After over 24 hours of occupying the student center (which started Wednesday night), NYU students part of "Take Back NYU" continue to occupy the Kimmel Center, hoping the administration will meet their demands. The demands begin with "Full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation" and "Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation." and also include "Public release of NYU’s annual operating budget, including a full list of university expenditure," "Disclosure of NYU’s endowment holdings," and "annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian student." There's also something for non-NYU folks: "The general public have access to Bobst Library."
While Thursday saw solidarity and media requests, some students question the group's methods. One told NYU Local, "I think its irrelevant that NYU, as a private institution, comment on the situation in Gaza. It seems out of place with the more important demands TBNYU! could be making" while another told the Washington Square News, "It’s not right for a small group to take away space that the rest paid for the right to access." The WSN also had a quote from (updated) someone standing next to NYU College Republicans President Hampton Williams: "Get the hell out — we don’t want you here. It doesn’t take a bunch of Republicans to tell you’re a bunch of irrelevant, ignorant fuckheads.” (Williams tells us he never made that comment.)
NYU administration told Take Back NYU protesters that they needed to be out of the Kimmel Center by 1 a.m. but the protesters noted how they had hundreds of supporting outside, many singing, "We're not gonna take it." Embedded student reporter Charlie Eisenhood, who has been detailing the occupation for NYU Local, writes, "1:04 - We’ve been offered a chance to leave now. I can’t leave. I’ve been following this story for over 28 hours straight. I know you all are waiting to hear what happens. I got you. I’m in it for the long haul."
However, the NYPD has mobilized officers at Washington Square Park and the NYU Local Twitter feed says things like: "Police on horseback, ambulance driver says his presence is precautionary, smell of pepper spray in air," "First arrest of kid outside trying to climb "no parking" sign os kimmel," and "Violence in the streets. People are actively fighting cops."
Update, 8:30 a.m.: Here's video of the scene outside the Kimmel Center from earlier this morning; NYU Local estimated the crowd to be 700 "anarchists, radicals, media-types, and those timid masses that stayed out in the cold in the hopes of seeing bloody skulls or zip-tied wrists being paraded along West 4th Street." The police did apparently pepper spray the crowd.
As for the Kimmel Center? Still occupied by Take Back NYU, as of 3 a.m.! The group writes:
The administration’s negotiation consisted of repeating the same ultimatum over and over. They proposed probation (not amnesty in the slightest) for all students involved in the occupation, a disbanding of the occupation and the ability to meet with only two administrators in order to meet to discuss the demands. So… basically they offered to blacklist us, end the occupation and we get 5 minutes in a room with Lynne Brown (Senior Vice President for University Relations and Public Affairs) and Linda Mills (Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and University Life). This is not negotiation, this is mandate with no room for bargaining.
This is for the students who work three jobs to attend the school of their dreams. This is for the students in Gaza, whose university is destroyed and can no longer study. This is for workers in Abu Dhabi building our facilities with no human rights to speak of. We are a global university and our actions are connected to world events, whether we like it or not. It is our responsibility. We have voices. Let’s use them.
The dream lives on! And one police officer predicted to NYU Local, "One More Day of this Shit - It can't continue with nothing on the other side."