February 21, 2012
February 8, 2012
December 6, 2011
This is an article from the New School Free Press detailing an outsider’s perspective to the fall of the recent All City Student Occupation of the New School. While The Free Press has been a typically shoddy newspaper when it comes to covering radical events, it presents a fascinating timeline, nonetheless.
The Glorious Rise and Ignominious Fall of a Student Occupation
On Tuesday, November 22, Kellen Auditorium was filled to capacity as members of the New School community turned up for a public forum, organized by President David Van Zandt, regarding the student occupation at 90 Fifth Ave. Before the meeting had even begun, security guards were ushering attendees into an overflow room next door, where they could watch the forum on a live video feed. Tensions were high as Van Zandt prepared to address the crowded room, facing his most difficult test yet as president of The New School.
Since November 17, students from universities throughout New York City had been occupying The New School’s Student Study Center, influenced by the Occupy Wall Street movement that has swept across the country. As part of a student-organized “Day of Action,” thousands had converged on Union Square before marching over to Fifth Avenue, where dozens of students entered the New School building at 90 Fifth Ave. There, they took control of the study center’s second floor and announced the third occupation of a New School building in three years. Optimistic and energized, the occupiers hoped to transform the Student Study Center into a space where people could openly discuss economic issues pertaining to students, organize political actions, and launch a national student movement.
But five days into the occupation, as Van Zandt stood in front of more than a hundred people in Kellen Auditorium, it was clear that the occupation of 90 Fifth Ave. had divided the university. An overwhelming majority of the students who spoke at the public forum were opposed to the occupation, and many expressed anger at the administration for allowing it to continue. While a number of the students there said that they supported OWS and had initially supported the occupation, they were dismayed by the turn of events at the Student Study Center.
What had begun as a widely-supported and inclusive movement had, somehow, devolved into a tense, convoluted, and unpopular situation. Read the rest of this entry »
November 18, 2011
Yesterday during the chaos of the #N17 day of action a coalition of NYC students broke off from a Union Square march and occupied the new study space on 5th Avenue, just south of 14th Street. The space, just opened this year, was a temporary replacement for the freshly demolished 65 5th Avenue, a space occupied in both 2008 and 2009. This time instead of immediate police raids ordered from then president Bob Kerry, new university president David Van Zandt has tentatively allowed the occupation to remain, given their obedience to university and building codes.
Statement posted on allcitystudentoccupation.com:
A joint statement authored by the All-NYC Student General Assembly.
Two days ago the NYPD, under the orders of a billionaire mayor who does not represent us, raided Occupy Wall Street with riot gear and batons. Today we occupy. Everywhere. On this historic day of global action, the students of New York City public and private universities and colleges, in solidarity with the 99%, Occupy Wall Street, labor, and all those dispossessed by our economic and political system, will expand the struggle and occupy a university space.
Today, the university is a supreme symbol of social and economic inequality. Skyrocketing tuition costs at public and private institutions deny us access to higher education and saddle us with crushing debt. We will reclaim this elite space and make it open to all. We will foster dialog and build solidarity between students, workers, and others excluded or marginalized by economic and social inequalities. We will build community through the commonality of occupation. We will offer free education – this is systematically forbidden. We join a long tradition of student activism and struggle. We the indebted and the future unemployed and underemployed stand committed to this movement for our collective lives. We invite all to join us in this open occupation.
Workers, students, and the millions of this city unite!
Together we will be victorious.
ESCALATE the Struggle. EXPAND the Movement. OCCUPY!