Stop the Militarization of CUNY! Defend the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Center!

The night of Sunday October 20, CUNY public safety officers held students hostage in the North Academic Center of CCNY as they raided a community center beloved to students and community members: the Morales-Shakur Center. The Center runs important community services, such as a farm share and a book exchange, as well as serves as a hub for progressive student organizing. Using the space, students have won victories such as the 24 hour library and free printing. Lately, it has been used to organize protests against war criminal David Petraeus, in a campaign to defend CUNY from militarization. The campaign gained international fame and solidarity, bringing embarrassment on the CUNY administration.

How does the administration respond? With further militarization!

The morning after the raid, the entire City College campus was put under lockdown and students were harassed by public safety officers. This came at the worst time, as students needed to get in and use the library to study for upcoming midterms. In their frustrations about the library being closed and a beloved community center being raided and shut down, students organized an impromptu protest that gained numbers and support quickly. Media, community members and city council members came to express solidarity, and enough pressure was built to force the administration to reopen the campus. However, the Morales-Shakur Center remains under siege.

Student organizers are calling for a demonstration at 12:30pm tomorrow, to protest this intensification of the militarization of CUNY. Anyone who opposes university officials taking students hostage, illegally seizing community owned space, a militarized lockdown of a public institution and harassment of students by public safety officers should come out tomorrow at 12:30. This is a threat to all progressive, radical and revolutionary organizing and activism in NYC. The siege of the Morales-Shakur Center marks the escalating intensification of the repression of anybody challenging the status-quo and unless all progressive forces unite at this point, the repression will become even more draconian.Defend M-S Center


You Are Cordially Invited to David Petraeus’ Award Gala October 16th

Petraeus Gala

“Honoring and recognizing” a war criminal – that’s what John Jay College for Criminal Justice plans to do at its 2013 Gala on Wednesday, October 16th. The event will feature the former Iraq/Afghanistan war commander and ex-CIA chief known as David “Death Squad” Petraeus.

The gala’s title is “Educating for Justice” – this for a man who brought the “Salvador option” of death squads and torture centers to Iraq, where the forces he commanded slaughtered hundreds of thousands. As commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus rained death on Afghan civilians. As CIA chief, he was the architect of almost 3,000 “targeted killings” by drones. This is the spymaster, mass murderer, death squad and torture organizer the CUNY Board of Trustees appointed to “teach” public policy at the Macaulay Honors College. Now he is being feted at a veritable “war gala” that makes a bloody mockery of the words “education” and “justice.”

To rub shoulders with Death Squad David,  members of NYC’s financial elite will pay up to $50,000 for a “visionary table.” To get an idea of what’s  going on here, check out the event’s Tribute Committee, which includes JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs, The Rockefeller Group, interim CUNY chancellor William P. Kelly, and the head of McCann Protective Services (“a former senior former ranking officer from the New York City Police Department”). On behalf of the war criminal Petraeus, the NYPD savagely attacked CUNY students for the “crime” of exercising their basic right to protest on September 17, arresting the “CUNY Six” on trumped-up charges.

John Jay’s War Gala also claims to be “honoring our veterans” – but at the University of Southern California, Petraeus’ appointment as “veterans’ adviser” brought such a storm of outrage from Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that he canceled his speaking event, scheduled for the 12th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Kids from poor and working-class families are targeted by the military to be sent to kill and die for imperialism, then tossed onto the scrapheap – while top brass Petraeus gets hired by global investment firm KKR, offered $200K to “teach” three hours a week at CUNY, and blatantly exploits the City University as a stepping-stone for political and financial prospects. Petraeus’ appointment is part of the drive to target CUNY with military recruiters, military contracts, and the return of ROTC. We say NOCUNY must not be a war college!

Protest the war gala for David “Death Squad” Petraeus on Wednesday, October 16 at 5:30 P.M., John Jay College (899 10th Avenue).  

Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY

Download PDF here

Defend the CUNY 6 October 15th! Drop All Charges Now!

Students, faculty and staff; labor and community activists; opponents of militarization and police brutality: Come to the public meeting on Tuesday, October 15th to say: Defend the CUNY Six! Drop All the Charges Now! At the meeting, a wide range of organizations and individuals will be speaking out in defense of CUNY students’ right to protest.

Participants in the campaign against the militarization of CUNY will explain the causes and goals of the protests; how the drive to militarize CUNY is linked to major issues of war, racism and attacks on public education; and why the Board of Trustees and NYPD have reacted with open repression.

Last month’s violent police attack against student protesters in front of Macaulay Honors College has caused a storm of indignation. Graphic images show the brutality as six demonstrators were arrested in the unprovoked NYPD assault. Their “crime”? Peacefully protesting CUNY’s appointment of former CIA chief and Iraq/Afghanistan war commander David Petraeus.

The “CUNY Six” are facing a range of spurious charges –and just as the police attack and arrests were aimed against the rights of us all, so to the defense of the CUNY Six is vital to defending the rights of everyone who works and studies at the City University of New York.

A “Statement of Support to CUNY Students” targeted and arrested in the police attack has been signed by hundreds of academics, while the union representing 25,000 CUNY faculty and staff issued a “PSC Resolution in Protest of Violent Police Response to Peaceful Protest by CUNY Students.” As one organizer of the anti-militarization campaign noted: “Petraeus’ backers cannot answer the documented truth about his actions as CIA chief and war commander – so they send enforcers in blue to try to silence our voice. But the truth of our message will not and cannot be silenced by the NYPD’s billy clubs, choke holds and fists.”

All those who defend students’ basic right to protest and oppose police brutality are encouraged to attend a public meeting on Tuesday, October 15, calling to “Defend the CUNY Six – Drop the Charges Now!” Lending vocal support is crucial, as some of the CUNY 6 will have their first court appearance  on October 17th.

Meeting initiated by the
Ad Hoc Committee Against the
Militarization of CUNY

Download PDF here