Sunday, November 27, 2011

Protest at Baruch Monday Nov 28th 4:00pm Against $1500 Tuition Hikes.

CUNY Students Rally for Education and Against Anti-Democratic Lock-Down
November 27, 2011

Contact: Dominique Nisperos (510) 788-0085, Elizabeth Sibilia (347) 249-2326
New York, NY– In a defensive move, City University New York’s (CUNY) Baruch
College President Mitchel Wallerstein announced yesterday his decision to
cancel all classes beginning after 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 28th at
the school’s Newman Vertical Campus. The lock-down coincides with the 4:30
p.m. convening of the CUNY Board of Trustees, to finalize contentious votes
on across-the-board $1,500 tuition increase and the allocation of up to $15
million to expand security inside CUNY schools.

The campus lock-down is planned even though CUNY’s own legal department
shows that the meeting falls under New York State Open Meeting Law and is
legally required to be open to the public, including any CUNY students who
wish to attend as long as the room is at legal capacity.
“This desperate and unethical move by the Board of Trustees and Baruch
officials represents a victory for students and the public” explains Priya
Chandrasekaran, a doctoral student in Anthropology at The CUNY Graduate
Center who also teaches at Hunter College. “They've gone to such great
lengths to shut us out on the 28th because they finally get that we have
the power of numbers, righteousness, and ideas on our side.”
Chandrasekaran like many students and faculty opposing the fees see the
cancellations as a further example of the misdirected priorities of the
system’s administration rather than what Wallerstein asserts is necessary
to “ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff during the period
surrounding the meeting.”

A week prior to the scheduled meeting, hundreds of CUNY students were
denied access to a purportedly public hearing at their own university. A
peaceful attempt to hold an alternative hearing and sit-in in the
building’s lobby was met with CUNY security officers wielding batons to
jab, shove, and hit students and faculty. Despite administrative claims
otherwise, video evidence documents that CUNY Officers initiated an
unprovoked attack on students and the presence of New York Police
Department Officers within the school. 15 students were arrested, several
injured, and five held in jail overnight in New York’s central booking.
University faculty view these acts as attempts to silence the growing
dissent at CUNY and have responded to the brutality with a student
solidarity campaign, collecting more than 2,000 signatures petitioning for
the resignation of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein--who also doubles as a
Trustee of the JP Morgan Funds.

"I'm proud to teach at a university where students take their education so
seriously that they are willing to protest to defend it, even when faced
with brutal police violence,” says Anthony Alessandrini, Associate
Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College. “The violent
attacks on student protesters at CUNY and other universities is an attack
not only upon their right to express their views, but an attack upon their
fundamental human right to pursue their education.”
A coalition of students from across CUNY’s campuses has organized students,
staff, faculty, community and union members for A People's Assembly to
Defend Education, a rally for increased access to public education,
democratic decision-making, and against policing and police brutality. The
event will convene on Monday, November 28, at 4:00 p.m. Outside of Baruch
College’s 25th Street Vertical Campus building.

Follow @OccupyCUNYGC on Twitter

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