New School E-mail About Yesterday's Occupation

The New School has sent the student body a detailed account of yesterday's brouhaha, including allegations that some of the occupiers weren't students and that they looted the cafeteria cash register.

Subject: Announcement to the Community:Update on yesterday's events
Update from The New School

New York City, April 11, 2009 - Early yesterday morning, a New School building at the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue was illegally broken into by approximately 30 people, some of whom were New School students. The police were involved and 22 protesters were arrested. Any participant that is enrolled at The New School will be suspended pending completion of disciplinary proceedings. Below is a timeline of activity of yesterday's events.

At 5:25am, a maintenance employee for The New School was in the cafeteria in 65th 5th Avenue. He heard a loud bang when over two dozen protesters with crowbars broke the locks on the side door on 13th Street. As he exited the cafeteria, he was overwhelmed by another group of protestors, some wearing face masks. He reported being physically grabbed by four men and forced out the door. During this time, they stole his security two-way radio.

A security supervisor responded to a call from the maintenance employee and went to the buildings entrance on 13th Street, where he interrupted the protestors in their effort to block the doorway. Although students have publicly denied that anyone was hurt, participants slammed the supervisors leg in the door as he tried to enter through the door. He sustained injuries to his leg and went to the emergency room at St. Vincents Hospital.

The protesters carried crowbars, bolt-cutters, mace, paint, hundreds of feet of security cable, masking and duct tape, kryptonite locks, and hundreds of feet of nylon rope into the building. They were also carrying sleeping bags and food, indicating they planned to be in the building for some time.

Security called 911 to report a burglary at The New School and gave the location at 65 5th Avenue. The initial NYPD responding units arrived at the scene in three minutes and began assembling a comprehensive team to deal with the break-in. NYPD have been on alert since December 2008 as there have been numerous attempts to break into this building before. NYPD protocols dictated the nature of the response by the police.

The protesters, some but not all of whom were New School students, blocked all building entrances. They used conduit pipe, or hollow metal bars, heavy, plastic-coated security cable, and gravity locks to block the doors, which were then reinforced with desks and chairs. They used Crazy Glue on all the locks. They put duct tape over all security cameras and transmission devices, effectively cutting off the buildings network service. They also cut through the cage inside the building to the cafeteria and smashed the cash register.

Between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., up to nine hooded individuals appeared on the roof of the building, where they made a statement and hung signs at the 13th Street and 5th Avenue corner of the building.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. a group of students tried to escape through an exit on 14th Street. It is estimated that eight participants escaped down 14th Street. Three were caught by the NYPD and resisted arrest. The individuals included three students, one from The New School, one from Brooklyn College and one from NYU, who was confirmed by NYU security as a member of their previous occupation. These protesters hurt two police officers and face charges of assault in the 2nd degree. One protester, a New School student, was hurt in the altercation.

At 11:45, the NYPD prepared to enter the building. Using a megaphone, Tim Sikorski, head of New School security, warned the protesters they would be arrested and the NYPDs hostage negotiation leader also made a similar announcement. Protesters responded to the NYPDs request and unlocked the doors and let the NYPD in.

There were 16 males and 3 females present in the building. All were arrested, in addition to the 3 arrested earlier on 14th Street. It is unknown at this time how many participants were New School students. There were participants from other universities as well as other unaffiliated individuals. Protesters inside the building did not resist arrest. The NYPD used plastic handcuffs and led each participant out of the building. They were taken to NYPDs central booking. All participants face charges for burglary in the 3rd degree, a charge stemming from breaking into an unoccupied building.