school already crawling with cops; more likely in an attempt to spread terror among students and their families.

Of course, there is talk about gang members and illegal immigrants, about measures to control and discipline youth within the institution of school, or perhaps jail -- where is the line exactly? -- and prevent the formation of visible crews of any sort. In other words, restrictions on movement, expression and association, all in the name of rationality and the kids' best interest. What if their best interest is realized by actions like disrupting the institution shaping them to be cogs in the social machinery?

In resisting the institutions, not just schools but jails and nation-states, which keep us caged, struggle is never easy and always must deal with the problem of the ruling class's armed enforcers. We applaud the youth of Gilory, north side, south side, food fighters, whatever, who delivered this blow against their jailers' prestige, found enjoyment in disrupting the school day and got to leave early. As the corporate operators of a West Texas immigration prison and their allies in law enforcement recently found out, collective resistance to an institutional structure by its inmates can be extremely cost-effective (as much as $20 million in this case, in fact).

This fall GHS had a bit of scandal with an English teacher getting paid leave while being investigated by Gilroy Police, who determined she slapped or shoved 3 students in a class for English as a Second Language students.

No more classes, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks!
For social war and collective action against all institutional frameworks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the repost, and for the link to us... and all the other shit!