Members of Occupy Cal to form new political party

Members of the Occupy Cal movement are forming a new political party to run in the upcoming spring 2012 ASUC general election.

The party — tentatively named the “Political Action Party” — was first announced at an Occupy Cal general assembly meeting last Monday and was created with the belief that current student government leaders are siding with the administration instead of the students, UC Berkeley junior and current party leader James Chang said in an email.
Though the party is not officially endorsed by Occupy Cal, the two entities have overlapping members and ideas, according to Chang.

“Our party is looking for candidates that are involved in the movement,” Chang said. “But not all the members need to be from Occupy Cal.”
While the party has not formally signed up with the ASUC Elections Council, Chang said the party looks forward to legitimizing its campaign.

The deadline for submitting a party registration form is Feb. 22, according to ASUC Attorney General Deepti Rajendran. A party also needs at least two members to register, including a party signatory to act on its behalf.

The party has not scheduled any formal meetings to finalize its name, platform or candidates. However, Chang said some students have come forward expressing interest in the new party.

It is unknown if the party will run an executive slate, ASUC Senate candidates or both, but Chang said in the email that the party is currently looking for candidates to “win back the ASUC for the students.” The party’s platform opposes cuts, fee hikes, resegregation and privatization, he added.

But the party faces some significant challenges to getting elected.

In the last 15 elections, third-party or independent candidates have not won any of the four traditionally partisan executive offices — president, executive vice president, external affairs vice president and academic affairs vice president.

Rather, the race has been dominated by candidates slated with CalSERVE and Student Action, the two largest student political parties based on senate and executive seats.

The last third-party candidate to be elected to one of these executive offices was a candidate from the Women’s Party who served as the external affairs vice president during the 1996-1997 academic year.

However, candidates from SQUELCH!, Cooperative Movement, other third parties and independents have successfully won campaigns for senate seats each year. In the past five years, third parties and independents have held three to five of the 20 senate seats.

SQUELCH! Senator Noah Ickowitz said he believes the Political Action Party may take some voters from other parties, but not to the extent that it would heavily influence the results.

“The party may have trouble since a lot of the energy behind the movement has largely dissolved,” Ickowitz said in an email.

Chloe Hunt is the lead student government reporter.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    If the Occupy people what to form a new party, they need an appropriate name. I believe that “Extremely Silly Party” is back in the public domain…

  • Sophomore

    I’d love to know how any of the students have “sided with the administration.” Haha. What nonsense. Sounds like these people are just bored.

  • Current student

    occupy a job, hippies

     

    • Anonymous

      nice one bro

  • Anonymous

    The new party can’t possibly claim to represent the 99% if it does not include most members of CalSERVE and SA.  Maybe it would represent the 20% or 21%?
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M


    BRIAN: Are you the Judean People’s Front?

    REG: F*ck off!

    BRIAN: What?

    REG: Judean People’s Front. We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
    Judean People’s Front. Cawk.

    FRANCIS: Wankers.

    BRIAN: Can I… join your group?

    REG: No. Piss off.

    BRIAN: I didn’t want to sell this stuff. It’s only a job. I
    hate the Romans as much as anybody.

    PEOPLE’S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.

    REG: Stumm.

    JUDITH: Are you sure?

    BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.

    REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the P.F.J., you’d have to
    really hate the Romans.

    BRIAN: I do!

    REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

    BRIAN: A lot!

    REG: Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more
    than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.

    P.F.J.: Yeah…

    JUDITH: Splitters.

    P.F.J.: Splitters…

    FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People’s Front.

    P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

    LORETTA: And the People’s Front of Judea.

    P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters…

    REG: What?

    LORETTA: The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.

    REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!

    LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

    REG: People’s Front! C-huh.

    FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

    REG: He’s over there.

    P.F.J.: Splitter!

    • Hail Caesar

      Brilliant, to which I would only add:

      Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!Crowd: [in unison] Yes! We’re all individuals!Brian: You’re all different!Crowd: [in unison] Yes, we are all different!Man in crowd: I’m not…Crowd: Shhh!

    • Hail Caesar

      Brilliant, to which I would only add:

      Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!Crowd: [in unison] Yes! We’re all individuals!Brian: You’re all different!Crowd: [in unison] Yes, we are all different!Man in crowd: I’m not…Crowd: Shhh!

  • Thirdoption

    a 3rd party is definitely a step in the right direction, remember that you are representing  the 99%,  we don’t condone violence or destruction of property and it’s safer for everyone  to prohibit the use of anything that alters reality

  • Anonymous

    Not looking forward to “PAP Smeared”-type puns.

  • Rog

    Looking for candidates who can break into buildings and trash children’s artwork and destroy a century old piece of art?  That is the work of occupy.