Economics Student Union Statement on Occupation

April 14, 2009

The Economics Student Union (ESU) at the New School for Social Research issues the following statement regarding the events of April 10, 2009:

We, the students of the Economics Department of the New School for Social Research, express solidarity with all individuals who occupied the 65 Fifth Avenue building on April 10 2009, who have been suspended from school because of their actions, and who were arrested and physically harmed by the brutality of the New York Police Department.

We believe in the legitimacy of this protest and we agree with its premises: the inadequacy of the current President Bob Kerrey and Vice-President James Murtha to lead The New School, as stated in the no-confidence vote by Senior Faculty members in December 2008.

We protest forcefully against the President’s misrepresentation and exaggeration of the events of April 10, as circulated internally within the New School mailing lists and as reported to the media.

We protest against the President’s calling in of the New York City Police Department in response to a peaceful demonstration, his escalation of the situation, and his refusal to negotiate directly with the occupiers.

We condemn the brutal repression methods adopted by the NYPD, after having been called in by President Kerrey, the result of which is the silencing of voices of disagreement within the University.

We believe in the spirit of dissent that gave birth to The New School, and we are not willing to tolerate such an abusive exercise of power which stands in clear contradiction to the University’s founding principles and ongoing mission.

For these reasons, we call on the administration to immediately revoke the suspensions of our fellow students and pursue the dismissal of all criminal charges against all individuals involved in the occupation. We urge the Trustees of the University to distance themselves from the violence perpetrated by the NYPD. We request that the Interim Provost and Faculty Senate begin an immediate independent investigation into the handling and approval of police force by the senior administratio

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