CUNY faculty release statement on violence against nonviolent student protesters

[NOTE: This statement was composed and first published on Sunday, November 20, 2011. The next day, campus police used violence against nonviolent CUNY community members, mostly students, who were protesting peacefully at the public Board of Trustees Public and Budget Hearing at Baruch College. This statement was intended as a way to stop such actions, and it remains a demand for an end to all such violent actions against nonviolent student protesters.]

CUNY Faculty Statement on Violence Against Nonviolent Student Protesters

We faculty members of The City University of New York (CUNY) express our outrage at the police brutality against nonviolent student and faculty demonstrators at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-Davis.

We declare our support for the opening of spaces for protest, political dissent, and, when necessary, nonviolent civil disobedience on our campuses. We support the CUNY student movement in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, including the student strike organized by our students on November 17, along with the protests on November 21 against the prospect of tuition hikes to be decided on by the Board of Trustees, and any future non-violent protests.

We call upon the CUNY administration to look upon these student protests not as a threat that must be monitored, policed, and repressed, but as an opportunity for a discussion across our community about the future of the City University of New York as a public institution meant to serve all those who live in this city.

Therefore, we the undersigned:

1)   Deplore any use of violence against nonviolent student protesters, anywhere.

2)   Call upon the CUNY administration to support and engage respectfully with those students, educators, and community members who are working to open up spaces for protest, dissent, and discussion.

3)   Declare that the use of any violence whatsoever against nonviolent student protesters will never be tolerated at CUNY.

4)   Insist that administrators at both the CUNY-wide level and at individual campuses not call upon any outside police forces, including the New York City Police Department, or any other city, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, in order to disperse students who are engaged in nonviolent protests.

[To sign this statement, please send an email to tonyalessandrini [at]]

[For an updated list of signatories, visit]