NYU Security Busts Up Student Protest

Dozen students threatened with expulsion...

A standoff between protesting students and New York University ended Friday after university security raided the cafeteria the students had been occupying since Wednesday.

The raid happened at 11:30 a.m., about an hour after university officials shut off power to the building, according to several students.

Students said they were tricked by officials and roughed up by security guards during the raid. A video shot by a student shows another female student being thrown to the ground by campus security.

Dozens of NYU students were suspended after barricading themselves in a school cafeteria to draw attention to their concerns about tuition costs, the school's investments and other issues.

All of the protesters have left the Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life, according to university officials. The protest began about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

"Despite the protesters’ stated principles that the protest was to be non-destructive and non-violent, the protesters, despite specific warnings to stay off the Kimmel Center balcony, broke the lock to gain access to the balcony," NYU officials said in a released statement .

"The protesters also injured an NYU security officer during a scuffle. These actions dishonor NYU's commitment to free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate, and legitimate forms of protest."

On Friday afternoon, students across the street waved signs, yelled and banged drums. Their banner slogans included “Make NYU affordable” and “This is what Democracy looks like.”

Overnight, dozens of supporters had scuffled with police outside the building; one was arrested for disorderly conduct. NYU spokesman James Devitt said protesters broke a door lock and injured a security officer.
He said protesters had been warned that they could be violating campus rules for staying past the building's 1 a.m. closing time.
In a statement, Devitt said school officials had offered “to sit down and have a dialogue with the students if they left the cafeteria,” but they rejected the offer.

The protest began when about 60 members of a coalition called “Take Back NYU!” pushed tables and chairs against the doors. Some left the cafeteria after the warning.

The students want NYU to release information on its budget and endowment, including staff salaries and financial aid, and details about people and firms linked to its investments.

The protesters also have made the Palestinian-Israeli conflict part of their cause, demanding that the university donate “excess supplies and materials” to help rebuild a university damaged in December by Israeli air raids. They also want NYU to provide annual scholarships to Palestinian students.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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