The police riot against protesters at Baruch College is the latest of many well-publicized crackdowns against protest this fall. But it’s also just the latest episode in the struggle at CUNY, where we’ve been fighting for some time against privatization, budget cuts, rising tuition, increasing class size, and precarious working conditions for meagerly paid and overworked adjuncts. In 2010, I attended a previous Board of Trustees meeting at Baruch College, along with many other activists from throughout the CUNY system. We were ejected from the meeting after we raised our voices to protest proposed tuition hikes and lack of student input; after being ejected, we continued to rally in lobby. In this video from last year, you can see police facing down activists in the same atrium where protesters were beaten and arrested on Monday night. As depressing as it is to see students once again attacked by police thugs at their own university, one thing about this year’s protest is very encouraging: the Occupy movement and the protests at the University of California have helped create a unifying narrative that’s attracting attention to other ongoing struggles that would previously have attracted little mainstream coverage.
—Peter Frase, Jacobin editor-at-large, responding to a Dissent prompt.