Skip to main content

I was very busy today and could only glance at the news between classes and meetings. The coverage has been astounding: 22 stories on google news this morning, 39 stories in the afternoon, and now 145 news stories come up on the New School protests on google news, including major outlets like the AP and the New York Times! So I'm sorry if this has been diaried a lot already; if it's been on the rec list let me know, and I will take it down. But for the moment, we have a genuine student movement in New York, with 22 students of the New School pepper sprayed, assaulted, and arrested to face suspension and possible expulsion. Surprisingly, The AP has done as good a job as anyone getting the facts straight.

Follow me below the jump for a discussion on the New York city student movement, in which I've participated actively this year as a Columbia student.

Here's what happened. The New School is run by Bob Kerrey, a former U.S. Senator, and a navy commando in the infamous B company in Vietnam, who executed 6 innocent civilians in order to avoid giving away their position. The only demands of the occupation today were that Kerrey and his appointed executive vice president Jim Murtha should resign for poor management of the New School. In December, there was another occupation that I attended, and these resignations are the only demands left over from that largely-successful action. The students and Kerrey negotiated an end to that occupation, including a socially responsible investment committee and total amnesty for the protestors, among other things. The students left the building claiming partial victory, but vowing to fight on until Kerrey and Murtha agree to step down.

Kerrey has presided over the New School for several years, and many wonder why this is becoming an issue now. As the AP article points out (and most news sources don't), the real issue is a vote of no confidence taken in December 2008 by 72 of the 74 tenured professors of the New School after Kerrey appointed himself provost of the University (Kerrey doesn't hold a PHD, and Provosts have the final word on all academic policy), the fourth such reappointment he'd made in 5 years. It's also worth noting, from the students' perspective, that the New Shcool is outlandishly expensive. It's also gotten a reputation for being a cutting edge social science laboratory, and has very radical roots. But in recent years that reputation has been declining, thanks largely to President Kerrey, who since being appointed, has stacked the board of directors with defense contractors and finance moguls, and has been a very vocal supporter of Bush's war in Iraq, going to far as to debate it publicly. This abrasive behavior has alienated the staff and led to resignations and weak morale among professors and students.

The reaction so far has been mixed on the The New York Times story. I haven't read all 519 comments yet, but I can tell you that the response from readers there improved dramatically once the Times added an amature vidoe of the Police pepper spraying students as the tried to exit the building, and assaulting a student while making arrests on the sidewalk of non-occupying supporters.

The Nation's Richard Kim gets at the crux of the issue: we have a genuine student movement in this coutry that is fighting for socially responsible, transparent universities. The parallels to the 2006 protests in France are indeed stunning. Instead of losing a guarantee to a job, what students today are facing is a job market that is in shambles due to a Financial coup that happened under the Clinton Administration, the Graham-Leach-Bliley act; they're facing rising tuition costs as a result, even as real income per capita decreases in America. In the end, they're part and parcel at the heart of the battle for the waning middle class. And you know what societies are like without a strong middle class. Corrupt, opaque, undemocratic, unprosperous, and oppressive.

So support these students, and start your own campaigns on your own issues. It's time to really fight for the ideals that we voted for on Nov. 4th, 2008. President Obama can't do it alone.

Update 1 Read Kerrey's public statement issued one hour after he ordered the arrests.

Update 2 read the New School Students' response to Kerrey's statement.

Update 3 "Round 2" ...the rally for the prisoners results in march to Kerrey's house; more great visibility in the MSM

Originally posted to tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:03 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This is the first I've heard of it (9+ / 0-)

    I've always had a thing for The New School and Frankfurt School philosophers.

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:10:07 PM PDT

  •  I Think You Mean JIM Murtha (3+ / 0-)

    Not John, Jim.  

    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

    by Dana Houle on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:11:28 PM PDT

  •  Kerrey - another Democrat who isn't so Democratic (6+ / 0-)

    Bah! Humbug!

    Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. ~ Doris Lessing

    by 4Freedom on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:12:42 PM PDT

  •  It has always struck me as bizzare.... (5+ / 0-)

    that "The New School" in NYC has this reactionary President WTF?

  •  Kim's complaint (5+ / 0-)

    is that there is no genuine student movement in America.  But the New School protests are legit & necessary, though specific to the school. Kerrey is an awful president, wrong for the school, ruining its reputation. Push a college too far away from its mission, you never get it back, because students leave & the new ones don't remember what it was all about. Happening  at Hampshire Coilege. They gotta get rid of the guy & soon.

    "Only poets know how many poems end up as pies."

    by DJ Rix on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:33:30 PM PDT

    •  you could read it like that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      What I got from it was that we have at least the seeds for a real student movement, but it won't get traction until people begin to see it as more than just self interested students and paroquial issues.

      The New School issue is indeed legit. The NYU protests were indeed less well organized and less called for than the New School. But part of what I'm saying is that the NYU protest would never have happened without the inspiration of the December occupation at the New School. There is significant unrest among American College students. But building an organized resistance is a delicate matter. That's why this aggression by Kerrey today must not go unaccounted for.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:38:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  go for it! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, tote

        remember all you need is students, don't let anyone else interfere with your goals. I agree that building up a budding organization is a delicate matter, plus in any organizing it is very important to have a victory. A victory can make the difference in your entire future as an effective organization. It can make or break the whole endeavor. This is why careful planning is necessary as you proceed because the inverse is also true, a bad defeat or wrong terms of ending can be devastating to future organizing. Perceptions are very important and even more so at the beginning. Good luck.

        •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, mint julep

          And thanks for tipping ;-)

          I agree wholeheartedly. I also think that the fact that Kerrey responded so harshly today may have been in part based on a calculation of his own that the New York City populous would be loath to support another occupation after the sad result of the NYU occupation in January. Luckily, that was a different group with a different set of demands, although part of the same newly formed student left coalition that is trying to forge common resistance against corporate educational monopoly all across the city.

          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:12:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, tote, CherryTheTart

    sad to see what has happened to the New School under Kerrey. Once upon a time I dreamt of doing post-grad work there...

    •  You're very welcome. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fire bad tree pretty

      You know, all is not lost there yet. The fact that all this has happened could be seen by some as a sign of real life left in the University. It may also be a kind of last stand for the real democratic values that the school once represented. But don't lose heart. One of the best left-leaning economics professors is there, for example (Duncan Foley).

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:41:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the same (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noabsolutes, tote

    stuff has been going down at NYU, which has never been as radical as New School, but whose president, John Sexton, has corporatized the university to such an extent that he has destroyed the graduate student union and is exporting NYU (in the form of a full fledged campus) like a corporate brand name to such labor rights violators like Abu Dhabi for millions of dollars.

    There was a recent student take-over of a building at NYU with a list of demands. It was broken up...not sure what happened to the students. I think they were suspended but not expelled.

    •  You are correct, on all accounts (4+ / 0-)

      I supported the NYU protest as well and have mentioned it above. Unfortunately, it was not effective, and I think the reason is the combination of its less-radical tradition and student body, along with a bit less focused a list of demands. For example, they demanded amnesty as their first position. That was pointed out as a kind of weak face to put on a demonstration that by its very nature was powerful because people were putting their freedom on the line for a higher set of demands/ideals. But it was still good in the sense that it showed the influence of the New School situation. If the protestors get Kerrey to resign, the door will be open for more radical student action to build on that momentum. Keep an eye out for the Columbia University group called SCEG, they're the human rights group watching out for the soon-to-be-displaced residents of West Harlem when Columbia's Manhattanville mega campus gets built.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:52:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this-- in a time when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, tote

    there's so much complaining about a lack of radicalism, vitality, and "real" activism, I think you must have to have your head in the sand to ignore what's been going on at campuses like New School. Appointing yourself provost is kind of ridiculous, and getting voted out (I had no idea the vote was so huge!) by your faculty should be kind of embarrassing. Yet another episode in the "failing upwards" saga.

    What's going to happen to these students?

    Republican "party": Party like it's 1929.

    by noabsolutes on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:49:12 PM PDT

  •  Oh man. (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't those kids get mocked enough at their pathetic last protest, the one that had the entire City in stitches? I'm all for protests, but these folks just don't know what the hell they want, what their pressure points are, or how to find allies. It's embarrassing.

    Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

    by MBNYC on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:54:57 PM PDT

    •  Actually, you're embarrasing yourself. (0+ / 0-)

      Are you referring to the NYU protest? Because actually, the last New School occupation was a complete success, and the Whole city was talking about how awful it was that Kerrey didn't resign as a result of it.

      They have the entire faculty behind them, and most of the students. Read their campus paper online if you actually want to find out the truth. Otherwise, read my diary. You clearly didn't before you posted that weak, generic argument.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:59:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Feh. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tullyccro

        Those kids should read some Saul Alinsky to learn how it's done. Maybe you should too, with your condescending, ignorant bourgeois attitude.
        The New York Times:

        By THE NEW YORK TIMES
        Published: December 18, 2008

        About 75 students barricaded themselves in a dining hall at the New School on Wednesday night, holding what they called an occupation to protest the leadership of the institution’s embattled president, Bob Kerrey.

        The protest, which began about 8 p.m., echoed dissidence among many of the school’s faculty members, who in the past week have cast votes of no confidence in Mr. Kerrey’s ability to lead the school in Greenwich Village, which he has run since 2001.

        Large recycling containers and tables blocked doorways, and banners went up, some reading "Books Not Bureaucracy."

        "You are going about this the wrong way," a school official told the students.

        What was your point again? That you don't know what you're talking about?

        Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

        by MBNYC on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:13:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, my point was that you didn't read my diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          you still haven't showed me that you have. You have not knowledgeably discussed one aspect of the last occupation nor the current one. Most importantly, the weak, ideological stance you keep repeating is just helping publicize the cause, so keep it up. :)

          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:17:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your feeble attempts (0+ / 0-)

            at insults amuse me, trust fund boy.

            Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

            by MBNYC on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:26:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't mind saying that I'm not (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mint julep

              a trust fund boy. I'm at the Columbia School of general studies. As with most G.S. students, I work to pay for my own education. We are not priviledged, and many of us are veterans. I had to work for years (as a non profit executive director) to demonstrate to Columbia that I had the work ethic to survive the academic rigors of an ivy league education, despite my poor quality high school education.

              You on the other hand are talking an awful lot about me. What's your issue with college students? Never got to be one? I wanna know about you. Why should we care what you think?

              I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

              by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:31:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dude... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tullyccro

                ...I have a Masters, and I put myself through university. I'm OK with me.

                What you seem not to get is that I find ineffective protests to be maddening. The point is not to go out there and be all smug and superior and shit. The point is to win, and people like you, for whom it's all about expressing and, more or less, therapy, don't get that. And I feel sorry for you.

                Anyway, kiddo, I'm going to bed now. Blubber away.

                Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

                by MBNYC on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:38:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, (0+ / 0-)

                  talk is cheap. I agree that weak protests are maddening. See my above comments regarding the NYU occupation.

                  Where did you you get a masters, and in what? I ask because it doesn't speak to your experience on this issue to just generically state that you have one. I personally have a track record of a decade of social justice work, and am studying urban studies and American politics at one of the most challenging schools in the country. You can insult that all you want, but I know what I'm talking about.

                  I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                  by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:42:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think... (0+ / 0-)

                    This issue is less to do with academic reform and some kind of grand, vague adversarial student movement, and more to do with consumer advocacy.

                    Some of these kids aren't getting the product they're paying thousands of dollars for, and in America, they have a right not to buy.  

                    "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

                    by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:49:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not that simple (0+ / 0-)

                      For one, you're assuming that a market solution is the answer to the neo-liberal university. You're wrong, because in the international context of upward mobilizing globalization, there are 6 students for every 1 or two that get into these schools. So "voting with your feet" is not an answer unless it comes with some sort of teeth. In a sense, you could say that getting expelled for peacefully, yet forcefully calling for reform is just that.

                      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:56:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Peacefully? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        MBNYC

                        How is barricading a section of a university peaceful?

                        Now, if they all jumped through the bureaucratic loopholes and hoops in order to get a real hearing on this guy and they threatened his product (which is what this is, a product, a commodified education) and they got the members of the board and investors to vote no confidence, they get what they want. That's how you do it. But did they actually want and expect this or did they want to be media darlings and pseudo-activists?

                        "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

                        by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:12:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, that's not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

                          I suppose time will tell whether you or I am right. If Kerrey doesn't step down, then he will look like an ass, but so will the protestors, at least to people like you.

                          I am writing this diary on the gamble that he will not take that blow to his reputation... but I can never be sure. Organizing is always subject to an element of chance. Like the stck market, it is also a bit of a psychologically constructed endeavor. Keep that in mind as you come down so hard on the tactics of these kids.

                          P.s. it's a bit problematic to argue for the commoditization of education one moment, and another to idly claim that education is a universal human right. Which is it?  

                          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:17:25 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Snort. (0+ / 0-)

                    The little bourgeois polishes his credentials, I see.

                    Dear republicans: teabagging is when the gogo-boy slaps his balls into your face. Thanks.

                    by MBNYC on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:31:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thought you were going to bed (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mint julep

                      Couldn't stay away could you. So why does a little bourgeois diary like mine warrant so much of your precious attention, might I ask?

                      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:38:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I actually get it now. (0+ / 0-)

                      You think you're a Russia Scholar. Anyone who sees today's Neo-Czarist Russia as a "great power" that will continue to be so forever is either too partitioned off from economists and other social theorists to have a grip on reality, or else a crusty old Trotskyist who's unwilling to let go of the past. Don't blame me for Brest-Litvosk. Get a life.  

                      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:15:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Saul Alinsky??? (0+ / 0-)

          Didn't a certain someone write a certain top-secret senior thesis on him?

          "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

          by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:40:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You mean Hillary, right? (0+ / 0-)

            Yeah, I was going to say some stuff about the IAF, but I decided to just let it drop. It's basically organizing 101, let's put it that way. This dude is a joke.

            I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

            by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:52:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not trying to insult you... (0+ / 0-)

              I promise. Or shoot down the dreams of social activists and enthusiasts, it's always a good thing when people demand justice, and these kids are demanding justice, no doubt, but I'm thinking it's more of an issue of economic justice, not academic justice or moral justice and if we're talking about laying a real foundation for student protest against corporate intrusion into academia, it's going to have to happen at a lot of public universities.

              Frankly, I don't think anyone is seriously ready for the repercussions of withdrawing corporate money from the university. Converting universities to corporate vocational training centers, and sources of publicly funded research and development allows more people the chance to escape the gears of capitalism for at least a few years. For the most part, it's a positive, though not ideal, situation.  

              "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

              by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:03:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I know you're not trying to insult me (0+ / 0-)

                (and you're not, don't worry), and I think that we see things the same, except that the Nation article argues for working with what we have and building on that.

                Just so that we're clear... no one is demanding that the New School give up all its corporate funding. Another thing to keep in mind is that the New School has traditionally always been a very left leaning, radical, independent thinking and operating University. Your argument would be more nuanced if it took that into account.

                But in general, I know your heart is in the right place. Believe me, your view is probably the majority of Democrats, and I was well aware I would receive this critique when I posted the diary.

                I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:22:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tote

                  You know I'm actually researching a book that involves a lot of the trends these kids are talking about and I'm especially interested in how many progressive universities on the East Coast were coopted for the neo-liberal agenda in the past century, especially during and after WW II.

                  My heart goes out to the students but they are simply barking up the wrong tree. It's sad that New York universities are no longer the fount for radicalism and intellectualism that they once were, when they were briefly free from a corporate agenda, but I just don't think that severance is possible today given the various commercial interests that are vested there.

                  There are some good professors, journalists, etc... based in NY today, no doubt, and teaching the good books to plenty of hungry students, but it's all done under the cover of a thin veil of hypocrisy IMHO, it's utterly commercialized.  

                  "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:37:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I feel exactly the same. (0+ / 0-)

                    But I think I have more empathy for the New School students because I am under the exact same circumstances, only here at Columbia we're talking the Neo-Liberal, post modern mecca, and it's doubly hard to explain to others or even to oneself how exactly your experience has been co-opted to the corporations. The severance that you're talking about is just one possible outcome of all this. I think that the students have a pretty good collective head on their shoulders (I know some of them personally), and in the end, I think it all has to change for the better. These protests aren't just going to stop, people aren't ever going to completely acquiesce, and the Neo-Liberal project, which has already catastrophically failed global-financially, can never completely subvert the spirit of true inquiry and the pursuit of real knowledge.

                    In the meantime, though, we fight for little things like socially responsible investing and transparency. Corporations, political scientists point out, are often more responsive to public pressure than politicians, because as you say, they have a brand to sell. The New School occupation and arrests have been very damaging of that brand, because their brand is supposed to be that of a radical institution. Maybe now, to save what's left of the brand, some basic concessions will be made that can let enough light in to lead to further demands and further victories, and slowly but surely, we can fight our way out of this Neo Liberal boondoggle.

                    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                    by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:49:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You know... (0+ / 0-)

                      If you know some of these people, you might want to suggest that they investigate less student type activism, and more economic and trade-unionist types of activism, at least in terms of bargaining with the university or changing the leadership.

                      Hint:

                      They can probably demand balance sheets, investor reports, earnings statements and so on, and you can do this by using the tools and time the corporate university provides. De-corporatizing academia will be biting the hand that feeds, after all.

                      They'll have a better chance exposing conflicts of interest or instances of improper giving/donation/kickbacks than they will with anything else. Capitalists don't hear you when you scream "help," but they tend to look when you scream "thief."

                      I've known many people who've worked for corrupt non-profits, I've worked for one as well, and I've know people who've put in the time and the legwork to bust them up, and nothing would really be juicier and more terrifying to administrators than the thought that they'd be a part of a scandal, or that <gasp> donations to the New School were used as bartering chips for private business deals.

                      You know what type of economic scheme Kerrey subscribes to, he's a Clintonian for chrissakes, if he's not extorted someone or acted improperly while acting as the representative of that university then I'd be greatly surprised.

                      "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

                      by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:22:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  That's a very good question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    ..and one that we can still have an influence on. So far, what's happened is that they've been arrested and charged with tresspassing, disorderly conduct in some cases, and all suspended pending University review.

    We can't allow them to be punished academically. That's the part that is so powerful about their example, is that they may be penalized unless we make it politically impossible for the school to do so!!

    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 07:55:39 PM PDT

  •  Did Kerry really "order arrests"? Or did he (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tote

    "press charges"?

    "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

    by lordcopper on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:01:53 PM PDT

    •  Both, actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      As he says in his statement linked to in the diary, he asked the NYPD to clear the building and that means arrest those that won't leave. Once that happens, it's up to him whether he wants to press charges, but the police also have their own say. In this case, they are pressing charges, regardless of whose decision it was. But good question. Feel free to ask anything at all. I'll do my best to answer.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you agree that Kerry was well within his (0+ / 0-)

        rights/authority to call the NYPD and have the building cleared?  Doesn't civil disobedience require some sacrifice (in this case an arrest)?

        "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

        by lordcopper on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:15:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you knew my answer to that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, enhydra lutris

          question before you even posed it. Still, here goes nothing. I would disagree, for all the reasons I state in my diary, that Kerrey has the right to run the university as he has been. Since he's shown no signs of changing, I think the peaceful tactics the protestors used were called for. Does he have a legal right to do as he did? Yes. But the powerful thing about this is that those protestors went to jail and got suspended, possibly expelled, all for something that was bigger than them. Kerrey, on the other hand, risked nothing to his person and chose to subject his own students to potential violence to preserve his own reputation. Not cool.

          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:22:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. If you feel that strongly about the (0+ / 0-)

            President of the University, or the University's investment policies, then vote with your feet (withdraw and transfer).  If enough of your fellow students share your views, you will make a strong statement that will be addressed positively.  But if your "movement" encompasses only a relatively small group of students attempting to create a disturbance, then the President of the University was probablt well within his rights.  Since you've already embarqed upon this course of action, only time will tell who was right.

            "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

            by lordcopper on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:38:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They're not realtively small. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shenderson

              they had 60 students in the building and 100 outside inspite of the entire block being barricaded from the very start of the protest by the NYPD. Many more would have joined in if they could. There were a lot more people last time... like 400 or so, blocking 5th avenue for over an hour in solidarity with the demonstrators inside. They have more support than you give them credit for. Why do you assume the worst? What is your real concern?

              I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

              by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:52:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Kind of funny.... (0+ / 0-)
    I mean, it's a private school. It's not like these students have limited options.

    That being said, these kids are brats by default, and since when is it a groundbreaking story that entitled brats are refusing to go to class and learn?

    "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:18:43 PM PDT

  •  I suppose I should add... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg

    It is a free country, and I respect their right to pay $30,000 per year to get pepper-sprayed and feel as if they're revolutionaries. That's what private liberal arts colleges are all about, after all.

    "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:21:50 PM PDT

    •  Please, I'm begging, read... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, sc kitty

      ...this story at The Nation.. It's you that the author is talking too. I'm not going to rehash... it's short, and you should read it. And then, once you have, come back here and let me know what's wrong with it, and then maybe we can talk.

      I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

      by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:26:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forget it, anybody who stereotypically insults (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dc 20005, mint julep, tote, shenderson

        an entire student body with one shot isn't going to respond to reason.

        "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

        by enhydra lutris on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:29:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll drink to that. (0+ / 0-)

          Truth of the matter is I care enough about this to see these things in terms of getting the diary noticed, and a comment is a comment in some ways. See the above thread as well for an additional example.

          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:33:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh no... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tote

          I'll respond to reason, no problem. My reasonable argument is that the actions of a few kids at a luxurious private school in New York is not a student movement, and if anything does come out of it, it's no great victory or inspiration for academic reform.

          It's one thing when wealthy mommies and daddies bankroll universities, and decide the faculty and the curriculum, but public universities are entirely different. The heart of the problem is the merger between public universities and private corporations, since this involves everyone's tax dollars and the structure of our government. What private tutors decide to teach at elite, expensive little colleges on the East Coast is absolutely irrelevant.

          Now if you'll excuse me, I suppose I'll make my way over to the Nation.

          "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

          by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:37:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you're making a lot of generalizations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep

            What is it that really makes you mad?

            Is it that quality, free thinking education still exists in this country? Or is it that no one can afford it? I would agree that it's too expensive to go to school. However, if you're determined, and work incredibly hard, you can do it without Mommies and Daddies with deep pockets. It is outrageous how expensive the New School is, though. That's why one of their demands pertained to tution hikes. What do you begrudge more, these kids getting a quality education, or them trying too make it easier for others to do so in the future?

            I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

            by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:46:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ... (0+ / 0-)

              Hmmm. I'm not sure. Lots of things make me mad but the thought that people are being educated isn't one of them. The thought that people aren't being educated also doesn't anger me. So I think I'm anger free on this issue. Let's make a few things clear though.

              1. This is a private school. Therefore it can be almost anything anyone wants it to be as long as they have the money to do it. If they don't like it, they can pick another product off the shelf. Similarly, we could be arguing that some private Christian school isn't "Christian" enough for some students. Do you see the comparison I'm drawing?  

              I guess this just seems to me to be a ridiculous argument, it would be like people protesting that Starbuck's coffee wasn't traded freely enough. It's a product we're talking about here, that they have decided to pay (too much money) for. It's a commodified education by default.    

              "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

              by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:57:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  please see my below post (0+ / 0-)

                for a simple explanation of why comparing education to starbucks coffee is not accurate.

                Besides the fact that starbucks doesn't receive millions in public dollars in the form of grants, I would also make the case that people have more of a right to an education than they do to a mocha java latte, and that the world is better for people getting specially trained in college, not so much for sipping chai.

                Any of this making a case to you?

                I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

                by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:01:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Meh.... (0+ / 0-)

                  A bit. Personally, I think education should be a universal human right, but in this case we're talking about a private institution, i.e. a product. I'm firm on that.

                  I doubt the New School is funded with a lot of public money but I'll check it out. If it is, more for your case but if it's not, I'll stick to my guns that this is a consumer advocacy issue and less of an educational issue or potential catalyst for institutional reform. Money and morality just don't mix with me. You can't economize with justice.  

                  "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 09:07:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Ok... (0+ / 0-)

        Read. Good concise writing. Wish I was capable of the same.

        Ok, look. It's a private school. It is essentially the same type of socioeconomic entity (a private corporation) which these kids are claiming to be against. It would be like McDonald's cashiers protesting against the fast food industry but demanding to keep their jobs. It's ludicrous.

        I understand the issue, probably more than most. One of the universities I attended was massively indebted to Eli Lilly, and it should be common knowledge by now that pharmaceutical companies are especially guilty of abusing publicly funded research to fit their own agenda. Specifically, Lilly purchases research data and patents it so that medical breakthroughs and even systems of research are monopolized by them. Yes, this is a serious problem. It's also a problem when we confuse an academic institution with a vocational school, a nanny, or a therapist.  

        "I lose all respect for this tedious denouncing of the state by idlers who rot in indolence, selfishness and envy" ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by tullyccro on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:46:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do they get public dollars? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dc 20005

          Columbia is applying for hundreds of millions of our dollars in the form of stimulus funds. I'm willing to bet that The New School is doing something similar for their new buildings.

          I mean, this is a nonprofit corporation. It's private to the extent that it's not completely publicly funded. That doesn't mean it can do whatever it wants.

          Columbia wanted to build a gym in Morningside park in 1968. The students demonstrated, the project was stopped. Protest works, even at private institutions. It's just a matter or perspective.

          I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

          by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 08:50:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I have to get to work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep, operculum

    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments, and feel free to keep asking questions. I'll come back tomorrow and respond to each one. Goodnight.

    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    by tote on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:35:04 PM PDT

  •  So what your saying is this Kerry guy staged an (0+ / 0-)

    invasion and occupation of the new school by the military industrial complex.  It sounds like it was a very cool place while it lasted.

    "I hope there's a dog out there otherwise that guy is fuckin' nuts"

    by qi motuoche on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:33:15 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site