Movement Study

The young people painting signs and banners to hang around the not-yet-built CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment last Wednesday night were remarkably prepared for police retaliation. There was no fear of the cops, that is, so much as the knowledge that they would come, and come roughly. As one student told me, “I expect, you know, one could break my arm.” And did this scare them? “No.”

Their bravery was on display less than a week later, when the NYPD brutally raided the camp, assaulting several City College students as well as neighborhood residents who rushed out of their homes to defend the young people. The raid came less than an hour after the cops marched onto Columbia’s campus, just before midnight on May Day, and began beating and arresting the large group of students who kicked off the national movement of encampments on colleges over two weeks ago. Equipped with riot gear and military-grade vehicles, cops thrashed some protesters so severely that they were sent straight to the hospital instead of jail, where over 300 ended up. Nearly every seasoned movement re…

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