Update on NYU Occupation

According to there site (the link is below), NYU refuses to negotiate with the students. They first offered to talk if the group called off the protest. They were (obviously) told that would not do. So tonight, NYU plans to arrest and expel students who are “trespassing” after 1 am tonight.

This may, oddly, be over before it starts. It seems like a lot hinges upon their emphasizing that they get immunity. I wonder, since I’m not at NYU or in New York, how many students really feel this way. I think most of their demands are solid – I think many students may feel the same – but I wonder how deep the frustration really reaches. Please fill me in if one knows.

*UPDATE*
They’re still there. Their call for protests in front of the Kimmel building was answered and NYU has agreed to negotiate with the students, although that does not seem to be going too well.

There is a lot of diverse comments and thoughts about their actions, but the more negative people are to this, the more I tend to side with them. Despite, as I mentioned before, their insistence on amnesty and pay for teachers (they need to face the consequences), I feel like these are important things at any university. When I hear comments like we, the lunch crowd, are against you because we care more about quesadillas and food than what your causes are, I feel like jumping into the building myself.

It is of no use comparing this to the 1960s and saying these kids are “playing” radicals – that is certainly a supportable position, especially when they are hardly willing to go down for their beliefs. But is that the point? Has protest in the US been that blackballed that any sense of moral outrage, genuine moral outrage (and wherever this NYU protest stands) is seen as us “playing” heroes from another era. Are the people really that against the NYU students? We’ll see, but this is a fun experiment, let’s hope, because their demands are reasonable, they succeed.

Hang in there.

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~ by Daniel on February 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “Update on NYU Occupation”

  1. Thanks for your post, but I disagree on the importance of amnesty…how could the students hope to accomplish anything when their first demand is their own protection? Most of the students backed down when it became clear that they would risk consequences for standing up for their beliefs.

    Fighting for change entails risk…Thoreau, Gandhi, King all suffered for their beliefs, and so many of these so-called protestors weren’t willing to do the same. Their weak devotion to their cause implies that it wasn’t that important to begin with.

    Admittedly my take is significantly less serious than yours: http://rumorsontheinternets.org/2009/02/20/nyu-protestors-are-completely-embarrassing-themselves/

  2. I posted that very quickly and need to clarify. When I said they need more gall, I meant to say, they need to take the consequences that come with protest, regardless of the degree.

    I agree with you. Protest entails risk. This was risky. I don’t think that amnesty should be what they are fighting for, although it would be nice for them as students to continue to go NYU.

    I will clarify, but thanks for the comment!

  3. “…I feel like jumping into the building myself…”

    hold my hand… I jump with you…

    Thank you for the post.

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