NYC Students Stage Walkouts in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

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Inspired by Occupy Wall Street, students from around New York will walk out of their classes and march down to City Hall this afternoon. Once at City Hall, the students will join the larger Community/Labor March to Wall Street, which already has almost 3,000 people attending on Facebook.

A few months ago, New York Students Rising, a "statewide network of students and campus-organizations dedicated to defending public higher education and empowering students in New York State," according to its website, started organizing around budget cuts in the CUNY and SUNY systems and began to plan for a fall protest. Now, thanks to a chance scheduling overlap with Occupy Wall Street, it has morphed into a solidarity march, and other universities are joining in as well.

Students from Columbia, The New School, and NYU have been organizing for the walkouts, scheduled at 3:30 p.m. (for Columbia) and 4 p.m. (for NYU and the New School), in time to get to the 4:30 march. In addition, students and teachers at CUNY and SUNY schools will be holding teach-ins prior to walking out.

According to Joshua Frens-String, a Ph.D student in the history department at NYU and one of the organizers of NYU's student walkout, there are two main reasons why students feel so strongly about Occupy Wall Street: inequalities that directly affect them and a feeling that they lack real political representation.

Staging a walkout will have a "strong symbolic effect," according to Frens-String, but he says the idea came from purely practical considerations: The labor march begins at 4:30 and many people are still in school and at work at that time. Still, the act will not be completely devoid of meaning. "We're inspired by people giving up entire days occupying. The least we can do is give up a few hours," he explained.

Who knows if the walkouts will get any results, but they show that OWS is gaining support from more than just zombies.

[@beckynathanson]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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19 comments
Jay
Jay

I so glad to see people getting together and speaking out against Wallstreet and the Governments inability to prosecute those who committed some of the largest crimes in US history. We need the criminals to be brought to justice and changes to the financial system before people's confidence will begin to be restored.

C U in NY
C U in NY

This is reminiscent of the banks in Argentina. Are we really not noticing that when people decide to vent and protest the decline of the market and the destruction of the economy is already on auto-pilot? Might as well hold sit-ins and sing "Kum Ba Ya" because the bankers are singing "A'int no stoppin us now, we're on the move!"

Don't fret that it's unfair, their end will soon come. For the destruction they intend for us all will befall them sooner than they believe.

Sam2224
Sam2224

To the couple hundred Columbia students occupying wall st: CU's President Bollinger is the chair of the Fed's board of directors and Barnard's President Spar sits on the board of directors of Goldman Sachs. Since Wall Street has hurt you so badly, you should probably show your solidarity by dropping out of school- then you'll have plenty of time to march around downtown and bemoan the industry which constitutes between 7 and 14% of New York City's income annually.

schmusekatze
schmusekatze

These student-led protests were organized months in advance before "Occupy" WallStreet even existed. They were not "inspired" by Occupy WallStreet. I am sure that the recent events in NYC helped generate some attention for these walk-outs, but please give credit where it's due. Students have been organizing and protesting the rising costs of education in NY for years!

stefan petkov
stefan petkov

Again so many Police protecting the rich.The taxpayers are paying their wages-why?

Eralpgumrah
Eralpgumrah

hello, we are Gümrah & tahsin, two Turkish novelists. we have released our first novel, 'provocatouer-the day out of money' in  february. ıt centers on a man who incites street events agains capital system and organizes a choasin the streets of new york. we have foreseen the new york riots, and brooklyn walk protests in our novel. and what is more our novel finishes with three days in which money has no power. we are in turkey, but we are following you and your struggle with the greates supportthanks please contact us my novels with is I actually wrote the movie script

Trmdivaa
Trmdivaa

The walk out are a good start. However, you will get wallstreet to listen if you bring commerce to a stop. If people don't show up for work, but go to the protests instead you will bring commerce to a stop. Which will cost billions. The corporations cannot make money without the  people. When you hit them in the pocketbook is when they will start to care.

Sakara
Sakara

these protests are like something out of the simpsons----college snot noses angry that their college degrees aren't helping them become movie directors, rap singers, or published authors.

Pattibikes
Pattibikes

With all due respect to every American citizen: I am no expert on The Constitution, we have by nature inalianable rights. I do not believe the right to some "type" of education is one of these natural rights.. The most effective, peaceful, simple protest that I can think of is to not enroll. Publicly funded institutions of higher learning, if one chooses to call it that, know that they will receive money from our "government" (read slush fund) and raise tuition. This slush fund comes from the working man in the form of $$$ stolen from this same working man who is scraping by. I chose to not attend. That is my protest. Just think of the power the people have when they decide INDIVIDUALLY to not purchase an overpriced, inferior product. We do this everyday in other arenas. If many would make this decision, it seems that the effect would be that this business ( "education" IS a business, AND a brainwashing tool) would either go out of business or lower prices. Sometimes we turn away from the "sheeple," lose sight of what our issue was only to become a totalitarian "sheeple" with a mob mentality. Let us not forget the great Dr. King. I find my life is relatively peaceful when I use my brain, instead of emotions. Let us not feed into what the powers that be want. Riots, civil unrest, division. What comes next? Martial law. If there is martial law, there is no voting. We lose our power. We lose everything to the power elite who think we are stupid and need to have them make decisions for us. This is a whole lot bigger than rising costs of so-called higher education. Higher education is supposed to develop and expand thinking for ourselves. What is really going on here? What would Dr.King think of this? What would Mahatma Ghandi think of this? Is anybody really THINKING? Somebody please prove me wrong. I'm just a simple-minded American with a rotten high school education. My TRUE education comes from the school of hard knocks, if anyone knows what that is anymore.

Please
Please

Please....i haven't seen it because I would have been walking with them.

Sakara
Sakara

yeah, the cops should skip town and let the protesters kick the shit out of YOU.

YOU are rich compared to avg person in africa and south america....stupid.

Sakara
Sakara

hahaha...most of the protesters are college snots upset at not getting easy, high paying jobs, as rap singers, movie directors, and tv stars.

Sakara
Sakara

don't go to work and dont earn money to protest...?

better yet, why not take all YOUR MONEY out of the bank and BURN IT, to show your solidarity with the poor!

burn yur own money!burn yur own money!burn baby burn!

Shulamith
Shulamith

I want to go to college to become a clinical psychologist so that I can help others who have the same issues I do (Asperger's Syndrome, in addition to my physical problems). My mother went to college and became a community organizer and my father became a labor lawyer who helps save people's jobs. I don't know anyone going to college to become famous or to get a glamorous or easy job.

schmusekatze
schmusekatze

Check out these sites and you'll see what I am talking about. If you're not involved with NYSR, find the Graduate Student Employee Union rep on a (SUNY) campus and talk to them:http://nystudentsrising.org/http://buyindontsellout.org/

These campus groups have been around and have been organizing for months (some of them, like the union, for years) and even were part of protests at the NY capitol building earlier this year. I am sure they're getting a lot more exposure now because of Occupy WallStreet, but simply because you didn't hear of them or see them before doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Shulamith
Shulamith

Yes, and compared to the CEOs, politicians, and pundits, you are living like a third-worlder. Relativity goes both ways.

Shulamith
Shulamith

I am ahigh schooler and a boy at my school has been sleeping overnight at an occupier protest. He goes to school every day and works hard, then gets a ride back to the site and stays until the next morning. My concerns stem from my type-1 diabetes and the lack of affordable health care in this country. A few nights ago I met a waitress who has type 1 diabetes also and is uninsured and not eligible for medicaid, and she lives on free samples of insulin that some doctors give her. This despite the fact that she has a job and wants to work.I have worked hard to go to a good college so I can get a good job. I don't want to be a Hollywood celebrity, but I want my hard work and the work of those around me to be rewarded. Under this system, it's not. Maybe if you take a look at your life, you'll see that the system isn't working for you, either. Or maybe it is and you're lucky, in which case congratulations.We're not looking for easy. We're looking for possible.

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