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We are writing to you from the inside of the New School Graduate Faculty Building on 65 5th Ave. We are occupying it. Right now. Literally.
Students of the New School University, along with our partners from other universities and groups — like NYU, Hunter College, City College of NY, CUNY Graduate Center, and Borough of Manhattan Community College — have organically risen up to demand the resignation of President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President James Murtha, and Board Member/torturer Robert B. Millard (he multi-tasks). We have come together to prevent our study spaces from being flattened by corporate bulldozers, to have a say in who runs this school, to demand that the money we spend on this institution be used to facilitate the creation of a better society, not to build bigger buildings or invest in companies that make war. We have come here not only to make demands, but also to live them. Our presence makes it clear that this school is ours, and yours, if you are with us.
The outside doors have been closed now, so we can’t exactly invite you in . . . sorry. . . . We know you wanted a piece of the action, but we’ll be around for quite some time. Join us at 7 AM tomorrow when the doors open again, or come now to stand outside with a sign in solidarity. You are cordially invited to join us in any way you can. We are not going anywhere. In the meantime, check out our Web site: www.newschoolinexile.com. We have all night to make things interesting, and the website will continue to be updated. Stay tuned for the musical pieces, doctoral dissertations, and creative finger-paintings that seem to be the natural result of 150 students locked into a building together for a night.
We are here, making decisions collectively, doing teach-ins, listening to music, studying, singing. We’ve got an upright bassist, guitarists and vocalists (If anyone can volunteer a drum-set we’ll be well on our way. . .). We’ll be here until this university changes, or until the party gets boring (but it doesn’t seem likely that will happen). We’re not going anywhere. We hope to see you soon, and if you really can’t wait a few hours — what the hell — occupy your own universities or work spaces.
Come use your voice to declare loudly that this school and this world are yours. Come use your mind to think up a better world. Come use your body to create it, one all-nighter in the university cafeteria at a time. Come stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff of this university. Come to write letters of support to the people of the village of Thanh Phong whose parents were murdered by the current President of the New School during his service in Vietnam. Come join the struggle with the people of Iraq who are being tortured and killed by a company funded by this university and represented on the New School Board of Trustees. Come here to join the uprisings and outpouring of passionate resistance currently taking place all over this country, and all over the worlds — from factory workers in Chicago to students in Greece. Come for yourself. Come for all of us.
The New School in Exile
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Demands of the Occupation
- The removal of Bob Kerrey as president of our university
- The removal of James Murtha as executive vice president of our university
- Students, faculty, and staff elect the president, EVP, and Provost.
- Students are part of the interim committee to hire a provost.
- The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees.
- Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and investments.
- The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments.
- The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the tearing down of 65 fifth Ave.
- Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space.
- Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition.
- Instead, money for the library and student life generally.
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