Do NOT dare use violence against the students!
Earlier on Thursday, it seems that administration of the New School made a very unwise decision to use physical force against the students. New School President-For-Now Bob Kerrey tried to provide cover for such action by sending a letter containing distortions and outright lies about the student occupation, choosing to cast the students’ action, unsurprisingly given the ruling dogma, as a security issue. The result is the confrontation seen in the video below, provided by the New School in Exile website:
In addition no food or drink is being allowed into the site, while restricting access to toilets. This suggests that campus authorities are laying a siege, which is a severe over reaction that serves only to invite confrontation.
One of the students wrote the following to me:
I witnessed a handful of violent episodes. Some of them quite disturbing — students standing in a hallway and then guards rushing them and dragging one or two of them out quite violently. Bob Kerrey did enter the building at one point; he talked to a random student who happened to be nearby and told that student that if the students damaged any property or threatened any people (two things the students had made clear they were not interested in) he would throw them out of the building. Kerrey then left and told several sources that students refused to meet with him. Which is a complete lie. Kerry also canceled an open student forum (which he had no authority over) that has been planned for a week now to talk about the future of the university citing “security concerns.” The university student senate had planned a vote of no confidence and a vote to actively pursue Kerrey’s resignation at this forum. The students remain resolute and encouraged by the widening support and recognition.
For more videos from the students, see the growing collection here.
The occupation strengthens
There has also been some very good news that the numbers of student protesters within the occupied building has increased, and that presumably Bob Kerrey has agreed to some of the student demands, as reported on the protest blog. While the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that a second building had been seized by students, I am unable to find any mention of this on the protesters’ websites.
For more updates, check:
New School in Exile (website)
New School in Exile (blog)
Radical Student Union (blog)