60 students entered into a New School University building early in the morning April 10 and occupied it for over five hours before a violent NYPD raid broke the demonstration up, resulting in the arrests of 19 people.
The students were calling for the resignation of Bob Kerrey, the embattled President of the New School, and James Murtha, the Vice President. The occupiers were also demanding greater transparency and accountability, and more student power in decisions regarding how the New School’s money is spent and how the school operates.
An occupation of the same building, 65 Fifth Ave. in Greenwich Village, occurred in December, and ended with some of the occupiers’ demands being met, although the administration of the New School did not step down.
This time, however, Kerrey did not allow the occupation to go on for long, and sent in NYPD officers to break up the protest. Despite NYPD and New School administration claims to the contrary, pepper spray and tear gas were used, and dozens of arrests were made. A few more arrests occurred at a nighttime action that was hastily organized, with 200 people rallying in Union Square before marching to Kerrey’s house.