February 20, 2009

POLICE BEGIN RAID ON OCCUPIED NYU!



Spread far and wide and come to Washington Square immediately. After offering to begin good faith negotiations, NYU has arrested and suspended the student negotiator team and initiated a police raid of the occupied space. This follows police pepper spraying and arresting supporters overnight, and NYU shutting off restroom access, internet, and power this morning.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Feb. 20, 2009
Contacts:
Inside the Occupation:
Emily Stainkamp, (336) 207-8318
Farah Khimji, (214) 277-3879
Outside the Occupation:Legba Carrefour, (202) 297-4511
Emma Gordon, (518) 221-5787
http://takebacknyu.com
NYU Students Shut Down Building In Protest; 
Administration shuts off internet, power, restroom access, refuses to negotiate and initiates police raid.
New York รข€“ A student occupation of an NYU building stretched into its third day as the demonstration shut down the entirety of the Kimmel Center on Washington Square. Police clashed with supporters outside overnight and the NYU administration refused to negotiate with protesters, instead turning off internet and power, cutting off restroom access and sending police to raid the space, arresting and assaulting students.
Seventy students from campus group Take Back NYU! continued to barricade themselves inside a third-floor cafeteria of the Kimmel Center in a protest that began Wednesday evening. Demanding affordable education, student power in university operations, protections for campus workers, including unions for graduate students and adjuncts, as well as amnesty for their actions, students sought to meet with administration but have so far been rebuffed. After the admnistration asked to meet and discuss with students in good faith, a student negotiation team of five people was seized and suspended and police began a raid of the space.
Students report that internet and power was cut off this morning, making communications with press difficult. Students began defacating in buckets of kitty litter after losing access to restrooms. Outside, supporters, who came from all over the East Coast, swelled into the hundreds overnight, with crowds chanting "Whose School? Our School!" into the early morning. Police briefly clashed with protesters, pepper spraying the crowd and arresting one youth grabbed at the edge of the rally. The occupation was identified by participants and supporters as part of a growing student power movement that was sweeping the United States and Europe, with university occupations at the New School in the Fall semester and the University of Rochester two weeks ago.
"We're still reaching out to the administration to negotiate, but they've responded with force, attempts to stop press from speaking with us, making us pee in buckets, and even arresting us," said Farah Khimji, a second year student. "This isn't how you educate youth to build a better world, so we plan on doing it ourselves."
The group has asked for press and supporters to rally outside the building.
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Take Back NYU! members inside the occupation are rapidly losing access to the outside world. If press is unable to contact them, please contact the outside spokespersons for comment.