CUNY’s idea of a public meeting

City University of New York’s trustees were holding a public meeting, and some of the public, namely CUNY students, attempted to attend. CUNY police and NYPD staged a welcome for them:
Carlos Pazmino, 21, a City College student who helped organize the protest, said that after students began opening doors to the auditorium where the CUNY trustees were to hold a public hearing at 5 p.m., CUNY police officers surrounded the entrances and pushed back, using their batons, and that when students formed a line to push past, 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.”

That’s in a NYTimes story by Alice Speri and Anna M. Phillips, CUNY Students Protesting Tuition Increase Clash With Police. Interesting title considering that the content says that the public went to a public meeting and were violently attacked by police.

And that’s the cleaned up version:

Correction: November 22, 2011

An earlier version of this post stated inaccurately that several hundred marchers had pushed through the barricades and entered the lobby of the Baruch building. In fact, there were no barricades up when students entered the lobby, no more than 100 students entered the lobby, and the barricades went up outside the building after the students had entered the lobby.

So apparently the story started with the usual “protest turns violent” corporate media newspeak. What got the NYTimes to post a correction?

YouTube videos taken by students, such as this one, entitled CUNY Police Riot 4 of 5, which clearly shows police pushing into unarmed protesters and shoving them to the floor, several police to a protester.

You are the media. CUNY might want to pay attention to what’s happening at UC Davis after the infamous pepper spray incident. The president of the entire University of California system has launched an investigation and policy discussion about appropriate police reaction to nonviolent protests, and, according to Melissa Weise in the Sacramento Business Journal today,

In other news, UC Davis announced it will pay the immediate medical and emergency bills of student protesters who were pepper-sprayed by campus police on Friday.

Katehi is also asking that criminal charges against people who were arrested that day because of the protest be dropped.

On Monday, she appeared in front of a crowd of students, faculty and other members of the community and apologized for the use of force.

The Occupy movement has exposed police militarization to public view, and the public doesn’t like it. CUNY student protesters have exposed CUNY Trustees’ idea of a public meeting, and the public doesn’t like that, either, even with the New York Times trying to cover for them.

The police aren’t the problem. The 1% who militarized the police and the 99% who stood by and let them are the problem. Now that the problem is visible, it’s time to do something about it.