Saturday, March 6, 2010

Schreiber: Details on the Hunter rally incident where I was attacked

This Thursday, New York City saw what authoritarian and condescending views can do to social justice organizing. The events that transpired at a walk-out protest at Hunter College left an estimated $25,000 in damages. Three students were arrested, none of whom were even Hunter students. The reaction across the student body of Hunter to the end result has been one of anger. Stefanie, an admin for a Facebook group formed in reaction to these events, stated on the fan page, "Yes, of course they came from schools that could afford to repair damages."

The general description of the events have been discussed in publications as varied as the student-run paper, The Hunter WORD as well as the New York Times. Most students I spoke to personally claimed that there was a tremendous difference between this protest and walk-outs held in the past. The majority if not the entirety of the violent and damaging acts lead back to the students coming in from the New School and New York University, particularly a group called "Take Back NYU!" that you might remember from the NYU Kimmel student center occupation from February of last year.

For a more detailed account of the events, I turned to messages sent around Facebook by participants of the walk-out. What I found made me no longer just curious about the acts that occurred while I was off-campus. I was infuriated.

From Defend Hunter Childcare's Luz Schreiber:

"I must say I am very disappointed to see how many of the radical people who I considered friends and allies seem unmoved by the actions that upset soooo many people yesterday.

Since some have asked for a list of events of the conflict, here it goes:

Many students, mostly organizers of the rally speaking, taking turns speaking to the crowd. Many gave testimonies about how the budget and childcare cuts will affect them. Personal testimonies is what makes our movement real. Others made announcements, including the one to our next organizing meeting, for which we were mocked . The people who we have denounced constantly interrupted and shouted down when women came up to speak. This was very disrespectful. These people came and tried to silence the grassroots organizers from Hunter who have worked very hard on many issues, not only on campus but city-wide.

Many of us asked them to listen and allow the speakers to address the crowd.They refused. They had brought their own boombox, bullhorns and radios. They continued to create their own noise and spoke about "breaking our reality," and insinuating we were cowards for not complying with their demands to join them to vandalize the school.

I approached one of the males (white) to ask him to respect the speaker, he shouted at me. the people around him started screaming. Two of them were holding radios over their shoulders. Everyone around got upset, people gathered and then the group altercation began.

Then one of them came after me with their radio and if it wasnt for people who came in front of me, I would have been injured. People jumped in front of me so that I would not get injured.

Another woman came after me and accused me of hitting her friend. She grabbed my drum stick and broke it. Other came around the crowd and threatened to "put herpes in my cunt" (a rape threat) and called me a "bitch." There are DOZENS of witnesses, video footage and also pictures that verify this. I am not making it up.

Some people who were part of this crowd have already started contacting me personally and apologizing. They have admitted their violent behavior and taken responsibility.

This is about accountability. We want to build networks and a strong solidarity but that starts with RESPECT!!!!!RESPECT!!!!! RESPECT!!!My daughter can teach these people about respect and she is only 6 years old!

Now about Occupation, most already has been said already, but people must consent to it and the ground must be fertile. There must be consent first and support from the people. This is not the case at Hunter.

I can tell you that most of Hunter students are disgusted by yesterday's violent actions. No one was won over with these tactics. And now the administration is really cranking down MORE heavily on additional security measures. This has only made matters worse. We are really getting a jail now.

Not only that, these people broke windows and doors from the Bursars and Financial Aid Office- RIGHT BY THE CHILDREN's LEARNING CENTER!!!

I guess I need to thank people for having our children step over broken glass as they left their school. I dont think so!!

It is sad that us Hunter mothers who attended the rally did not bring their children, when we have worked so hard for a year to build a grasroots movement, and becoming radical, that intergrates all our moments in life. To me it is extremely important to build a movement that is intergenerational."

[Emphasis mine, original here]


Don't F*** With Hunter College (strong language on site may be NSFW)

UPDATE: Ms. Schreiber has been able to find out the identity of her attacker, who was a Hunter student.

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