Become a Member

Join PSC
Fill 1
header bw

News & Events

Arrests at City College

Statement from the PSC Principal Officers, May 1, 2024

Today is the first day back on campus for many of us after a spring recess that coincided with an escalation of student protest at home and nationwide.

The PSC condemns in the strongest possible terms the militarized policing of campuses that is taking place across the country and in New York City, including at our own City College campus last night. We have heard concerning reports of many injuries that our students and members sustained during the police action last night, and of many dozens of arrests. As we stated last week when the CCNY encampment began, lawful student protests on any CUNY campus should not be met with NYPD arrests. Administration can and must ensure students’ safety and prevent harassment on campus without resorting to the forcible removal of peaceful protestors. Last night’s NYPD actions at the campus, even before the announced deadline for students to clear the encampment, were escalatory and disproportionate to any threat that the encampment posed. A militarized police response violates the trust and community that make the shared quest for education possible.

As the AAUP said in its recent statement In Defense of the Right to Free Speech and Peaceful Protest on University Campuses, crackdowns like the one that just took place at CCNY emerge from the troubling context of “a politically motivated assault on higher education.” Congress has weaponized sincere concerns about actual antisemitism to repress freedoms of speech and the freedom of inquiry necessary for all academic work and central to all academic institutions. 

College and university administrators have cited restrictions on the time, place, and manner of protests to justify bringing police onto campuses to arrest students. As the AAUP observes, “​​When university administrators limit when, where, and how free speech may be exercised, and require advanced applications for permission of such expression, they effectively gut the right itself. To insist that harsh discipline and violent repression are necessary to combat hate on a college campus is a pretext to suppress protest and silence speech.” 

It is imperative that space for peaceful student protest be restored at City College, across CUNY, and at universities across the U.S. 

Published: May 1, 2024

Jump to Content
observe a bargaining session after attending an online orientation.
Protest at the May 20 BoT Meeting