My name is Zack de la Rocha of the revolutionary group of musicians known as Rage Against the Machine. I am writing this letter as a member of a growing community of artists who are concerned about the UCSD administration's latest attempts to shut down the Che Cafe. A place that is not only a great venue, but a source of inspiration and community building for any artist, student, or worker that has entered its doors.
In its ever shifting rationales for attempting to close the Che Cafe, the administration has clearly lost its focus on what this venue has done to enhance the student educational experience and the university as a whole. Simply put, no other university campus venue in all of California has done more to build a bridge between students of UCSD, regional artists, and indeed artists from around the world. This unique forum of cultural and political exchange is a rarity, and without diminishing the merits of other student organizations on the UCSD campus, few can boast the kind of scope and positive influence that the Che Cafe has garnered for over three decades.
I have performed at the Che Cafe a number of times and always left more empowered, more informed, and more inspired than when I arrived. Like so many others, I am personally indebted to the dedicated people throughout the years who have tirelessly worked to create a safe, all ages, truly democratic venue; one that should be embraced and defended as an indispensable campus forum for art and ideas.
Zack de la Rocha