Inside of a barricaded meeting at Baruch College (24th and Lexington Ave), the City University of New York Board of Trustees is voting to raise tuition at the school. Outside, hundreds of Occupy CUNY students and their supporters are chanting, "Education is a right, Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Students are asking all supporters to join them at Baruch College until 8PM this evening.
Following the lead of student protesters opposing tuition hikes and austerity measures, today has been called as a student strike and day of action in solidarity with the protesters at the University of California-Davis who faced severe police repression while expressing their right to free speech. CUNY has already implemented force against students who are fighting back against tuition hikes before.
The proposal to call for a strike was passed by a massive general assembly at UC-Davis in an effort to shut down campuses where the UC Regents' were scheduled to vote today on austerity measures there:
In the midst of the economic crisis, the Regents have intensified their pursuit of the project of privatization and de-funding that diminish the quality of education and quality of life for those across the UC, while consigning students’ futures to greater and greater sums of debt.
The Regents’ theft of an ostensibly public resource to fund “capital projects” such as construction projects and private research initiatives, demonstrate a clear conflict of interests that benefits a narrow administrative elite—both the Regents and their local appointees (chancellors and vice chancellors)—at the expense of the greater faculty, staff, and student body.
The familiar rhetoric of austerity demands our resigned compliance, as our learning and working conditions progressively deteriorate. We have seen recently and in years past that political dissent is met with increasingly violent displays of force and repression by University police.
The continued destruction of higher education in California, and the repressive forms of police violence that sustain it, cannot be viewed apart from larger economic and political systems that concentrate wealth and political power in the hands of the few.
Over 100,000 people have already signed a petition asking for the resignation of UC-Davis Chancellor Ketahi, while the UC-Davis English Department has called for the disbandment of the UC-Davis police force over the incident.
update from comments: the rally is at 25th st, must enter at lex, you can't enter from 3rd ave unless you have id. the back door at 24th is heavily guarded and where the trustees enter and leave.