Reporters React: Brianna Lyle on Getting Kicked Out by the Occupiers
When I walked into work yesterday afternoon at The Office of Student Development and Activities, everyone was saying the same thing: “The protesters might be coming.”
Earlier that day, my boss had received an email saying that, if the protesters came to our building, we should leave the office and let them do their thing. But I didn’t think they would come — after all, it would be silly to occupy 90 Fifth Avenue, a building that the New School doesn’t even own.
At around 3:45, though, sitting at my desk, I felt a rumble. It was followed by angry voices and pounding. As I walked down the escalator, I saw a few students trickle by the security guards.
“This is silly,” I said to them. “We don’t own this building, and people are actually trying to study.”
A few of them flicked me off, while others sarcastically made peace signs with their hands.
“You’ve been warned, right?” a student asked us.
Apparently, we had to choose between staying — and becoming part of the occupation — or leaving. Leaving seemed like a less frightening option. As I walked out, a student lingered by the doorway with a stack of papers. He asked me if I would help him hand flyers out to people.
I couldn’t help myself. “Why are you occupying a building we don’t even own?”
He shrugged and continued passing out the flyers to my co-workers. I noticed many of them looked genuinely frightened to walk out into the crowds of hundreds on Fifth Avenue.
I couldn’t go to work this morning. I support Occupy Wall Street, but not when it hinders my ability to do my job. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return soon so I can make the money I need in order to attend school here.