2009.02.21: NYCLAW Statement in Defense of NYU Student Protesters

New York City Labor Against the War denounces the NYU administration’s attack on student protesters of Take Back NYU.

The students demand that the university serve its student body through financial transparency and accountability.

They demand that the administration recognize the Graduate Student Organizing Committee/UAW Local 2110, and agree to fair labor contracts for all university employees.

They are particularly courageous in calling on NYU to support the people of Gaza and end University complicity with the Israeli apartheid regime — demands that parallel recent student protests at the University of Rochester, Hampshire College, and two dozen universities through the UK.

When the administration arrogantly ignored these concerns, protesters nonviolently occupied their student center, a direct action in the tradition of the civil rights, Vietnam antiwar and anti-apartheid movements.

The administration’s response has been typically deceitful and vindictive.

It called in the NYPD to attack protest rallies outside the building. It falsely agreed to negotiate, only to detain the students’ representatives. It forcibly removed other protesters — some of whom were assaulted by NYU security, and at least one of whom was arrested. It suspended eighteen protesters and evicted them from university residences.

We are proud of these students’ protest and refusal to be silenced. NYU administration must immediately:

1. Rescind suspensions, dorm evictions and all other disciplinary action.

2. Drop all criminal charges.

3. Meet the students’ demands.


Issued by NYCLAW Co-Conveners:

Larry Adams
Former President, NPMHU Local 300

Michael Letwin
Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys

Brenda Stokely
Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; N.E. Regional Coordinator, Million Worker March Movement

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