Good grief, I thought I escaped the sixties. But no….
Dozens of students who barricaded themselves inside a New York University cafeteria have rejected the possibility of leaving the building as negotiations with school officials continue into Friday morning.
Members of the coalition Take Back NYU! have been occupying the cafeteria of the Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life for more than 24 hours.
A spokeswoman for the students said that NYU told them that they could face expulsion or arrest if they didn’t leave the building by 1 a.m. Friday.
Well, 1 a.m. came and went…did they get thrown out on their asses, or not? Of course not:
The school had said if its deadline expired it may use force, but now it looks like the two sides may negotiate.
The student occupiers, who chanted for the television news cameras on Thursday night, have said repeatedly said they have no intention of going anywhere, despite the university-imposed deadline.
The occupation began to turn ugly Thursday night when an NYU security guard was wheeled out on a stretcher after claiming she was pushed by a student.
What’s to negotiate? Among other things they want to force the university to give scholarships to Palestinians, and donate all their excess “supplies and materials” to the rebuilding of the University of Gaza, all while complaining that their tuitions are too high. Oh…and lift the dreaded “Coke ban”.
- Amnesty for all parties involved.
- Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.
- Public release of NYU’s annual budget and endowment.
- Allow student workers (including T.A.’s) to collectively bargain.
- A fair labor contract for all NYU employees at home and abroad.
- A Socially Responsible Finance Committee that will immediately investigate war profiteers and the lifting of the Coke ban. (?!)
- Annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students.
- That the university donates all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.
- Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.
- That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.
- That the general public have access to Bobst Library.
“We’re here until they negotiate with us,” demonstrator Julie Kliger told CBS 2 HD.
Kliger is one of the occupants and sent to CBS 2 HD pictures of her fellow occupants, a group of students who said they won’t bend to what they call the shady scare tactics of the administration.
“They’re resorting to things to like these mental scare games like calling your parents to say you know this could lead to expulsion or this could lead to their arrest,” Kliger said.
Here’s a video from the protest Thursday night…complete with chanting:
According to the “Take Back NYU” blog, things started to go sour for them, this afternoon:
NYU is taking immediate steps against protesters, at risk of its public image and the wellbeing of its students. Right now, several protesters in university housing are being evicted from their residences. This is not OK. Dissent should never make someone homeless.
Dissent should never make people lunchless, either.
The next blog post shows things getting steadily worse :
Near the end of the occupation NYU put some of its dishonesty on wide display. 5 students occupying the building were told they would be offered negotiations with Lynne Brown, and willingly passed their barricades to begin serious talks. As soon as they left, a cadre of NYU security guards swept them away and served them with papers saying they would be expelled. No negotiations ever took place.
All together now: AWWWWWW!
Hey, just a thought – Maybe your demands were idiotic? How about sticking to your studies, doing your homework, and getting a part time job to help pay for your tuition? And let the other students use the damn cafeteria.
The glorious end to the standoff:
At around 2pm today, members of Take Back NYU! left the Kimmel Center for University Life, ending a 40 hour+ occupation. Their action made national and international news, and showcased the real power of the new student movement sweeping the globe.
No doubt NYU will begin attempting disciplinary action, but no suspensions, expulsions or arrests can contain what began in the last two days. This fight will carry on in the hands of the dozens of people who made it inside, and the hundreds more who came out to support the occupation. NYU showed its irrational need to defend secrecy and its exclusive hold on power, and that alone will drive this movement forward.
Go home and take showers, chumps. When you’re done with that, look up the term, “private institution”. They don’t owe you anything on your list of demands.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers
JWF has more:
I thought with the ascension of Barack Obama to the White House that all was going to be well with the world?
Guess not. These overprivileged punks will always find something to bitch about.
An eye witness weighs in:
A cop eyed the crowd and shook his head.
“It’s pathetic,” he said. “These are privileged kids. These kids have silver spoons in their mouths, and their parents send them here – so they can sit in the cafeteria.”
One of the students who led the protest was Farah Khimji, who was ultimately suspended by the administration.
“I am incredibly disgusted, disgusted and enraged at the way NYU administration has handled this,” Khimji said.
Maybe the NYU administration was disgusted and enraged with your silly “occupation”?
“I left at 1 o’clock yesterday. If we didn’t, we were threatened with arrest and expulsion,” she told CBS 2.
As supporters outside clashed with police outside, 18 students remained in the cafeteria overnight. This morning, as five of them went to what they thought was a negotiating session, they were detained and suspended.
Then, security guards moved in on the rest.
Khimji says she was forcibly removed.
“He grabbed me by the shoulders, picked me up and dragged me to the door. I fought back,” she said.
And then university officials delivered the word.
“You are now suspended. You have to leave NYU,” said University Vice President Lynne Brown.
The 18 students will have judicial hearings at which time a final disciplinary decision will be made.
“We could be expelled depending on the hearing. [Right now we’re] suspended, banned from all NYU buildings,” Khimji said.
Despite their suspensions, some students believe their fight was worth it.