Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chaos at Cooper:

Was heading down Bowery to get a photo of our pasting from Monday when I saw about 30 cop cars and an entire fleet of NYPD officers running down the sidewalks. Then cops on motorcycles flew by and main streets were being closed off. I was freaked out for awhile thinking there had been some sort of subway bombing, but eventually caught up with the crowd which ended in front of Cooper Union. As far as I know, Cooper Union is the only college in the U.S which offers free tuition to every student who is admitted.

Apparently the new president decided to change this 150 year tradition by instating grad school tuition recently. One student climbed the 20-foot statue out front and police couldn't figure out for more than an hour (haha) how to get him. His sign read "free tuition, it's our mission", the college's mission statement. The students were all peacefully protesting until 4 cops grabbed one young student and threw her to the ground for trying to go under the police tape to get to class. She was crying as they shoved her in the cop car and arrested her.

Students then became outraged, the student on the statue refused to come down, and the police starting pushing everyone off the sidewalks. I thought I was going to get hurt so I peaced out for a bit and when I came back students were saying police were having a "lock-down" at the main building, not letting any students enter for class. Good thing it's not a few weeks before final exams or anything. SIGH. These cops need to calm down and let students peacefully protest rather than interrupting with gruesome unnecessary tactics. Whew, this is a long post. Until next time....

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