Important Updates from the New School Occupation

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)

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2 thoughts on “Important Updates from the New School Occupation

  1. I think that quote from whoever that student was was really biased, and should not have been used. First, the President has authority to cancel the Univeristy Student Senate meeting because he is the President, the biggest power in the university. He could have easily thrown those kids in jail, and chose not to, so they should be damn grateful that he had a heart.

    And students did refuse to meet with him, as my friends, who were protesters, said they didn’t want to speak with him, they just wanted their demands met. Please, next time you get a quote, get it from a source who isn’t lying through their teeth. Most of the protesters just want everyone to pity them.

  2. You do not come across as someone without an axe to grind. At any rate, that view of a president as some sort of absolute authority is beyond reprehensible, it has no place whatsoever in a university, or anywhere else for that matter. As for being grateful for not being thrown in jail, that is a position I find repugnant — these students were occupying a building meant for students. Besides that, unless he is judge, jury, and police force, the president not only cannot throw anyone in jail, he would have been fatally stupid in trying to get them jailed.

    I trust the quote as it came from someone inside the protest, not the friend of a friend.

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