Six CUNY students were arraigned yesterday afternoon after spending more than 20 hours in jail following their arrests at a protest against the school's hiring of former CIA director David Petraeus. An NYPD spokesman tells us the charges include riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstructing governmental administration. Vivid videos of the protest show the police setting up barricades show the chaotic scene:

The demonstration, one of several protesting the school's hiring of Petraeus, took place on West 67th Street outside a CUNY Macaulay Honors College fundraiser which Petraeus attended. Protesters say the police barricaded off the sidewalk outside the entrance, and "forced them off the pavement and into the street." At the 30 second mark, this video below shows one protester being punched repeatedly as officers struggle to handcuff him:

"One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back, and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back," Hunter student Michael Brian said in a statement [pdf]. City College student Yexenia Vanegas added, "This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest."

A CUNY spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the arrests.

Over 250 graduate students and professors at CUNY and other universities have signed a petition expressing their "outrage at the violent and unprovoked actions by the NYPD against CUNY students peacefully protesting the appointment of war criminal David Petraeus as a lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College... Petraeus is responsible for countless deaths and innumerable destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war commander and chief of the CIA."