Violence Against Students & Faculty at CUNY

CUNY Public Safety Officers taking up arms against students and faculty.

Media are picking up the story of the violent attack on students and faculty inside a CUNY campus last night and a petition is up calling for the Chancellor of CUNY to resign. boingboing covers it here. Chronical of Higher Education covers the story here. The NYT cityroom blog covers the events here and reports that when officers began attacking, students on higher floors dropped books on the police from above. In light of recent events, I can’t think of a more appropriate response considering:

  • CUNY Public Safety took up arms against students and faculty.
  • CUNY students and faculty were denied entry into a meeting about tuition raises.
  • CUNY students and faculty were arrested on CUNY grounds for peacefully protesting.

This event makes me question why CUNY has a police force and who do they work for? I work at CUNY, inside the Mina Rees Library, (though not for the library) and I interact with CUNY Public Safety officers every day. I’ve watched them save the life of one of my colleagues. I’ve taken First Aid classes from them. In my workplace, they have been part of the CUNY family. But now, CUNY has ordered them to take up batons against students and the officers at Baruch have complied.

A faculty statement against this violent response to nonviolent protesters went up last night. But this egregious attack on freedom of expression and student’s rights demands more. This demands an immediate response from all students, faculty and staff of CUNY and all educational institutions in solidarity with the students and faculty who were arrested last night and in solidarity with the students who were pepper-sprayed at UC Davis. They have seized our books, they have told us we can’t make music or read poetry, or assemble in the public plaza and have conversations, and now they are attacking us inside the universities across the country.

CUNY Public Safety Officers taking up arms against students and faculty.

The CUNY Public Safety officers cannot and must not be used as a tool to prevent free speech. To take action, you can call the office of the CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein at 212-794-5311 or email him at chancellor@cuny.edu. The President of Baruch College is Mitchel B. Wallerstein and he can be reached at 646-312-3310 or email president@baruch.cuny.edu. The following points come from the Faculty statement, and can be used as a suggestion when you call and email:

  • Deplore any use of violence against nonviolent student protesters, anywhere.
  • Call upon the CUNY administration to support and engage respectfully with those students, educators, and community members who are working to open up spaces for protest, dissent, and discussion.
  • Declare that the use of any violence whatsoever against nonviolent student protesters will never be tolerated at CUNY.
  • Insist that administrators at both the CUNY-wide level and at individual campuses not call upon any outside police forces, including the New York City Police Department, or any other city, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, in order to disperse students who are engaged in nonviolent protests.

CUNY Public Safety Officers taking up arms against students and faculty.

CUNY is the nation’s largest urban public university system  and consists of 23 educational institutions here in New York City. In the past, CUNY was literally the People’s University, offering open and tuition-free education to the poor and working class. However since 1975, CUNY has charged tuition and has increasingly made admission and attendance more and more difficult. The CUNY Board of Trustees has repeatedly voted to increase tuition, making access to this public institution more difficult. Campuses that used to be open to all have installed security barriers and turnstiles, and partnerships with corporations are privatizing this public educational space. At the very first CUNY General Assembly, held at Hunter College – CUNY Public Safety officers were ordered to deny entry to CUNY and Hunter students, faculty and staff who sought to enter the building and have a peaceful meeting, even though they all had proper ID. This denial of entry was based entirely on the political character of their speech. This disturbing trend at CUNY must be stopped before the people lose their university completely.

12 Comments

Filed under #OccupyCUNY, Free Speech, Media, Michael, Opinion

12 responses to “Violence Against Students & Faculty at CUNY

  1. Pingback: [Update] News Coverage of Board Hearing @ Baruch 11/21/2011 « CUNY Protest!

  2. Your article sounds like a whiney teenager that was just told she had to be home by midnight.C’mon! How do you expect anyone to take you guys seriously unless you grow up?!

    You lacked objectivity by not stating where you were protesting on the University, whom you were affecting, and what/who you were blocking from carrying on with daily activities. I can see why they wouldn’t let you in on the meeting about tuition in lieu of your recent behavior: crashing the podium of political speakers and acting out like a spoiled brat(s);domineering a public space(s) in downtown and ruining the business of those nearby; blocking traffic for the sole purpose of stopping other people from working; hacking into others phones and emails-namely the police; dropping books on the heads of the police with the intention of causing bodily harm and/or permanent disability; and broadcasting to the whole world how badly you’ve been treated without acknowledging your part in this fiasco.

    …do you recall what was the deal the day..the music died?

  3. Michael

    Post updated with a petition calling on the Chancellor of CUNY to resign: http://www.change.org/petitions/chancellor-goldstein-we-call-on-you-to-resign-with-immediate-effect

    Please sign, this kind of violence against students and faculty is not acceptable in CA or NY or anywhere.

  4. Pingback: Press/News Coverage of Board Hearing @ Baruch 11/21/2011 « cunyprotest

  5. Pingback: Violence Against Students & Faculty at CUNY | Occupy Wall Street … | Occupy Wall Street

  6. YellowRoseTx51

    In 2011 the Illinois University used the yearly block party that the students had as a practice for the Homeland security to use the new sonic weapons on these students at their own residences.

    Once again, I am going to tell you. The status of a name in ALL CAPATOL LETTERS is the designation of a corporation. The ISD’s own code states it is a corporation. The UNIVERSITY’s ..all of them…are CORPORATIONS and furthermore these corporations are all traceable back to the SAME families!

    Once again, I’m going to tell you…Under the articles of confederation which formed the UNITED STATES corporation, YOU and ‘we the people’ are EXCEPTED. You are NOT a ‘party’ to the Constitution, and this is upheld at the Supreme Court and the Congress.

    What they did was to legalize slavery. The simply did away with ILLEGAL slavery! The three independant City States, Vatican, London, and D.C. are under Roman Latin Law and all who are listed under ‘federat law’ are listed as ‘slaves’. I could go through and post those laws again, but have already done so a number of times.

    They are funneling the money out of the nation and to the Vatican, end of story.

    There is a way to beat these debts, legally. That is to first common law copyright your name; second file a Security Agreement; third file a UCC1 which allows you to then Accept for Value your student loans, mortgages, electric bills, etc and this discharges the debt without paying cash which is your Labor. This will allow you to survive till the move is made, which is very close. Go to youtube and look up A4V and learn the process. I’m in the middle of posting that process at the Houston OWS site as well.

  7. Thank you.

    I don’t have enough words, but I hope those are the right kind.

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