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View Full Version : Haven't seen anything like this for a while - and in the US



Magda Hassan
12-20-2008, 02:38 AM
Nice to see some action of a sort. Haven't seen anything like this for some time and maybe will be the first of many. What we need now are some workplace take overs.



USA: Students Occupy the New School!
(http://www.marxist.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6865&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=731)
(http://www.marxist.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=6865&itemid=731) By Karl Belin in the U.S.
Thursday, 18 December 2008 At 9:49 pm, on Wednesday, December 17, a communique reached the Campus Antiwar Network national discussion e-mail list announcing the occupation of the New School University's cafeteria by students both from the New School, as well as from other universities in the surrounding area from New York and New Jersey. The students have occupied the cafeteria, claiming it as an autonomous students center, demanding that the university immediately reveal any and all investments in companies with military contracts and the immediate divestment from the same. The students have now been occupying their building for more than 10 hours at the time this report is being written.
http://www.marxist.com/images/stories/usa/occupied_newschool1.jpgOn the night of the occupation, students erected barricades inside the new autonomous students' center, but kept an open door policy toward other students who want to come and participate in the occupation. A second communique from the morning following the occupation revealed that the initial act was carried out by only 75 students, but that support and fresh occupiers have come in through the night.
It is telling that the second communique came, not from a New School student, but a student at City University of New York (CUNY) involved in the occupation. The letter stated that, “Students from several Universities commandeered this space. Students of City College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center are here participating in this struggle. This is every student's occupation.”
This is precisely the type of development that we can and must welcome. All youth and students face the same struggles and must wage the same fight. We have to coordinate our demonstrations and begin to move in a more militant direction, as these students have shown in New York.
Another aspect of the latest message from the occupying students which is quite heartening is the fact that they have linked their struggle to the overall economic conditions of the working class, the class which most students are or will be a part of themselves. The second letter states:

“... We certainly have reason to be upset: On the first day of the Fall 2008 semester, the CUNY budget was slashed $50.6 million. Massive layoffs plague all our schools. We are now being told of a looming $600-per-year tuition hike and more colossal budget cuts to CUNY students and teachers, in a school that was once FREE.
We will continue this campus occupation until our demands are met. While the demands tonight are specific to The New School we will not be satisfied until the students and faculty of CUNY, NYU, all the consortium schools and beyond, have control over their universities. Education should be free, student debts should be canceled, students and workers should work together to achieve our goals, and we start here.”
http://www.marxist.com/images/stories/usa/occupied_newschool2.jpgThese demands are already quite telling, that those involved in the struggle at the New School have fleshed out a thorough and militant program, which includes the extremely important cancellation of student debt and students' and workers' control over the universities. The ideas and methods in Europe and those of the workers in Chicago have not been stopped by distance and they cannot be stopped by anything or anyone. The American students are making their mark and will continue to do so.
Additional demands include the resignation of President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President James Murtha, and Board Member Robert B. Millard from the New School. A full list of demands can be found below.
A third communique stated:

“We are here, making decisions collectively, doing teach-ins, listening to music, studying, singing. We've got an upright bassist, guitarists and vocalists (If anyone can volunteer a drum-set we'll be well on our way...). We'll be here until this university changes... We're not going anywhere. We hope to see you soon, and if you really can't wait a few hours [to join us] – what the hell – occupy your own universities or work spaces.”
Today, December 18, there will be a rally and press conference scheduled at the Autonomous Students' Center at 10:30 am. We encourage all students and workers who are able to make it to go and show support for these students, and to join them in their occupation. The center will be open every day from 7:30 am to the public, and you can arrange to stay with the students in the occupation from there.
The movement has taken on the name The New School in Exile. You can view their website here (http://www.newschoolinexile.com/).
The students have been joined in solidarity by UNITE HERE Local 101, who represent the cafeteria workers, and they have refused to cross the barricades. Our job now is to get messages of solidarity from our unions, student councils, and political organizations.
Messages of solidarity can be sent to:
The New School in Exile
newschoolinexile@newschoolblog.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
with a copy to:
Karl Belin
kb@newyouth.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
The 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: Workers International League (http://www.socialistappeal.org/)

Peter Lemkin
12-20-2008, 07:57 AM
I heard the take-over ended yesterday with the Univerity giving some concessions. More amazing to me than the take-over is that the University Police didn't just come in and start beating everyone up - which is the way things are done nowadays in the 'ol USA....

Magda Hassan
12-20-2008, 03:24 PM
http://newschoolinexileblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/final-agreement.html
Final Agreement! (http://newschoolinexileblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/final-agreement.html)

12/19/08

1) I agree to grant total amnesty for all participants involved in the
occupation and all events related to it over the course of 12/17/08
through 12/19/08 at all New School Buildings. Neither criminal charges
nor academic disciplinary measures will be pursued against those
involved. The University will not press charges against Eliot Liu.
AGREED.

Staff and security guards will be compensated for all time lost over
the course of the occupation.
THIS IS NOT NECESSARY. THEY HAVE BEEN COMPENSATED.

2) I agree that students may use the GF building at 65 Fifth Ave until
a suitable replacement is secured and instituted, which would include
the re-installment of suitable library and study space. This would need
to be approved by the USS. Due to my limitation under the board, and because of repeated and voiced student concern about the university's investments,
THIS IS ALREADY UNDERWAY FOR ALTERNATIVE SPACE. I GUARANTEE THAT BY
THE BEGINNING OF SPRING SEMESTER I WILL PROVIDE NEW LIBRARY SPACE IN
ARNOLD HALL. I WILL ALSO PROVIDE 7000 FEET OF QUIET STUDY SPACE AT
SHEILA JOHNSON GALLERIES BY THE END OF SPRING SEMESTER. I AGREE TO
MEET WITH THE STUDENTS TO DISCUSS THE CURRENT PLANS, ALTERNATIVES, AND
FINANCIAL PLANNING.

3) I agree that students will have voting representation on the search
committee for the interim-Provost and the Provost, as well as any
searches that may take place in the future for a new President. The
details of this will be worked out with representatives of the
University Student Senate, and input from the student body at large.
AGREED.

4) I agree for student participation to establish a committee on
Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for the University's endowment
and that this committee will then establish an independent auditing
process with the SRI framework. The committee to establish the SRI will
meet by the first week of April, 2009.
DUE TO BEING LIMITED BY THE BOARD, AND BECAUSE OF REPEATED AND VOICED
STUDENT CONCERN ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY'S INVESTMENTS, I WILL URGE MY
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE TO ESTABLISH SUCH A COMMITTEE WITH STUDENT
INVOLVEMENT.

5) I agree to grant the University Student Senate the ability to
communicate with the student body freely and without constraint (and to
not restrict their access to Groupwise email and other technologies that
enable this).
I AGREE WITH THE GREATER AUTONOMY OF THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT SENATE
WITH THE STIPULATION THAT THE EMAIL USE DOES NOT VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW
FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS OR FERPA REGULATIONS. I GUARANTEE
THAT I WILL IMMEDIATELY PROVIDE THE UNIVERSITY STUDENT SENATE WITH THE
TOOLS NECESSARY TO HAVE FLUID COMMUNICATION, IN PARTICULAR WITH
REFERENCE TO GROUPWISE EMAIL, WITH THE STUDENT BODY.

6) I agree that a representative of the USS should be allowed to have a
representative at meetings of the Board of Trustees in order to speak to
specific issues that pertain to decisions passed by the USS or directly
relating to USS business.
I HAVE ALREADY ASKED THE CHAIRMAN OF THE
TRUSTEES TO CONSIDER ADDING A STUDENT AND A FACULTY MEMBER TO THE BOARDS IN THIS CAPACITY. I HAVE AGREED TO ASK THE BOARD TO DO THIS.

Bob Kerrey
Posted by New School In Exile at 7:40 AM (http://newschoolinexileblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/final-agreement.html) [/URL][URL="http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=8878003971019003680&postID=4339484777891260294"] (http://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=8878003971019003680&postID=4339484777891260294)




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Myra Bronstein
12-20-2008, 07:15 PM
I heard the take-over ended yesterday with the Univerity giving some concessions. More amazing to me than the take-over is that the University Police didn't just come in and start beating everyone up - which is the way things are done nowadays in the 'ol USA....

Yep. Well this is great. Multiply it by a few million and it'd be really great.

R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N.