November 27, 2011
211. IN THE LANGUAGE of contradiction, the critique of culture manifests itself as unified: unified in that it dominates the whole of culture — culture as knowledge as well as culture as poetry; unified, too, in that it is no longer separable from the critique of the social totality. It is this unified theoretical critique that goes alone to its rendezvous with a unified social practice.
Occupiers Evicted From the New School; Graffiti Is Left Behind
November 26, 2011, 3:49 PM
A weeklong occupation at the New School in Greenwich Village ended with a whimper on Friday morning when university officials evicted the handful of remaining protesters from a campus gallery that was defaced sometime before they left.
But the events leading up to that point were uncertain, as some of those who had participated in the occupation said they did not know who the evicted demonstrators were or why slogans were scrawled on the walls of the ground-floor gallery. (One read, “Spoiled New School Anarchists.”)
“I don’t understand how people could’ve painted that and no one notice,” said Chris Crews, a graduate student at the New School who participated in the protest. “It’s unclear how they even got there.”
Senior administrators, including the university’s president, David E. Van Zandt, entered the gallery about 9:30 in the morning. They found it covered with graffiti. They also found about five people, some of whom were sleeping. When none of them produced identification, school or otherwise, they were asked to leave, a New School spokesman said.
Most of the people looked like they were more than 30 years old, said a university spokesman, Peter Taback, who accompanied Dr. Van Zandt.
The New School demonstration started at the university’s student study center on the second floor of 90 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 14th Street, to protest the escalating costs of higher education. But the school leases the space, and the landlord, a company controlled by the real estate developer Aby Rosen, wanted the protesters out of the building.
Dr. Van Zandt — who was chosen last year as the successor to Bob Kerrey, a former senator from Nebraska and presidential candidate — had offered the nearby gallery, at 2 West 13th Street, as an alternative location, but on the conditions that the protesters not sleep there or scrawl graffiti on the walls, as had been done in the other space. He said, however, that the gallery, which was not displaying any art, would be open 24 hours a day.
Dr. Van Zandt’s offer was a controversial proposition within the New School protest, which began on Nov. 17 with about 100 participants after a rally in Union Square and was an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Protesters and their supporters met in the study center Tuesday evening and voted to move to the new space. Some made their way to the gallery on West 13th Street throughout the week, with their numbers fluctuating by the day, but did not spend nights there. A small group of hard-line protesters, however, refused to leave the original space, on Fifth Avenue.
“To occupy a space that was given to us is antithetical to what many of us believe in,” said Ian McKenzie, who identified himself as a student at Pratt Institute and was one of the final demonstrators at the study center.