occupation of New School flagship building continues!

Posted by @ 6:34 pm on December 18th, 2008

This isn’t strictly literary, but I thought people would be interested to hear that the New School occupation is now into its 20-somethingth hour and as near as I can tell, going strong. After reading some snarks about the protesters on Gawker this afternoon, I decided to stop what I was doing, head into Manhattan and check things out for myself. I did my MFA at New School (see? not totally irrelevant to literature!) and so was able to get into the building. They have a list of demands, which you can read on their frequently-updated website, but the top item on the list is the removal of president Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic governor of and senator from Nebraska.

Everyone at New School–teachers and students alike–has basically known Bob Kerrey is a joke, at least as far back as my starting the MFA  program (Fall 2005). After he brought both John McCain and Newt Gingrich to speak at the school, it became clear what his real agenda was: collect a big fat fucking paycheck while using the school to set the stage for his next political campaign. Thanks but no thanks you center-right impostor. Good riddance to neo-liberal rubbish. The sooner the better.

I sat and listened to the direct democracy at work for about an hour and snapped some pictures from the center of the occupation, which you’ll find after the jump.

(If you’re wondering- I identified myself to the guys at the press table and they said it was OK if I posted what I had shot, without asking to see it first. There were about a dozen people shooting video and taking photos–including several of me–and nobody was masked up, so I don’t think the protesters are trying to stay anonymous, but I didn’t ask for any of the names of people in the pics.)

This is the first thing you see when you enter the building at 65 5th Avenue. "No confidence" refers to a senior faculty vote of--wait for it--NO CONFIDENCE in Kerrey on December 10th of this year. His failure to resign in the wake of said vote seems to be a large part of what set this protest off.

Motions on the floor! Direct democracy is as important as it is tedious, though to the credit of the kid standing on a chair on the left side of the frame, he was a pleasure to listen to. The guy in the blue tee shirt and what might or might not have been a keffiyah was the facilitator. He was good too. Everyone was good, really. Go team!


I told them they'd have an easier time getting taken seriously if they took the anarchist flag down. Personally, I love The Red and Black rather dearly, I just seldom think it's worth the public relations trouble. There are lots of things I love that I wouldn't put up on a wall. But hey, these guys were written up in the New York Times today and I wasn't, so what the fuck do I know?

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