Strike Syllabus

by Eugene Riordan and Thomas Franke (UCSB)

We are creating our Strike Syllabus as a resource for TAs and instructors looking to incorporate COLA-relevant material into their presentations to undergraduates. They are intended to be 10-15 minute mini-presentations that inform undergraduates not only about COLA, but about the structural forces that have brought us to our current moment of online learning and undercompensated university labor. Such factors include the neoliberal university, disaster capitalism, and police on university campuses. We will also be presenting lessons on the forms of resistance that have - and can - be used to resist these forces. These will include lessons covering moments of protest and activism at UCSB, mutual aide movements, and labor strikes.

Resources for Teachers:

Materials on COVID-19

  1. Dr. Duc C. Vuong Youtube (March 23, 2020) “How COVID-19 Kills--I’m a Surgeon--And We Can’t Save You
  2. AJ+ FB video (March 27, 2020) “Remembering the Health Care Workers Kills by COVID-19
  3. Now this is News Youtube (March 28, 2020) “How to Safely Grocery Shop During Coronavirus” [*Material for Community and Mutual Aid]
  4. John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center - COVID-19 Map

Materials on Theory/Framework

  1. Webinar: Building an Internationalist Response to Coronavirus
  2. Jacobin “You Can’t Go Home Again
  3. FB Post - Social Murder
  4. Jacobin Youtube Channel - Stay at Home series
    1. Mike Davis on the Politics of Coronavirus (Stay at Home #1)
    2. Vijay Prashad on Why Hindu Nationalism is on the Rise in India (Stay at Home #6)

News on Labor and Capital

  1. The Hill “Instacart Promises to Provide Workers Corona Virus Health Kits After Strike
  2. The Cut “Every Food and Delivery Strike Happening Right Now
  3. Bloomberg “Hospital Tell Doctors They’ll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear
  4. Telesur “Bolivia: People Break Quarantine to Protest for Lack of Food
  5. Counterpunch “ “Whose University? Our University!” The Struggle for a COLA at UC Berkeley
  6. The Outline “Tenured Faculty Should Be Showing Up For Striking Grad Students
  7. LA Times “Farmworkers Face Coronavirus Risk: ‘You Can’t Pick Strawberries Over Zoom’
  8. Teen Vogue “What to Know About Rent Strike 2020
  9. The Guardian “ ‘This is About Survival’: California Tenants Plan Rent Strikes as Covid-19 Relief Falls Short
  10. Jacobin “Amazon is a Breeding Ground”
  11. Make the Road New York FB video (March 30, 2020): Workers at Amazon’s JFK8 Fulfillment Center...on strike...

Materials on Community and Mutual Aid

  1. Cooperation Jackson “A Call to Action: Towards a General Strike to End the COVID-19 Crisis and Create a New World
  2. FB Post - Conversation with Landlord 101
  3. EDHAT “UC System Directs Staff to Stop Donating Medical Supplies to Hospitals

Action Items

  1. COLA COVID-19 Rent Survey UC Housing
  2. UC Student Workers UAW 2865 Santa Cruz “The Next Phase of the COLA Strike
  3. Petition: Sign-On Statement for UAW 2865-COLA Movement Solidarity
  4. Petition: Partially Refund UC Student’s Tuition for Spring Quarter
  5. Sign Up: Amazonians United - Organizer Volunteer Sign Up


  1. Daily Nexus Opinion: Major Flaws in UCSB’s Transition to Online Classes

The people’s university. 
Think tank for resistance movements 
Training school for a new generation of university labor organizers.

About the strike


Public education free and accessible for everyone - without student debt.
Critical thinking and skills - not bound to the imperatives of the market.
Communities of care and shared struggle - not competition for grades & grants.
Brilliance - without ‘experts’.

Learn your power to organize personal and social transformation.
Decolonize, democratize, queer, and abolish the university.