CUNY police bully peaceful Baruch College students during OWS protest over unfair labor practices, tuition hikes

Photographer and Boing Boing reader Timothy Krause shares the photos and videos above and below in this post, and says,

Here are some videos of police violence and beatings that occurred around 5:15 at Baruch College, CUNY, in response to an Occupy CUNY OWS protest about tuition hikes, unfair labor practices targeted toward adjunct and other faculty, and the privatization of the public CUNY system. Protesters had planned to attend a public trustees meeting, but we were not permitted to voice our grievances, in contravention of CUNY's policies and the rights belonging to a free people.

The first (below) is CUNY security and the order to disperse (protesters are occupying the building's lobby.

The second (further below) is CUNY security staff pushing and hitting protesters with nightsticks.

More shots by Krause. Here's a livestream. Related reporting at the Baruch college newspaper with more video from another POV, and here's a related item in the New York Times.

Carlos Pazmino, 21, a City College student who helped organize the protest, said that after students began opening doors to the auditorium where the meeting was taking place, CUNY police officers surrounded the entrances and pushed back, using their batons. When students formed a line to push past, he said, the officers began hitting the students with the batons. “I saw two people knocked down by cops,” Mr. Pazmino said. “They were arrested, and one guy’s head was bleeding.”

Update: Here's another video shot by "MichaelGouldWartofsk" at the front of the riot, which shows the violence more clearly (thanks, @bendoernberg).


  1. They didn’t look overly violent, and how else do your force out a large crowd that won’t otherwise move.

    1. That’s what I wonder.  I mean, what happens when people take over a public location at the expense of others who just want to study, eat, socialize, whatever.  OWS, has some good ideas but I learned (in college) that using your brain is generally better than using your butt.

      1. OWS, has some good ideas but I learned (in college) that using your brain is generally better than using your butt.

        If only you had been there to guide Ghandi and Martin Luther King.

        Who obviously wasted the wisdom their advanced degrees gave them, over the knowledge you obtained from yours.

          1. So then why can’t the OWSers be considered to be using their brains? Just because you don’t agree with everything?

          2. I never said they weren’t using their brains but sitting down to protest has limited effect (and usually provokes the cops, administration, etc).

            I agree with much of what OWS represents.  I don’t particularly agree that a mass sit-down at a university is really going to change anything other than garner press attention.  Then again, the press has only focused on the mace attacks and not the OWS message which is the really important thing.

      2. OWS, has some good ideas but I learned (in college) that using your brain is generally better than using your butt.

        You are insulting to everybody who works with their hands. I consider myself damn lucky to have a desk-job (I’m a programmer). But without a lot of people using their butts we’d ALL be using our butts.

      3. Open meetings laws in NYC require that the public be allowed to be present at Trustee meetings at public educational organizations.  The officers were violating those laws by not allowing the students in.

      4. The entire point of this sort of action is to disrupt normal activities. If you want study, eat, or whatever do it somewhere else. You see, a public location is open to the public. It is not reserved for your enjoyment.
        It’s kinda sad that you didn’t learn anything about political movements, first amendment rights, or critical thinking from your college education.

        1. Wow!  I didn’t realize that your “cause” trumps my right to be there too.  I should go somewhere else?  Isn’t that exactly what you’re complaining that the cops want you to do?

          1. @Marc45:disqus My cause and your right to be there have equal weight. We can both choose to be there or not. The difference is that you don’t have armed police telling you what to do.
            If you want to stay or go, your choice. All we want is the same.
            I am doubting your college credentials at this point. I would have thought you would have learned the difference between choice and force by now.

  2. It actually looks surprisingly civil given the number of upset people, the officers seemed to be doing a pretty good job whether or not their orders were technically legal.  (Are these trustee meetings supposed to be open to the public? I know nothing of CUNY/C politics or law, and the article above is a little light on details – sorry Xeni!)

  3. This reminds me of a Vegas Casino. The machines never go off when you loose, so its not deafening… but you sure do hear it on those very rare times it does go off… The whole casino sounds like its full of win.

    Sort of like this… if only the bad incidents get posted, then you get a skewed view. And dont think I’m against the protests… I just think the merit of the argument stands by itself without having to resport to implicating the police.. -most- of whom are good guys.

    1. If the police are mostly good guys then the increased militarisation of the police by the state could eventually pose a bit of a problem for said state.

  4. For faculty of American Universities and Colleges, Matthew Smith of Yale University has written an “Open Letter to Chancellors and Presidents of American Universities and Colleges From Your Faculty” which fellow faculty can sign onto my contacting Professor Smith (contact info on his public page here:

    1. Lexicat,

      Please don’t use URL shorteners and please DON’T use a URL shortener to mask a link to a pdf. That’s just evil.

      1. Antinous and boingboing community, apologies. That was the link I was given. I don’t generally use url-shorteners, but just discovered there are some reverse look-up utilities. Gonna go edit now…

      1. 1.No one owns the people. We pay Obama to do a job: uphold our constitution. 2. You don’t block the public from attending a public meeting. The meeting should adapt to include the rest.

    1.  Please check this out if you haven’t yet, it’s a petition for Obama to step in! Please spread the word. We have 35 days and need about 700 signatures a day to meet our mark:!/petition/condemn-disproportionate-violence-used-police-opposing-occupy-movement-and-stand-free-speech/rlQ5mHYZ

  5. That was a supposedly “public” meeting that they were being kept out of. And the protestors were mostly sitting before the police charged them. 

    1. Please check this out if you haven’t yet, it’s a petition for Obama to step in! Please spread the word. We have 35 days and need about 700 signatures a day to meet our mark::!/petition/condemn-disproportionate-violence-used-police-opposing-occupy-movement-and-stand-free-speech/rlQ5mHYZ

  6. Whether on my own or as part of a group, I would never expect to get whacked over the head by a baton for trying to go somewhere I am allowed to go.

  7. CUNY is the third-largest university system in the United States, in terms of enrollment, behind the State University of New York (SUNY), and the California State University system. CUNY and SUNY are separate and independent university systems, although both are public institutions that receive funding from New York State. CUNY, however, is additionally funded by the City of New York.

    CUNY has its own police force whose duties are to protect and serve all students and faculty members, and enforce all state and city laws at all of CUNY’s universities. The force currently has more than 600 officers, making it one of the largest police forces in New York City.

    Unless of course we don’t want to listen to you.
    Public meetings closed to the public, who might say something that would hurt our feelings.

    Your a public institution, all of your funding should be stopped until you answer for shutting the public out of your meeting.

    What is it with these overpaid administrators deciding the rules and law are for other people and not them.  Why is it they have been allowed to close a public meeting because people might demonstrate.  Why are they still employed, they obviously forgot they are representing the public and not their own interests so they should be shown the door.  This should be unacceptable no matter how you try to spin anti-OWS sentiment to your favor.

  8. This is absolutely amazing to me. I spent the last 7 years of my life at this campus as I did my undergrad and grad at Baruch. For 4 of those 7 years I worked as the Opinion editor of the college’s newspaper (The Ticker) and I’ve had my share of clashes with these rent-a-cops. Seeing these videos I’m kind of in shock.

  9. Baruch fucking college? i worked a block away the whole last year. those are not student radicals that attend there. those are sweet middle of the most midle road that go there. if those are the kids that are getting beat up then something is seriously fucking wrong. seriously. 

    1. That was my thought about the UC Davis kids. These are not “campus revolutionaries”, they’re first-generation college students, children of immigrants, and Central Valley 4-H farm kids. They see the leg up the UC system provides getting kicked out from under them, they protest peacefully, and they get cracked on the head.

  10. I would like to understand why, in the first place, do American universities have armed police forces… Is there a particular threat against students, or are students (who pay these police forces with their own tuition) a threat? Coming from a country where the only legitimate police is the national police (even the recent raise of city polices don’t give them rightful police status), and having studied in CUNY for one year, I’ve always been amused by those wannabe guards dressed like policemen… I’m not so amused anymore now that I realize they really have power.

  11. I have seen campus security in many countries including my own. They are regular security people with a job. They don’t believe for a second they can lay a hand on you if you don’t attack someone first or are not doing something criminal and dangerous. 

    Now, I really hope they are faithfully recorded and immortalized, names and all. If conscience, civility or the threat of legal action don’t stop them, then public opinion and the mauling of their public life will make any future bully take a second to think. Little Brother CAN be rather harsh if enraged.

  12. Couldn’t really see what is happening in the video.  Lots of shouting.  Cops pushing people.  Naturally, it’s good to see students standing up for their own future.  

  13. That second shot is a great picture. Seriously sums up a lot of OWS: the resolve, and the camera pointed at the cops, saying, “I dare you.”

  14. Police and good guys in the same sentence?

    I have had friends, friends parents, neighbors and my own mother who is NOT a cop but worked for the department for awhile.

    Bottom line the police are NOT your friends despite appearances or Oh he a good guy.. Bullshit! You are right views can be skewed do some research on both sides good and bad. I am sure there are plenty of cops who have done good things and of course it goes unnoticed. At the same time those are the same cops that go home and beat their wife, kids and dog. 

    I read that the peaceful protesters at Davis were sharing a sandwich and shooting the shit the day before with the same cop who sprayed them. Do you think he cares? Hell no he probably got paid leave for that. Awesome just in time for Thanksgiving and he’ll get paid not to work while the public foots the bill. How bout you do you have the same liberties?

    I don’t think so

    Check Xeni’s article take a look and see how much that guy gets paid a year compared to the Asst Professor

    Believing that the police are good guys and are here to serve the public and your best interest is foolish and naive

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