Chop From the Top

Today, several students decided to take back control of their university from big business and little bureaucrats, reclaiming a single building of University of New Orleans’ campus for they, the tuition-payers, themselves.

Despite what benevolent administrators, politicians (student or otherwise), or the police may say, we know that this financial crisis is not ours, and that we will not pay for it.  We know that this “depression” effects us disproportionately and we refuse to allow those who are already hurt to be injured any further.  If there will be cuts, they will be from the very top.

We would like to state how overwhelmingly impressed we were with the organized Walk Out that also took place today.  Y’all are amazing.  Despite the fact that no one “led” the march or “organized” the rally, the students found no trouble whatsoever in finding common ground surrounding the slow and systematic demolition of the only public university available to them in the city of New Orleans.

Unfortunately, after being forcefully removed from a university building by violent, angry campus cops wielding batons and pepper spray, and after the beatings and arrests of two of our fellow students, and after Chief Harrington put a student in a headlock and wrongfully accused him of assault, the faculty, staff, and students alike were able to finally witness the police undeniably affirm our all of our accusations–the university and its administration empower their goons, not their students, in order to better serve private interests at the cost of public education.

Please keep our two imprisoned comrades in your thoughts.  Please contact the UNO Campus Police and let them know how nasty you think Chief Harrington is for sicking his officers on students.

Again, UNO made us proud today.  We can’t wait to see how students will organize themselves this semester, this year, forever.

This was only the first.

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25 Responses to Chop From the Top

  1. Pingback: Chop from the Top « occupy california

  2. undergrad says:

    I’ve made a facebook, and a blog. I’m putting my considerable networking skills to use. We’re going to fight this, and we’re going to win.
    I just want to help you so badly, especially after Matthew’s beating and hospitalization. I mean, I don’t personally know him, but that sort of behavior from officers that are supposed to be protecting us is unacceptable.
    See you soon?

    helpoccupy@yahoo.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    You were forcefully removed from the building because that’s illegal protest. Protest is a Constitutional right, but only if done peacefully. It has to be nonviolent gatherings and noncooperation. Skipping class was a good example of noncooperation (although it doesn’t hurt anyone but you as you’re the one paying for that class), but taking control of a building was not. It was illegal and although the police probably over-reacted, they were within the law.

    • WWAHD says:

      The thing is, the building was not “taken over”. We simply walked through the building, occasionally chanting. No one involved in the protest was forcibly keeping anyone from entering or exiting the building or from going about their business. Maybe the sheer number of us prevented people who had business in the building from getting through the halls as quickly as they would have liked, but movement was not impossible. And maybe the police were within their rights to ask us to leave the building but there was no asking. They stormed in there already angry and ready for violence and yelled at us to get the fuck out. A friend of mine who wasn’t even there for the protest but was simply trying to get to the Registrar’s office was shoved around and threatened with mace by the police. And they certainly weren’t within the law to tackle and mace a guy who did nothing more than pull out his cell phone.

      • Anonymous says:

        “As of 7:00 am this morning, UNO’s Milneburg Hall is officially under occupation!”

        You guys are the ones that made it sound like you took over, that’s why I said that. If it was peaceful like you say, then that’s fine. Although, I will admit I don’t know that it was the best thing as it seems a little unfair to other student to make it more difficult to get to class on time. But that’s hardly illegal.

      • WWAHD says:

        Milneburg Hall is not where these events took place. That was a small group of students who occupied a building completely separate from the Administration Bldg., where police action was taken. Students don’t generally have to go through the Admin Bldg. to get to class, so I’m not sure how much of an inconvenience that was, but if there were students who needed to get to class who were stuck in that building then yeah, I guess that was a little unfair to them and I personally apologize to any student who wanted to be in class but couldn’t be because of my standing in the Admin Bldg. at an inconvenient time. But traffic, as you said, is hardly illegal.

  4. occupyla says:

    Lunch counter sit-ins were also illegal in their day. We dream of a university run by all and for all, much like those past civil rights protesters dreamed of a lunch counter that all could eat at.

  5. hotday says:

    Awesome!

  6. Pingback: Chop from the Top & OccupyLA « UC Rebel Radio

  7. Beth says:

    Read MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”; you lack a clear understanding of the three conditions King laid out for civil disobedience.

    I’m also wondering just how much you understand about the budget problems we face. How much of UNO’s budget is supported by tuition? How much of that tuition is paid for by TOPS? How much do students at comparable public institutions pay in tuition? What would you cut to meet the state’s reduction of General Funds dollars? What has precipitated the budget crisis in Louisiana, and what do we need to do to restore higher education and health care funding (hint: become familiar with the Stelly Tax Plan.) I support and encourage student protests of the cuts, but you need to go Google Map the route to Baton Rouge and take it to the source.

    As for your claims about the behavior of police, if UNO campus police beat students, that’s a serious over-reaction. I hope someone among the many cell-phone toting students at the scene, or one of the several media photographers present, caught that on tape, and will quickly post it for public viewing.

    • WWAHD says:

      I agree that protests do need to be taken to Baton Rouge. I was there today because I was interested in hearing what people had to say and in maybe getting more involved with peacefully protesting the situation. From what I understood the protest on campus was an effort to make the situation of student unrest with the handling of the current crisis known. Protest organizers even made a point of stating that the root of the problem doesn’t lie with the administrators of UNO itself but with state government and shot-callers in the LSU system. Today seemed to me as if it was meant to be a first step in making students aware of the issue so that further action could be taken where it really matters–in Baton Rouge.

    • UNO student says:

      Stop berating the students for the police using their weapons and the threat of disproportionately severe laws for resisting (both students received two felony battery on an officer charges apeice) to beat the shit out of them.

      • Beth says:

        What you’re saying is I should stop asking students to think critically, be informed about both their rights and the laws, and act strategically and with accountability. If police used their weapons when they should not have, legally, then the student will do well to sue. But who isn’t aware that resisting arrest is going to result in worse charges? You simply cannot strike a police officer, no matter how angry you are or put upon you feel.

      • WWAHD says:

        “You simply cannot strike a police officer, no matter how angry you are or put upon you feel.”

        As I’ve said before, Gideon nor the kid in the stairwell EVER struck an officer.

      • occupyla says:

        Beth-
        They are planning to sue as we speak.

  8. Anonymous says:

    According to the report on WDSU, you actually barricaded yourselves into the administration building….
    The link you have posted kept messing up my Firefox every time I tried to go to the page, so I searched for videos myself and found this: http://www.youtube.com/user/cfini72#p/u/2/0q5_LKdzOJE

    • WWAHD says:

      I can’t speak for the back of the procession, but from the front to about a third of the way in (where I was) there was no barricading going on. Once people made it to the second floor they encountered NOPD and traffic came to a halt. The people in the stairwell where the violence went down were just standing around waiting to be able to keep moving.

    • occupyla says:

      There were 2 different protests:
      -an occupation with barricades in the morning
      and
      -a walkout and march through the administration building that was going to go out the other side and go to the amphitheater, but the cops starting beating people inside the building and created chaos.

      • KMcKesson says:

        @ Anonymous. The part about the students barricading themselves into the administration building was inaccurate. Check some of the other reports posted on this website and look at all the videos and you will see that the march through that building was peaceful and an immediate exit was planned had UNO campus police not intervened.

  9. Pingback: Chop From the Top « Occupy Everything!

  10. Pingback: Occupation at University of New Orleans « Student Activism

  11. Pingback: Occupation at University of New Orleans « Student Activism « Parents 4 democratic Schools

  12. SOLIDARITY FROM UC BERKELEY! Do you all know about the Oct. 7th National Day of Action? You all should participate, resist, occupy, whatever for that day. Please spread the word.

    http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

    http://www.defendeducation.org/

  13. L. Follette says:

    WTO U: GATS and Higher Education Policy
    HIGHER EDUCATION: PUBLIC GOOD OR GLOBAL SERVICE INDUSTRY?
    http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=1213

    While Tea Baggers are crying about public restrooms, corporate globalization is undermining US sovereignty. Don’t all parents want their children to have a good education?

    The first step is for the TRADE Act to be signed into law. Demand action!
    http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=454

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