New School Community Walks Out in Support of Occupy Wall Street
The New School community has officially joined the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. Over 300 students and faculty participated in a walkout on October 5, held in support of the protests. The walkout began at around 3:30 PM in the Vera List Courtyard.
The procession of students and faculty marched out of the 66 West 12th Street building, carrying signs and chanting, “Whose streets, our streets; whose school, our school,” in a call-and-response fashion. The demonstrators walked south on Fifth Avenue, joining New York University students at Washington Square Park.
The group, numbering roughly 600, then proceeded over a mile south to Foley Square in the Financial District. There, they joined several thousand other demonstrators from a variety of organizations, including unions, in a continuation of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have persisted since September 17.
“What this seems like is the chance for everyone to share their ailments and what’s wrong with this country,” said Lang freshman Samuel Schultz.
University Student Senate co-chair Melissa Holmes, who participated in the walkout, said the USS supported the student walkout and the Occupy Wall Street demonstration.
“We didn’t plan this, but when we hear about it we tried to support it,” Holmes said. “We got a lot of boxes from Whole Foods, markers and tape [to make signs].”
Sid Gurung, a Lang student who has been involved in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration since it began, said that The New School walkout was organized as recently as October 2 by a number of different groups at the university, among them graduate students from The New School for Social Research and New School faculty.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Lang Student Union sent an email to students containing a statement, signed by 137 university faculty members, in support of Occupy Wall Street and the walkout. The statement decried government responses to the economic crisis, and condemned the New York Police Department’s “unnecessary use of force...that resulted in the arrest of 700 people marching in a peaceful non-violent demonstration on Saturday October 1.”
Gurung shed light on the massive protest held today in Foley Square.
“Occupy Wall Street called for a solidarity march, and all the unions and community organizers came out,” he said.
The student and faculty demonstrators reached protest at Foley Square without incident.The NYPD provided security for the walkout, and officers escorted the procession all the way to Foley Square. In a brief meeting with walkout organizers just prior to the event, Sixth Precinct Commander Brandon del Pozo said the NYPD’s main concern was “keeping [students] safe.”
Additional reporting by Harrison Golden