NYT: Police “Storm the New School”

Today at the New School:

A video, above, shot by a freelance journalist, Brandon Jourdan of Brooklyn, showed about a half-dozen police officers standing near the door on 14th Street when it was pushed open from inside. Then it shows officers shaking cans of pepper spray as they hold the door back, spraying inside the corridor, and forcing the door shut. It shows an officer, a few moments later, lunging toward Mr. Jourdan’s camera, before swerving toward a young man standing on the street shouting. In the video, the officer pushes the man’s face and knockes him to the ground before arresting him.

source: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/students-occupy-new-school-building-again/?hp

From “On The Poverty of Student Life” a pamphlet produced in 1966 by students at the University of Strasbourg who were influenced by the Situationist International.

By revolting against their studies, the American students have directly called in question a society that needs such studies. And their revolt (in Berkeley and elsewhere) against the university hierarchy has from the start asserted itself as a revolt against the whole social system based on hierarchy and on the dictatorship of the economy and the state. By refusing to accept the business and institutional roles for which their specialized studies have been designed to prepare them, they are profoundly calling in question a system of production that alienates all activity and its products from their producers. For all their groping and confusion, the rebelling American youth are already seeking a coherent revolutionary alternative from within the “affluent society.”

From the New York Times blog today, April 10, 2009:

[…]

The students had occupied the building shortly before 6 a.m. on Fridaywith the intention of staging a takeover similar to the one carried outat the university in December, according to a graduate student who isinvolved in the demonstration.

“The students just entered the building, the student said at 5:55 a.m., adding that he was outside, on a sidewalk. “And the police are already here.”

Around 7 a.m. several dozen students, standing on the sidewalk on fifth avenue, erupted into cheers when several masked people appeared on the roof of 65 Fifth Avenue, waving red and black flags and lifting clenched fists in the air. The students on the roof, draped banners over the side of the building that read, “Kerrey and Murtha resign now!”

[…]

As senior police officers and fire official arrived on the scene the masked students on the roof used a megaphone to address the crowd below. One of the masked figures read a lengthy critique of capitalism and contemporary life, which a student below identified as an essay, ‘On the Poverty of Student Life,’ that originated at the University of Strasbourg.

The students adopted a list of eight demands including a greater student voice in university affairs and the resignations of Mr. Kerrey, a former senator from Nebraska; James Murtha, the executive vice president; and Robert Millard, treasurer of the board of trustees, who students said was connected to a private security company working in Iraq.

[…]

That action ended after negotiations, but a students group calling itself the New School in Exile promised further disruptions if Mr. Kerrey did not accede to their demand to resign by April 1.

“With their demand still unmet as of this date, students have once again reclaimed this neglected, symbolic building which housed the New School for Social Research,” student organizers said in a news release on Friday. “On the 75th anniversary of the University in Exile, New School students are reclaiming the tradition of protest and political action that birthed the university and gave it meaning for generations to come.”

source: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/students-occupy-new-school-building-again/?hp

The unmet demands from the original December occupation are:

Demands of the Occupation

  • The removal of Bob Kerrey as president of our university
  • The removal of James Murtha as executive vice president of our university
  • Students, faculty, and staff elect the president, EVP, and Provost.
  • Students are part of the interim committee to hire a provost.
  • The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees.
  • Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and investments.
  • The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments.
  • The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the tearing down of 65 fifth Ave.
    • Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space.
    • Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition.
    • Instead, money for the library and student life generally.

source: http://monthlyreview.org/mrzine/ns181208.html

On the Poverty of Student Life:

with footnotes: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/poverty.htm
without: http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/141

French original: http://library.nothingness.org/articles/4/fr/display/12

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Posted on April 10, 2009, in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. More videos and updates now posted on our web site, including updates on the arrested students.

  2. The university has now convened a disciplinary committee to investigate the protest:
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/new-school-orders-inquiry-into-building-takeover/?hp

    Interestingly, according to a poster a Marxmail:

    ‘Two professors named to sit on Kerrey’s
    investigation committee, James Miller and David Howell, are both
    “radicals”. Howell has written for the URPE journal and Miller wrote
    “Democracy Is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago”.’ Esh.

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