Take Back NYU!’s Duncan Meisel recounted the events of last weeks occupation of Kimmel’s 3rd floor, which the group are calling a “success” because of the “international news” coverage, amidst a crowd of onlookers, supporters, media and other non-affiliated groups,. The press rally occurred in front of the Kimmel building, where barricades and security are still present.
Rana Jaleel, an NYU American Studies graduate student, commented on the NYU administration’s response last week, which she felt was disproportionate to the actions of TBNYU!, and called the tactics “dishonest” in regards to NYU’s descion to lure a few occupiers out of Kimmel under the pretense to negotiate, and then detaining them.
“They haven’t proceeded with any fair trial”, said Jaleel. She sees that TBNYU!’s “individual demands are less important” then their overall involvement in a global student movement, in which she sees “universities changing how they treat their communities and students.”
Meisel also projected TBNYU!’s actions into a larger context, recalling to mind the New School occupation last December, Rutgers and a series of similar events in the U.K. Meisel said that the group would not be “stopped by any suspensions” and that the occupation was clearly the “next in a series of steps”. The group’s actions began with an event entitled “What is NYU hiding?” and it is clear that TBNYU! plans to continue to find the answer to this question.
A student representing the 18 NYU students currently suspended, read a statement of solidarity from the group, who had been legally advised to not appear at the rally.
Among the crowd, there were several groups handing out fliers in solidarity. One such group, New York Spartacus Youth Club, handed out a letter that was addressed to John Sexton, demanding “Reinstate the students, now!”
A professor who spoke hopes that TBNYU! is part of a larger movement of student protests.