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> A message from Prof. Ignacio Chapela:
> Berkeley. Wednesday, 18 May 2005.
> Dear friends, dear colleagues,
> I. An announcement
> I am proud to contact you with extraordinary news. Yesterday
> afternoon, the Dean of the College of Natural Resources at Berkeley
> communicated to me the intention of our new Chancellor to grant tenure
> to my position at Berkeley.
> This decision is a clear message of vindication not only of myself,
> but also of the innumerable individual and collective efforts put into
> this process by all of you. You have generously added your voices to
> the many questions raised around my tenure review and demanded a
> process free of conflict of interest or undue influence, and for this
> I am thankful. I foresee no official recognition of your presence,
> but you should know that it was precisely that which in the end
> achieved this result.
> As happened two years ago, when I received an important communication
> once I had decided to bring my office out into the street in front of
> California Hall, the tenure decision reached me while in the midst of
> another street intervention seeking to cast public light upon the
> newest incarnation of the bioengineering edifice. A small number of
> us have been using our bicycles all week to circulate messages about
> the hull of the bioengineering building on the Berkeley campus, which
> will soon reach completion (see http://www.pulseofscience.org).
> The cycling has been difficult at times, not least because of highly
> unseasonable rain in Berkeley, but this has not stopped us from
> continuing to be present, in the measure that we can, to represent our
> positions in the face of the biotech dream. We will continue with
> this event, now in the light of the news about my tenure. Please come
> to celebrate and maintain the questioning with us.
> II. An invitation
> I want to extend my invitation again to any and all who might wish to
> join us on the last day of our week-long event in Berkeley (see
> http://www.pulseofscience.org).
> On Friday evening (9-10:30 pm), the week's events will culminate in a
> gathering outside the bioengineering construction site:
> Gray Brechin, brilliant analyst of California's, the nation's and the
> world's environment will share his deep knowledge of the history
> inscribed in the buildings, stones and peopled spaces in our midst.
> Gray is author of "Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin",
> and "Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream". He
> is working on a new project which explores the forgotten public
> endowment of the New Deal to our country's landscapes.
> We will also hear from Dan Siegel, the attorney representing my case,
> but also a veteran student activist and tireless challenger of the
> university's history of exclusionary practices.
> The interventions will be concerted by Iain Boal, hub and spark of
> intellectual life in the Bay Area and the world, historian of
> technics, and, most recently, coauthor of Retort's "Afflicted Powers:
> Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War". Iain will share his
> historical perspective on the bioengineering edifice - in Berkeley and
> beyond.
> I will also make some remarks regarding my situation and the current
> condition of biology and biotechnology.
> For more information, see http://www.pulseofscience.org, where you
> will find maps and directions, or simply come. We stage the cycling
> from the platform at the entrance to the Greek Theatre on Gayley Road,
> across from the bioengineering building. The speeches, slides, and
> illumination will take place just to the north, in the grassy
> amphitheatre. Bring blankets, bring food, music, but please also
> bring light (flashlights, laser pointers, LED lights, etc.).
> For those who cannot come, please note that a live webcast is planned
> for Friday at 9-10:30 p.m. Pacific Time (see details below).
> III. Whither my biology
> The tenure decision has come in a manner to be expected: during one of
> the quietest weeks on campus. The significance and implications of
> this news is only slowly seeping into my consciousness, since I find
> myself once again in a state of exhaustion while performing in a
> physically strenuous street intervention.
> So it is that I will need some time fully to grasp the new situation,
> to consider what this decision brings as options, and to restructure
> my personal and professional life around them. Nevertheless, I must
> admit to a deep concern that the rare privilege of a tenured position
> in such a university as UC Berkeley may become a muzzle. I am very
> aware that becoming a vested member in the club of the tenured could
> cause me to measure my words and thoughts more carefully. I have seen
> it happen, as I have also watched the glint in the eye of colleagues
> dim, as they fitted themselves to the academic cloth. But I have also
> seen the sharpness undulled in those few among our large number who
> have maintained a critical and uncompromising engagement with the
> real, an engagement that is the straw in the shoe reminding them of
> the privilege granted them through tenure by the generosity of the
> public, and not by pomp and ritual, nor by autocratic decision, nor by
> presumed birthright.
> I know of no other case where the public's role in the conferring of
> tenure has been more evident. There is no doubt in my mind that I owe
> this tenure to you, as well as to others beyond yourselves who,
> without knowing, have been prodigal in support of a place to think and
> speak freely. I trust that you, and those who will come in your wake,
> will help me bear the burden of responsibility to public service that
> tenure in this university entails. No doubt I will need your support
> now more than ever.
> Tenure should not stop our questioning - yours and mine - any more
> than rain has stopped our circulation of meaning around and about the
> bioengineering edifice this week. Please come to any of the three
> remaining cycling events, or to the gathering on Friday evening, to
> celebrate.
> IV. If you cannot come, but would like to witness Friday's events
> I have received a generous offer from a technically sophisticated
> group to arrange for live streaming of the Friday proceedings. This
> will allow anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world to
> at least listen and watch. For those of you interested, the details
> are below.
> Yours,
> Ignacio
> Dreams of Reason
> This event will be web-cast on Friday 20 May 2005. 8-10 pm, Pacific
> Time
> Brought to you by Enemy Combatant Radio (www.enemycombatantradio.net).
> Make sure to check this website for up to date info, including
> details .
> 64k mp3 (broadband)
> Virginia: http://mirror.enemycombatantradio.net:8030/listen.pls
> Amsterdam: http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/ecr-hi.mp3.m3u
> 16k mp3 (dial up)
> Amsterdam: http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/ecr-lo.mp3.m3u
> Vbr ogg
> Amsterdam: http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/ecr.ogg.m3u
> In Solidarity,
> The Campaign for Tenurejustice (www.tenurejustice.org)
> tenurejustice@riseup.net

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