City Tech students issue collective statement responding to March 22 rally arrest

Students at City Tech have issued a collective statement in which they describe their March 22 rally outside President Russell Holtzer’s office. According to the statement, after 30 minutes, the students attempted to leave the heavily guarded hallway when one was singled out for arrest. Video from the event was also posted on the City Tech Students United for a Free CUNY Facebook page yesterday showing the student march from the Welcome Center to the President’s Office.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5iAeVCk3as]

“We Shall Not Be Moved”

** A collective statement by student participants in the March 22 rally at City Tech * *

Students Demand to be Heard
Last Thursday (March 22) City Tech President Russell Holtzler heard our voices. They were the voices of students who are fed up with an unelected, unaccountable administration which has done little to nothing to acknowledge, let alone address, our many concerns.

With tuition rates escalating, the shuttering of the school’s cafeteria, dismal and unsanitary bathrooms, dirty classrooms and the unfair treatment of City Tech workers and faculty – among many other issues – students decided enough was enough. During club hours, we congregated in front of the Welcome Center, before making our way to the president’s office on the 3rd floor. The president’s office door was actually shut when we got there, guarded by security! We chanted, did a “mic-check”, and energetically expressed our demands for over 30 minutes.

Public “Safety” Handcuffs, Arrests a Student

Public safety personnel ordered us to move away from the President’s office towards the elevator. We refused to move, as we had assembled in a peaceful and orderly manner along the walls. The security guards were the only ones blocking the hallway. They then demanded our IDs. One student showed his ID and it was immediately taken from him, after which point everyone refused to show their IDs. We negotiated with Campus Security, got the ID back, and had actually begun to walk away from the President’s office when Security, for reasons that are not clear, singled out, handcuffed, and arrested/detained Isaiah, one of the students. He was dragged off downstairs as if he was a criminal breaking a law, and was even choked during the arrest!

Isaiah, a registered City Tech student, has been charged with disorderly conduct based on bogus claims that he was “trying to run away from security” or other nonsense. Isaiah DID NOTHING WRONG! We strongly suspect that Isaiah’s summons, given to him by an NYPD officer, is an attempt to scare people away from exercising their right to protest. And to add insult to injury, when students gathered on the 1st floor to demand that Isaiah be released, Public Safety pulled down a metal shutter to block us from seeing inside their office.

The Intimidation of Students Must Be Condemned. Please Support Isaiah, and Call For The Charge to Be Dropped!
We ask that the Professional Staff Congress (representing faculty), DC37 (representing custodians, library staff and other workers), as well as Student Government Association (SGA), campus clubs – everyone – spread awareness about the above issues, and publicly condemn the arrest/detainment of Isaiah.

Students, workers and faculty have rights!

Sincerely,
Natalie Jones
Yanique Aitcheson-Taylor
Joanna Alvarez
Ben Douglass

City Tech United for a Free CUNY and the Sociology Club

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