Workers Vanguard No. 932

13 March 2009


Victimized After Building Occupation

Defend NYU Protesters!

(Young Spartacus pages)

We reprint below a February 21 letter to New York University president John Sexton and New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau by the New York Spartacus Youth Club in defense of protesters who had occupied NYU’s student center for 40 hours starting on February 18. NYU reinstated the suspended students after one week, but they have reportedly been banned from “leadership roles” in student activities and will remain on disciplinary probation as long as they are at the university.

The Spartacus Youth Club condemns the reprisals against Take Back NYU! and all participants in and supporters of the occupation of New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life. We demand that no further reprisals be taken. Early Friday morning, NYPD officers attacked a solidarity rally held outside Kimmel, beating and pepper-spraying demonstrators. Two were arrested: Alex Deschamps, who has been charged with unlawful assembly, inciting a riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration, and Jonah Calhoun, who has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon. We demand that all charges be dropped immediately! We protest the draconian suspension, banning from campus and eviction from their dorm rooms of the 18 students who were physically restrained and forcibly removed from Kimmel on Friday. These students face possible expulsion. Reinstate the students, now!

The attacks by the NYU administration, NYPD and campus cops on students expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian people, supporting collective bargaining for student workers (including TAs), and demanding an extremely modest limit on NYU’s exorbitant tuition are an act of intimidation against any future protests. An administration already known for vicious union-busting has demonstrated yet again to the world its contempt for students, working people and the oppressed.