[News] CCNY administration seizes Morales/Shakur Center, students fight back

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 21 11:12:11 EDT 2013


    CCNY administration seizes Morales/Shakur Center, students fight back

By staff |
October 20, 2013

*http://www.fightbacknews.org/2013/10/20/ccny-administration-seizes-moralesshakur-center-students-fight-back*

<http://www.fightbacknews.org/category/news-articles/student-movement>

New York, NY - On Oct. 20, the City College of New York (CCNY) 
administration shut down the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Student and 
Community Center in the North Academic Center (NAC) building. The 
Morales/Shakur Center is a hub of political and social activism at CCNY 
and the surrounding Harlem and Washington Heights communities.

As of early Sunday morning Oct. 20, the NAC building, which houses the 
Morales/Shakur Center and the library, were both closed during the day. 
Though the library has since reopened, the Morales/Shakur Center remains 
closed, despite a policy for all CCNY buildings to be open 24 hours 
during midterms week to allow students to study.

Police, CUNY security and administrators have been refusing to let 
students into the Morales/Shakur Center. Police arrested David Suker, a 
former CCNY student who sat in front of the door of the Center, as can 
be seen in this video <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGZPs4IfzEs>.

Student and community activists are inviting everyone to come to an 
emergency press conference and protest in defense of the Morales/Shakur 
Center on Monday, Oct. 21 
<https://www.facebook.com/events/446892958752959/> outside City College 
at 138th Street and Amsterdam.

The administration has placed a new sign in front of the Morales/Shakur 
Center that reads "Center for Professional Development." A university 
representative informed students in a press release that the 
Morales/Shakur center has been closed and they intend to convert it into 
a Career Resource center. Books, documents and personal belongings of 
students were removed from the center and are being held and "examined."

Students won use of the Morales/Shakur Center space in North Academic 
Center room 3/201 as a result of the 1989 CUNY student strike against a 
proposed tuition increase. The purpose of the space was for students to 
engage in activism and build links with the surrounding Harlem and 
Washington Heights communities. The administration tried to retake the 
space from student activists 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/2006/05/ccny.htm> several times and also 
got caught engaging in video surveillance of the activist space in 1998 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/2008/10/ccny-court-case-oct-27.htm>. 
However, students and community members repeatedly fended off 
administrative attacks.

During one of those attempts 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/2006/05/ccny.htm> to get rid of the 
Morales/Shakur Center in 2006, Ydanis Rodriguez, a leader in the 1989 
student strike and a longtime leader of the Center's community projects, 
stated, "In 1989 when we ended our organizing movement against the 
tuition increase proposed by Governor Mario Cuomo, we were able to 
persuade the governor not to increase tuition. At the end of that 
movement, as part of the negotiation, we got that space to use as a 
student and community center. The center has been a very important place 
at City College because this is a real link between the university and 
the surrounding community, especially Harlem, Washington Heights and El 
Barrio."

A press release from Students for Education Rights (SER) 
<http://citycollegeser.wordpress.com/>, one of the groups housed in the 
Morales-Shakur Center, says, "The Morales/Shakur Center is a space for 
community groups to meet on campus, for students to connect with their 
political elders and for movement histories to be retained and shared in 
Harlem. The Center has provided a space for students to organize around 
a number of issues recently, including the addition of gender identity 
into the school's anti-discrimination policy and the combating of rape 
culture at City College. The closure of this space is a serious assault 
on our right as students to organize and cultivate community. This 
follows the Sept. 17 arrest of six CUNY students peacefully protesting 
David Petraeus's teaching appointment. Furthermore, the CUNY Board of 
Trustees plans to impose a policy broadly curtailing our right to 
political assembly on CUNY campuses at its next Nov. 25 business 
meeting. Please join us Monday, Oct. 21 at 12:30 pm outside the North 
Academic Center to hold CUNY accountable for its stifling of student 
voices and disempowerment of community organizing."

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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