More images have come in from the confrontation that took place at the tail end of Friday's student protest and occupation of a university tower at The New School. The debate continues over the NYPD's response caught on tape using tear gas and forcefully arresting protesters who attempted to escape. The 22 demonstrators arrested Friday were in court yesterday where they were released without bail. Court dates have been set for two weeks from now.
New School President Bob Kerrey spoke to the Post, saying he has no plans to resign "unless the quality of my life deteriorates." Students involved with the The New School Reoccupied are still calling for the removal of Kerrey and VP James Murtha due to students' lack of a voice in the university's direction. Kerrey has also received a vote of no-confidence from 95% of New School faculty members.
Kerrey did not mince words though when addressing the occupiers, saying, "They put on black masks and wander around New York City? We still remember 9/11 around here." He also told the Post, "An illegal occupation of a building is not a legitimate protest. There's a long list of legitimate ways to protest a university. This isn't one of them. If they do it again, I'll call (the NYPD) again."
After the jump is an email sent yesterday from the New School to the New School community, offering a narrative of events:
Update from The New School
New York City, April 11, 2009 - Early yesterday morning, a New School
building at the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue was illegally
broken into by approximately 30 people, some of whom were New School
students. The police were involved and 22 protesters were arrested. Any
participant that is enrolled at The New School will be suspended pending
completion of disciplinary proceedings. Below is a timeline of activity
of yesterday's events.
At 5:25am, a maintenance employee for The New School was in the
cafeteria in 65th 5th Avenue. He heard a loud bang when over two dozen
protesters with crowbars broke the locks on the side door on 13th
Street. As he exited the cafeteria, he was overwhelmed by another group
of protestors, some wearing face masks. He reported being physically
grabbed by four men and forced out the door. During this time, they
stole his security two-way radio.
A security supervisor responded to a call from the maintenance employee
and went to the buildings entrance on 13th Street, where he interrupted
the protestors in their effort to block the doorway. Although students
have publicly denied that anyone was hurt, participants slammed the
supervisors leg in the door as he tried to enter through the door. He
sustained injuries to his leg and went to the emergency room at St.
The protesters carried crowbars, bolt-cutters, mace, paint, hundreds of
feet of security cable, masking and duct tape, kryptonite locks, and
hundreds of feet of nylon rope into the building. They were also
carrying sleeping bags and food, indicating they planned to be in the
building for some time.
Security called 911 to report a burglary at The New School and gave the
location at 65 5th Avenue. The initial NYPD responding units arrived at
the scene in three minutes and began assembling a comprehensive team to
deal with the break-in. NYPD have been on alert since December 2008 as
there have been numerous attempts to break into this building before.
NYPD protocols dictated the nature of the response by the police.
The protesters, some but not all of whom were New School students,
blocked all building entrances. They used conduit pipe, or hollow metal
bars, heavy, plastic-coated security cable, and gravity locks to block
the doors, which were then reinforced with desks and chairs. They used
Crazy Glue on all the locks. They put duct tape over all security
cameras and transmission devices, effectively cutting off the buildings
network service. They also cut through the cage inside the building to
the cafeteria and smashed the cash register.
Between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., up to nine hooded individuals appeared
on the roof of the building, where they made a statement and hung signs
at the 13th Street and 5th Avenue corner of the building.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. a group of students tried to escape through
an exit on 14th Street. It is estimated that eight participants escaped
down 14th Street. Three were caught by the NYPD and resisted arrest. The
individuals included three students, one from The New School, one from
Brooklyn College and one from NYU, who was confirmed by NYU security as
a member of their previous occupation. These protesters hurt two police
officers and face charges of assault in the 2nd degree. One protester,
a New School student, was hurt in the altercation.
At 11:45, the NYPD prepared to enter the building. Using a megaphone,
Tim Sikorski, head of New School security, warned the protesters they
would be arrested and the NYPDs hostage negotiation leader also made a
similar announcement. Protesters responded to the NYPDs request and
unlocked the doors and let the NYPD in.
There were 16 males and 3 females present in the building. All were
arrested, in addition to the 3 arrested earlier on 14th Street. It is
unknown at this time how many participants were New School students.
There were participants from other universities as well as other
unaffiliated individuals. Protesters inside the building did not resist
arrest. The NYPD used plastic handcuffs and led each participant out of
the building. They were taken to NYPDs central booking. All participants
face charges for burglary in the 3rd degree, a charge stemming from
breaking into an unoccupied building.