cuny

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Hunter College, CUNY, in the middle of Manhattan.

This sign was up for about a week [EDIT] 3 days (posted on October 2nd).

We had petitioned for 3 years to get the sign placed.

There are only 2 other gender neutral bathrooms on the 68th street campus, which spans 3 tall buildings and the much older, smaller Thomas Hunter Hall where this bathroom is located.

It only took 3 days for this sign to get vandalized and rendered illegible. We just want a safe place to pee.

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Students, Faculty, and Community Members Respond to CCNY Shutdown and Takeover of the Assata Shakur/Guillermo Morales Center – October 20, 2013

This center has existed since 1990, when students and community members organized through struggle to create it. In more than 20 years, it is not the first time that CCNY administration has tried to shut it down (see: “Student Activists Under Attack at City College of New York for Honoring Black and Puerto Rican Liberation Heroes ”– 2006)

Watch the arrest of a CCNY alum who sat in front of the center upon the takeover here.

View more photos from today’s action here.

Join our Facebook event on October 21st at City College at 12:30pm as we demonstrate against this attack on student and community organizing and oppressed peoples.

HASHTAG: #CCNYshutdown #SaveCCNY

Below is a press release by the Students For Educational Rights, the school organization directing the Shakur/Morales Center

For Immediate Release - October 20th 2013

Contact: Alyssia Osorioh (845) 591-8413; alyssiaosorio@gmail.com 

Glenda Ullauri (914) 218-1682; gullauri@gmail.com

Today, Sunday 10/20, the City College/CUNY administration has taken over the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Student and Community Center.

As of early Sunday morning, the North Academic Center, which houses the Morales/Shakur Center, and the library were both closed during the day. Though the library has since reopened, the Morales/Shakur Center remains closed, despite a policy for all CCNY buildings to be open 24 hours during midterms week to allow students to study. Police, CUNY Security, and administrators have been refusing to let students into the Morales/Shakur Center, and have already arrested one former CCNY student. The administration has placed a sign in front of the Morales/Shakur Center that reads “Center for Professional Development.” A University representative informed students in a press release that the Morales/Shakur center has been closed and will be designated furthermore as a Career Resource center. Books, documents, and personal belongings of students were removed from the center and are being held and “examined”.

An emergency press conference will be held before a CUNY demonstration Monday, October 21st, 12:30pm, outside City College at 138th St. and Amsterdam Ave.

The Morales/Shakur Center–won through 1990s CUNY struggles–has been an invaluable space for community groups to meet on campus, for students to connect with their political elders, and for movement histories to be retained and shared in Harlem. The Center has provided a space for students to organize around a number of issues recently, including the addition of gender identity into the school’s anti-discrimination policy, and the combating of rape culture at City College.

The closure of this space is a serious assault on our right as students to organize and cultivate community. This follows the September 17 arrest of six CUNY students peacefully protesting David Petraeus’s teaching appointment. Furthermore, the CUNY Board of Trustees plans to impose a policy broadly curtailing our right to political assembly on CUNY campuses at its next November 25 business meeting.

Please join us Monday, October 21 at 12:30 pm outside the North Academic Center to hold CUNY accountable for its stifling of student voices and disempowerment of community organizing.

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Harlem, NYC: Protest to save the Morales-Shakur Center at City College of New York (CCNY), October 21, 2013.

“This is a threat to all progressive, radical and revolutionary organizing and activism in NYC. The siege of the Morales-Shakur Center marks the escalating intensification of the repression of anybody challenging the status-quo and unless all progressive forces unite at this point, the repression will become even more draconian.”

Photos by Kimberly Stallone 

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CUNY brings in cops & District Attorney to file criminal charges against student activists
November 17, 2013

There is now a new and unprecedented escalation in repression against the CUNY movement and the campaign to save the Morales / Shakur Center at the City College of New York (CCNY).

Earlier this week, Tafadar “Taffy” Sourov and Khalil Vasquez, two student leaders suspended without a hearing by CCNY, were ordered by the New York State Police and the New York County District Attorney’s office to present themselves downtown to be arrested. They were told that criminal charges would be filed against them, as a result of three-week-old allegations against them from the October 24 demonstration at CCNY to save the Morales / Shakur Center.

Preempting its own student disciplinary process, which has yet to run its course for Taffy and Khalil, CUNY brought in the cops and the District Attorney to punish these two student activists. This represents a heightening of collaboration that is without precedent between CUNY and the cops, between the University and the Repressive State. This is an attack on the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC), Taffy and Khalil’s organization which has been at the forefront of the CUNY movement.

More than any other recent event, this embodies the entire trend in CUNY towards increasing repression and militarization. The appointment of ex-General David Petraeus to a teaching position at the CUNY Honors College. The raid and seizure of the Morales / Shakur Center, the last autonomous student space in CUNY. The draft “Policy on Expressive Activity” proposed by the CUNY administration severely restricting free speech on campus. The deployment of massive numbers of cops and barricades against demonstrations.

Now, the CUNY administration is overtly collaborating with the criminal legal system to punish student protesters. The CUNY administration is planning for a future where not only will student protesters be suspended, but they will be arrested and given criminal charges as well. Our student leaders, the CUNY movement, and the University must be defended against this repression.

On Monday, November 18, Taffy and Khalil will present themselves at the District Attorney’s office to be arrested and held in jail for 24 hours. On Tuesday, November 19, they will see a judge for their first court appearance. Students, faculty, and community must turn out from throughout CCNY, CUNY, and New York City to stand with our courageous young leaders in court.

PREVIOUS TIMELINE

On Sunday, October 20, the CCNY administration illegally raided and seized the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community Center, a space that has existed at CCNY for more than 20 years and was first won in 1989 through a mass student strike and occupations throughout CUNY.

On Thursday, October 24, Taffy and Khalil participated in a demonstration on campus to save the Morales / Shakur Center.

On Monday, October 28, CCNY VP of Student Affairs Juana Reina suspended Taffy and Khalil without a hearing or due process. As they were leaving their Monday morning classes, Taffy and Khalil were stopped and removed from campus by CCNY Public Safety officers.

On Friday, November 8, after being suspended already for two weeks, unable to go to class and threatened with arrest if they stepped back onto campus, Taffy and Khalil attended their first scheduled disciplinary hearing at CCNY. About a hundred people rallied outside to support them, with a large red banner reading, “LIBERATE CUNY FOR THE PEOPLE / LIBERAN CUNY PAL PUEBLO.”

No observers were allowed to attend the closed hearing. Taffy and Khalil’s lawyers made motions for a public open hearing, for a chance to review the evidence against them before going forward, and for other elements of due process for a more fair hearing. Following the motions, the chair of the disciplinary committee adjourned the process to another date, to be scheduled.

Taffy and Khalil remain suspended from CCNY.

On Tuesday, November 12, Taffy and Khalil were told that the New York State Police and the New York County District Attorney’s office was demanding their arrest and prosecution for criminal charges.

Source

Stand with CUNY student activists!
Tuesday, November 19 at 8:45 AM Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, Arraignment Part AR1 or AR2

In a time when feminism is being re-written as the simplistic pop of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In or as the declared death of patriarchy by Hanna Rosin in The End of Men, Riot Grrrl is a timely reminder of action and activism, of subversive models and the relevancy of youth movements.

From the review by Gladys-Katherina Hernando of Lisa Darms (Ed.), The Riot Grrrl Collection, (The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2013)

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CUNY Students Deliver Petitions to Stop Tuition Hikes

May 21, 2014

New York City – On Wednesday, May 7th, 2014, the People Power Movement-Movimiento Poder Popular (PPM-MPP) organized a delegation of students from seven CUNY schools throughout New York City to deliver petitions with a total of 1,883 signatures to New York governor Andrew Cuomo demanding to stop CUNY tuition hikes now!

In addition, PPM-MPP demands that CUNY be free, and that there be popular control of the CUNY board of trustees giving students the power to vote for the members on that board. This direct action took place on the heels of a prolonged CUNY struggle rooted in a legacy of student resistance against racist and elitist attacks on education.

The CUNY Struggle: Then and Now

Within the past sixty years, students have successfully gone on strike twice and forced CUNY to implement Open Admissions and open ethnic studies departments in 1969 and to stop tuition hikes in 1989. Recently in 2011, when Cuomo approved a “rational” tuition policy to increase tuition per year for the next five years, CUNY students mobilized again to stop it. They knew that there’s NOTHING rational about charging poor and working class people more for an education that should be free in the first place, all while the rich continue to enjoy tax-free income by exploiting us. And now, this delegation showcased what CUNY students continue to do best: hit the streets!

As we stood in front of the building that hosted the Governor’s office, CUNY students, along with a professor from the Professional Staff Congress at LaGuardia Community College, vented about the injustice of paying for an education that should be provided as a right to all and not a privilege for a few. Chants and poems rang through the dense and congested streets of downtown Manhattan as students proclaimed their dignity within an agitated crowd of young people fighting for power and change.

A Standoff with Security Guards

As we entered the building to deliver our petitions to the governor’s office, security threatened to arrest us for being on private property. We eventually found out that Governor Cuomo leased his office in a private building, which we believe is of questionable legality, especially as it provides a pretext to prevent access by the public to public officials, which is its Constitutional right. This is a clever tactic used to justify the repression of direct actions such as ours. However, we were not intimidated and waited until Cuomo’s representative came and took our petitions. We ended our direct action with powerful chants and high energy, determined to win.

Moving Forward

The struggle to stop tuition hikes and eliminate tuition altogether will take more than this petition. We must build a mass movement, which will take time, and we believe this petition is just the first step towards our goal of a free and community controlled CUNY. PPM-MPP is organizing to complete an objective left unfinished: to have free quality education controlled by the people of our own communities.

The People Power Movement-Movimiento Poder Popular is a democratic people’s organization dedicated to educating, agitating, and organizing for Popular Control of our schools, workplaces, housing, transportation, policing, levels of government, and all areas that affect our lives, to achieve Fundamental Social Change. We identify with the interests and aspirations of poor and working people and consider the anti-racist struggle central in our efforts to obtain a humane society.

Education is a right, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!

We don’t want tuition hikes, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!

Watch a video from the action.

Read other coverage.

youtube

WATCH: CUNY students shout “War criminal!” & “Patraeus out of CUNY” at former CIA director David Patraeus on his way to teaching his first class yesterday in New York City. 

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Visit the official website of the movement to Save the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center at CUNY City College at http://defendmorales-shakur.org/.

and PLEASE SIGN the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/savemscc

The Morales/Shakur Center was a 23 year old autonomous and liberated safe space at CCNY for radical activism and social service programs. But on October 20th, 2013, the CCNY administration illegally raided, shutdown, and took over the Center on a Sunday morning, and during midterms week.

This is a racist and repressive attack against CUNY students, against Harlem community members, and agaisnt oppressed people worldwide.

WE SAY NO! NO CENTER, NO PEACE! ¡SIN CENTRO NO HAY PAZ!

WE WILL NOT BE SHUTDOWN! #SaveMSCC

Like on Facebook: facebook.com/MoralesShakurCenter
Follow on Twitter @DefendMSCenter  #SaveMSCC #CCNYShutdown #CCNY
Watch on Youtube @ Morales Shakur Center
CALL: (212) 726-2301

socialistworker.org
Petraeus starts a new war

WANT TO turn a university into a war zone? Invite Gen. David Petraeus onto campus.

Ever since the general showed up at the City University of New York (CUNY), battles have been raging in hot and cold flashes. As students rattle barricades, the school’s Board of Trustees is maneuvering behind the scenes to quell the revolt, shutting down a popular activist hub and referring dissident collegians to the District Attorney’s office.

At the moment, the war has reached a stalemate, but as one semester ends and another begins, the university with the most diverse student body in the United States remains on the front lines of the future of public education.

If calling CUNY a war zone sounds outlandish, consider the weaponry the school’s public safety officers have at their disposal. A Freedom of Information Act request from a Hunter College student in the late ‘90s found that the school was stockpiling tens of thousands of ammunition rounds, including 4,000 hollow-point 9mm bullets. No bullets have been fired so far, though rallies have come to blows.

The trouble started this semester when the school enlisted Petraeus, the disgraced ex-commander of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and former CIA chief, to teach a class, “The Coming North American Decades,” at its Macaulay Honors College.

Course materials included literature espousing the virtues of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, but no mention of the general’s ties to Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, a private equity firm with millions invested in the controversial oil-and-gas extraction method. Yet demonstrations against Petraeus’s presence mainly focused on his role as an architect of U.S. wars abroad–part of an ongoing challenge to what critics describe as the increasing militarization of the university.

The protests quickly turned violent, with police beating students in the streets this September. The confrontation could have ended there, with a cluster of roughed-up students known as the CUNY 6 arraigned on charges that included resisting arrest and rioting. But it didn’t.