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The UCLA Kids Are All Right

Students aren’t just organizing to save themselves a little money on tuition.

The University of California Regents are yet again planning tuition increases for both in- and out-of-state students. The Regents hold their meetings at UC San Francisco, because that campus has no undergraduate programs and therefore is less accessible for the students impacted by their decisions. Knock LA, along with our podcasting partners at Radio Justice LA and Socialist Students at UCLA, will be covering the student-led resistance to these increases.

But UCLA students aren’t just organizing to save themselves a little money on tuition.

In recent weeks, they’ve been showing up to make life miserable for some of the most despicable people in the country. People whom the UCLA administration, in a blatant display of their priorities, has invited to speak on campus.

The Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership series hosted Chicago mayor and slimy neoliberal icon Rahm Emanuel on February 12th, and UCLA students joined a global tradition of heckling this “smug asshole” everywhere he goes. Students chanted “16 shots and a cover-up,” a reference to the cover-up of the Chicago police murder of Laquan Macdonald, before walking out of the event and leaving Emanuel visibly flustered.

More recently, the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations hosted Treasury Secretary and former CEO of OneWest Bank Steven Mnuchin, who escaped prosecution only by the grace of 2020 Democratic-hopeful Kamala Harris. During the interview with Kai Ryssdal, recorded for NPR’s sycophantically-corporate “Marketplace,” UCLA students heckled Mnuchin so thoroughly that he withdrew consent for video of the event to be posted online.

Peggy McInerny, a university spokeswoman, later said: “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time we have been asked not to post a video of an event.”

And predictably, Mnuchin’s withdrawal of consent brought enough attention that cellphone video footage of the event has gone viral.

Keep it up, UCLA undergrads.