A steady stream of micro-news has been filtering in today about the reoccupation of 65 Fifth Avenue by students of The New School for Social Research. The best stuff out there at the moment can be found here, via the New York Times CityRoom blog:
[...] students at the scene described a tumultuous situation in which protesters were pepper-sprayed before being placed in handcuffs and loaded by police officers into the back of a white van, around 11:30 a.m. Mr. Browne said it was “untrue that pepper spray or mace were used in effectuating the arrests.”
A video (see above) shot by a freelance journalist, Brandon Jourdan of Brooklyn, showed about a half-dozen police officers standing near the door on 14th Street when it was pushed open from inside. The footage then shows officers shaking cans of pepper spray as they hold the door back, spraying inside the corridor, and then slamming the door shut. The footage showed an officer, a few moments later, lunging toward Mr. Jourdan’s camera, before swerving toward a young man standing on the street shouting. In the footage, the officer pushed the man’s face and knocked him to the ground before arresting him.
Police have arrested 19 New School students who took over a university building in Union Square this morning, demanding the resignation of the university’s president and vice president and asking for more say in school policy. About 60 students from New School in Exile and the Radical Students Union had barricaded themselves inside the graduate faculty building at 65 Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. [...]
ArthurMag.com contributor and New School student Andy Folk was on scene showing his support:
“Our demand for them to resign is consistent with the faculty’s ‘no confidence’ vote in Bob Kerrey,” said student Andy Folk. “That demand was not met. Other demands were met, such as starting a socially-responsible investment committee, which Bob Kerrey is trying to bury in red tape. So, we need to show him by force and civil disobedience that students have a right over the school that they pay money for. This is just a demonstration of students taking back their space.”
UPDATE 7PM: Head down to Union Square South at 10PM tonight to show your support!