Group Marches To Protest CHE Café Eviction
Follows Judge Ruling In Favor Of Eviction Lawsuit
Over 50 people gathered at UC San Diego Tuesday morning to protest the university's decision to evict the CHE Café.
The underground music venue and vegetarian café has been on the campus since 1980.
Protesters drummed on paint buckets and cooking pans. They carried homemade signs, some reading "No Eviction: The Che Will Stay." Another read "DIY or die." Then they marched from the café to the office of UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla where they delivered a petition to save the CHE Café.
"By hand delivering over 13,000 signatures that have been collected over just a couple of months we hope he begins to see how important the space is," said Rene Vera, a member of the collective that runs the CHE.
UCSD said the building needs $700,000 in repairs to stay open. A judge ruled in favor of UCSD Oct. 21 after it sued the collective for refusing to vacate the building. The CHE's attorney, Bryan Pease, said he plans to ask the judge to consider additional evidence and may file an appeal.
Much of the trial centered around a 2006 lease between UCSD and the CHE Café Collective. The collective didn't renew in 2008 and had been operating on a month- to-month extension of the lease.
The Graduate Students Association voted to decertify the CHE Café Collective in June and asked the university to terminate the lease.
UCSD responded by sending the collective a 30-day eviction notice.
Pease argued the decertification vote was held without proper notice and done in the summer, when few students were on campus.
CHE Café has hosted hundreds of musical acts throughout the years, including Blink 182, Green Day, Billy Corgan, Pennywise, At the Drive-In, Album Leaf and Jimmy Eat World.
Music lover Zareena Shefa has been seeing bands play at CHE Café for eight years. She met her husband there.
"We had hopes to bring our daughter here when she's older, she's five, just to see local artists playing and see diversity and art here," she said.
Collective member Vera said the CHE Café is a lot of things to the community.
"It's not just an event space, it's not just an art space, it's not just a kitchen. It's all of those things combined, where people can find a little something of what speaks to them here," he said.
It's also a space where students have learned political activism, a skill they are using now to try and save the CHE Café.