Occupation of the New School University, NYC

Posted on December 18, 2008 by

Thanks to a notice from a visitor, there is news tonight that the New School has been occupied by protesting students, following very heated conflict between faculty and the president, Bob Kerrey (see links to stories and alerts below).

According to the website for the occupation (New School in Exile):

As of 19:00 (7 pm) a diverse collection of students from the New School community began an occupation of the Graduate Faculty building at 65 5th Ave. This is the only central student space on campus, and hosts the remnants of the Fogelman Library, the “fishbowl” study space and the Fifth Avenue Cafe. The students occupying the building have declared the 65 5th Ave. space an open student study space and intent to keep the building open indefinitely. All New School students are encourage to come and join us in our “Study-In.”

Protesters have also set up a blog, the New New School University.

Bob Kerrey, a former U.S. Senator and Governor of Nebraska, met with faculty on December 16, 2008, and was faced with strong opposition over the manner in which he has governed the university (more on this story). In an attempt to bring his case to a wider public, Kerrey launched a blog, and was almost instantly battled by commenters. Kerrey refuses to resign, even though he has lost a confidence motion voted on by faculty.

The best collection of links concerning this action are to be found on the New School in Exile website. Academic governance of academic institutions is absolutely critical, and I can only offer space on this blog in solidarity with colleagues and students at the New School.


New School Students Stage a Sit-In (Gothamist, Dec. 17, 2008)

“We have just occupied New School University” (Queers without Borders, Dec. 17, 2008) — this blog reports that the student action was undertaken in explicit solidarity with the student protesters in Greece:

We liberate this space for ourselves, and all those who want to join us, for our general autonomous use. We take the university in explicit solidarity with those occupying the universities and streets in Greece, Italy, France, and Spain.

This occupation begin as a response to specific conditions at the New School, the corporatization of the university and the impoverishment of education in general. However, it is not just this university but also New York City that is in crisis: in the next several month, thousands of us will be losing our jobs, while housing remains unaffordable and unavailable to many and the cost of living skyrockets.

So we stress that the general nature of these intolerable conditions exists across the spectrum of capitalist existence, in our universities and our cities, in all of our social relations. For this reason, what begins tonight at the New School cannot, and should not, be contained here.

Thus: with this occupation, we inaugurate a sequence of revolt in New York City and the United States, a coming wave of occupations, blockades, and strikes in this time of crisis.

Be assured, this is only the beginning,

With solidarity and love from New York to Greece, To Italy, France and Spain,

To the coming insurrection.

-New School Occupation Committee

Bob Kerrey is Not Popular at the New School (The Urban Elitist, Dec. 11, 2008)

Bob Kerrey, New School’s ‘Moderate’ War Criminal (FAIR: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Dec. 12, 2008).

See the next post continuing from here.

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