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Calls grow for City University of New York to drop David Petraeus following police attack on protest

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Six protesters were arrested Wednesday while peacefully protesting the City University of New York’s newest adjunct professor — ex-general and C.I.A. chief David Petraeus. Above is a video of the protest and below is a statement sent to us in support of those arrested:

Statement of Support to CUNY students attacked and arrested in peaceful protests against ex-Gen. David Petraeus:

On September 18, 2013, a press release issued by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY stated: “Six students were arrested in a brutal, unprovoked police attack during a peaceful protest by the City University of New York’s students and faculty against CUNY’s appointment of former CIA chief ex-General David Petraeus. Students were punched, slammed against vehicles and against the pavement by police captains and officers, after the NYPD forced them off the pavement and onto the street.”

As graduate students and educators of CUNYwe express our outrage at the violent and unprovoked actions by the NYPD against CUNY students peacefully protesting the appointment of war criminal David Petraeus as a lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College. We deplore the use of violence and brutal tactics against CUNY students and faculty who were protesting outside the college. It is unacceptable for the university to allow the police to violently arrest students.

We emphatically support the efforts of these CUNY students to resist the attempts by the U.S. government and the CUNY administration to turn the university into an infamous war college” with the appointment of Petraeus. Petraeus is responsible for countless deaths and innumerable destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war commander and chief of the CIA. Although resigning from his position as CIA director in November, Petraeus has continued his involvement in U.S. foreign policy. Most recently Petraeus has called on Congress to back a military strike on Syria, stating “failure of Congress to approve the president’s request would have serious ramifications not just in the Mideast but around the world.” His current roles as “adjunct” lecturer at CUNY and professor at USC speak to the increasing U.S. military and state security involvement within higher education.

We call on CUNY to terminate Petraeus’ appointment and to ask for the charges against these students to be dropped immediately.


Helen Panagiotopoulos (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Alexandra Schindler (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Cihan Tekay (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Danya Al-Saleh (PhD student, Anthropology, Graduate Center), Zeynep Oguz (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Matthew Chrisler (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Jonathan Shannon (Associate Professor, Anthropology, Hunter College and Graduate Center), Susan Buck-Morss (Distinguished Professor, Political Science, Graduate Center), Ammiel Alcalay (Professor, Queens College and Graduate Center), Peter Ranis (Professor Emeritus, Graduate Center), Jacqueline Brown (Associate Professor, Anthropology, Hunter College), Hester Eisenstein (Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, Queens College, Graduate Center), Sujatha Fernandes (Acting Associate Director, Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, Associate Professor, Sociology, Queens College, Graduate Center), Rosalind Petchesky (Distinguished Professor of Political Science Hunter College, Graduate Center), Jason Schulman, (PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Political Science, Lehman College), Renate Bridenthal (Professor, History, Brooklyn College), Anthony C. Alessandrini (Associate Professor of English, Kingsborough Community College), Saadia Toor (Associate Professor, Dept of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, College of Staten Island), Naomi Braine (Associate Professor, Sociology Dept, Brooklyn College), Alyson M. Cole (Associate Professor, Political Science Department & Women’s Studies Certificate Program, Queens College & The Graduate Center), Katherine Wilson (Adjunct Professor, Hunter College), Dr. Eileen Moran (Queens College retiree, Hunter and Graduate Center alumna), Dr. Lara Margaret Beaty (Associate Professor, Psychology, LaGuardia Community College), Manissa McCleave Maharawal, (PhD Candidate, Anthropology, Graduate Center), Kristofer Petersen-Overton (PhD candidate, Political Science, Graduate Center), Melissa Phruksachart (PhD student, English, Graduate Center), Lindsay Parme (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Linsey Ly, (PhD student, Anthropology, Graduate Center), Allison L. Faris (PhD student, French, Graduate Center), Derek Ludovici (PhD Student, Graduate Center), Jeremy Sawyer (PhD Student, Human Development, Graduate Center), Allison Faris (PhD student, French, Graduate Center), Julian Gantt, (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Amanda Matles (Phd Student, Geography, Graduate Center), Liza Shapiro, (PhD student in Comparative Literature, Graduate Center), Jennifer Chmielewski (PhD Student, Critical Social/Personality Psychology, Graduate Center), Brian Bond (PhD Student at Graduate Center, Ethnomusicology, Music Department), Erica Kaufman (PhD student, English, Graduate Center; Associate Director, Institute for Writing & Thinking, Bard College), Conor Tomás Reed (Free University, Student Bloc NYC, Graduate Center and Medgar Evers College, English), Sean M. Kennedy (PhD student, English, Graduate Center; Adjunct Instructor of English, Lehman College), Mia Chen (PhD Student and Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate Center and York College), Kenneth Yanes (Associate Director, Study Abroad, Adjunct Lecturer, International Studies, The City College of New York), Jennifer Gilligan, (PhD Candidate and Doctoral Students Council Representative, Graduate Center), Makeba Lavan (PhD Student, English, Graduate Center), Jennifer Chancellor (PhD Candidate, English, Graduate Center; Coordinator for Organization and Planning, The Adjunct Project), Hamad Sindhi (PhD Student, Sociology, Graduate Center), Ugur Guney (PhD student, Physics; Adjunct Lecturer, Hunter College), Akemi Nishida (PhD student, Critical Social Personality Psychology), Charles Dolph (Graduate Center Cultural Anthropology PhD student; Graduate Teaching Fellow, Baruch College), Eric Mazelis (PhD student, Physical Anthropology, Graduate Center), Francisco Fortuño Bernier (PhD Student, Political Science, Graduate Center), Amnah Almukhtar (MA student in Middle Eastern Studies, Graduate Center), Emily Curtin (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Zoltán Glück (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Daniel Schneider (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Menemsha Milnor (MA student, Political Science, Graduate Center), Kristen Hackett (PhD Student, Environmental Psychology, Graduate Center), Salman Hussain (PhD Student, Anthropology Department, Graduate Center), Mark Drury (PhD student, Graduate Center, Writing Fellow, Bronx Community College), Secil Yilmaz (PhD Student, History, Graduate Center), Bradley Lubin (PhD Candidate, English, Graduate Center, Adjunct Lecturer, Baruch College), Sruti Patoori (PhD Student, Biology, Graduate Center), Fidan Akıncı (PhD Student, Theatre, Graduate Center), Mariya Radeva (PhD Student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Stephanie Urso Spina (PhD student, Graduate Center, 2002), Doris Cheung, (PhD Candidate, Graduate Center), Ashna Ali (PhD student, Comparative Literature, Graduate Center), Lynne Beckenstein (PhD student, English, Graduate Center), Kelly Aronowitz (Adjunct Lecturer at Baruch College, Student, Graduate Center), Kelly Anne Herrmann (CUNY School of Law, Class of 2016), Hoda Mitwally (J.D. Candidate, CUNY School of Law), Rebecca Fullan (PhD Student, English, Graduate Center), Lisa Freedman (Adjunct Instructor, Kingsborough Community College; The New School), Philippe Marius (PhD candidate, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Kristina Jacobs (PhD Student, Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, Graduate Center), Joshua Sperber (PhD student, Political Science, Graduate Center), Morgan Buck (PhD student, Geography, Graduate Center), Malav Kanuga (Phd student, Anthropology, Graduate Center), Elliott Liu (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, GC), Elizabeth Bidwell Goetz (PhD student, English, Graduate Center; Instructor, English, Hunter College), Neil Agarwal (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, GC), Miles Ashton (J.D. Candidate, CUNY Law School), S. Shahabuddin (Student, CUNY School of Law), Talisa Feliciano (PhD student, Cultural Anthropology, Graduate Center), Nell Hirschmann-Levy (J.D. Candidate, CUNY School of Law), Nabila Taj (J.D. Candidate, CUNY School of Law), Tanzina Ahmed (PhD Candidate, Developmental Psychology, Graduate Center), Monique Whitaker (PhD candidate, Philosophy, Graduate Center)

Support from colleagues outside CUNY

Christine Ward Gailey (Professor, Anthropology and Women Studies, UC Riverside), Hanan Sabea (Associate Professor, Anthropology, American University in Cairo), Caroline McKusick (PhD Student, Anthropology, UC Davis), Andrew Ross (Professor, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU), Luke Hingtgen (MA student, DePaul University, Department of Writing Rhetoric and Discourse), Munira Lokhandwala, (PhD Candidate, Film and Media, UC Berkeley), Amanda Armstrong (Graduate Student Instructor, UC Berkeley), Leora Moreno (Student, NYU Law School), Lisa Wojehowski (Steering Committee of New York Students Rising), Sarah Randle (PhD student, Anthropology & Environmental Studies, Yale University), Emre Sahin (PhD student, Sociology, Binghamton University), Hira Nabi (MA student, Media Studies, New School, NSPE), Abou Farman (PhD CUNY 2012; Lecturer Princeton University), Aarti Sethi (PhD Student, Sociocultural Anthropology, Columbia University), Riley O’Neill (NYU), Maya Adereth, Jenny Ajl (Wesleyan University), Max Ajl (PhD Candidate, Development Sociology, Cornell), Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine, Marco Antonio Rosales (PhD Student, History, University of California, Davis), Luke Patterson (MSW), Sarah Hawas (PhD student, Columbia University), Guy Cohn (PhD Student, Media and Communications,  European Graduate School), Troy Araiza Kokinis, (PhD Student, History, UCSD),  George Joseph (Student, Columbia University; Student Worker Solidarity), Aysegul Kayagil (PhD student, New School for Social Research), Matan Cohen (PhD Candidate, Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies & Comparative Literature, Dean`s Fellow, Columbia University), Allen Johnson (Teach for America Coordinator of Growth, Development, and Partnerships in Las Vegas), Robert Cavooris (PhD student, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz), Pınar Kemerli (PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Cornell University), Alaz Kilicaslan (PhD Student, Sociology, Boston University), Erin Rose Ellison (PhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant, Psychology and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz), Caroline Kao (PhD student, Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz), Valerie Hong (MFA student in Writing, Producing, Critiquing at LIU Brooklyn), Guy Benjamin Brown (MS in Education, Fordham University), Leyla Neyzi (Professor, Sabanci University, İstanbul), Ariana Kalinic, Allison Brown (Academic Editor), Julia Pearlman (MS in Teaching, Fordham University), Jessica Conte (PhD student, East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of California Irvine, UC Student-Workers Union, UAW 2865), Beezer de Martelly (University of California, Berkeley, Head Steward, UAW 2865), Adam Liebman (PhD student, Sociocultural Anthropology, UC Davis), Elif Sari (MA student, Near Eastern Studies, NYU), Hatice Nilay Erten, (Phd Student, Anthropology, Yale), Jim Costanzo (Adjunct, Associate Professor, Pratt Institute), Andrew Sawtelle (J.D. Candidate, CUNY School of Law), Bilgesu Sümer (PhD student, Political Science, UMass), Sara Schaefer (J.D. Candidate, University of Texas School of Law), John McGloin (Math Teacher, NYC DOE), Gianmarco Savio (PhD candidate, Sociology, Stony Brook University), Semih Patan (PhD Student, Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago), Mukadder Okuyan (M.A. student, Psychology, The New School), Mohammed Rafi Arefin (PhD Student, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Dilara Demir (PhD student, Sociology, Rutgers), Alessandra Radicati (MPhil/PhD student, International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science), Elana Eden (Student, UC Berkeley), Sinan Tinar (MA student, Clinical Psychology, Bilgi University, Istanbul), Jim Fleming (Editor and Publisher, Autonomedia), Toorjo Ghose (Associate Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice, UPenn), Francis Coughlin (MD, ally of student bloc), Hazem Jamjoum (PhD student, History/Middle East Studies, NYU), Al Herrera-Alcazar (PhD candidate, Psychology, Stony Brook University), Alya El Hosseiny (PhD student, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU), Evrim Engin (PhD student, Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture, Binghamton University), Kirsten Rudestam (PhD candidate, Sociology, UC Santa Cruz), Natasha Issa Shivji (PhD, African History, NYU), Johanna Greeson (Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania), Aaron Welt (PhD student, History, NYU), Brian McCarthy (Adjunct Faculty, Media Studies, New School), Sambuddha Chaudhuri (PhD student, MBBS, School Of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania), Melissa McIntyre (NYU), Candan Badem (Assistant Professor, Tunceli University, Tunceli, Turkey), Elaine Andres (Development & Strategic Partnerships at Engine Advocacy & Research Foundation), Natalie Fowler (Phd student, Anthropology, Cornell University), Josh Brahinsky (Phd student, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz), National Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia University – Students for Justice in Palestine

To add your name contact [email protected].

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8 Responses

  1. bilal a
    bilal a
    September 19, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Its obvious the police under Bloomberg had orders to move them off the sidewalk, then to the street where they could be brutalized and arrested. Clearly payback was coming for the humiliation of their water carrier and war criminal Petraeus. Krugman missed this facet of Bloomberg-ism, a violent colonial mindset of a tiny elite , that can only explain the NYPD’s attitude toward protestors, Muslim Masjids, and those walking the street deemed suspicious. Krugman does address the crony-ism central to NYC corporate cultural ‘liberal’ apparatchiks. Bloombergism:

    And I think the concept of New York as a global city — a hub of worldwide finance, and worldwide cronyism — explains why. Bloombergism played well with the global elite, which really doesn’t care what other people do in their bedrooms but cares a lot about being left free to rake in the moolah, which judges a man not by the color of his skin but by the size of his portfolio. The elite wanted, and got, a well-run city, which included reasonable public services; the cruder forms of anti-government sentiment never had much home in New York. Even a bit of redistribution was OK, if it seemed to contribute to a nicer environment in which to enjoy the remaining 99.9 percent of one’s income. In the end, by the way, de Blasio will probably be accepted by the 1 percent, since his program will end up being seen as essentially one of slightly moderating inequality in everyone’s interest.

    But the rest of America is nothing like that. And it’s a measure of the insularity of many pundits that they imagined that the politics of a city that is really like nothing else in America — and resembles only a couple of other places in the world — somehow represented the national center.

    Krugman, The Political Economy of Bloombergism

  2. Walid
    September 19, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I see in this story more than the bashing of students’ heads by the police. It’s about the militarization of educational institutions to resemble what’s been happening in Israel for decades starting with primary grades with school outings to military bases such as the one in 2006 when 12-year olds autographed missiles being fired into Lebanon.

    Danaa, did you get the chance to translate the Hebrew documentary you asked me about on how Israel is the only country in the world where the ministries of defense and education work together at inculcating students with a military mentality throughout their entire academic journey by using ex-military officers to teach in schools and colleges including religious institutions?

    I see in this Petraeus story a similar ex-military officer-turned educator situation starting to develop in the US. After all, mostly everything security-wise done in Israel is being applied in the US.

    • Ellen
      September 19, 2013, 2:44 pm

      Walid, it is the Israelification of the US. Considering the tremendous resources Americans dedicate to Israel, including American lives, how could it be any different?

      Remember, every elected official must not only take a pledge to defend the US constitution, but also, at some point, declare Israel loyalty and love.

      • September 19, 2013, 6:57 pm

        there’s a great article called the israelization of america. google it.
        by the way how do you email articles on mondoweiss

  3. lysias
    September 19, 2013, 2:22 pm

    Somebody should ask Bill de Blasio what he thinks of these arrests. If the likely future mayor condemns them, the NYPD and/or the prosecutors may think twice about going ahead with these charges

  4. Kathleen
    September 20, 2013, 7:35 am

    Pushed off the sidewalks into the streets. Where the hell are they supposed to protest? The police and the guys in the black suits did not look like they knew what they were doing at all. Except when they started slamming people against cars then they just look like the thugs that they clearly are.

  5. Kathleen
    September 20, 2013, 7:45 am

    When they first bring the gates out the shiny bald head man in a suit as well as the other dark head man in a suit seem to be purposely antagonizing. Shaking their fingers, yelling “no” What is the point of that? Instead of calmly letting the students know they have a right to protest without infringing upon others. Unless you have announced to police and gotten a permit then you can actually interrupt traffic etc. Those men in black seem to be purposely provoking. Then what did the kid in the red stocking cap do? Looks like the police officer got physical immediately. No talk, no real adult engagement just shove him up against the car with the shiny bald headed man in black suit watching the police officers get physical with that young man.

  6. Theo
    September 20, 2013, 9:11 am

    All you had to do is to turn down the volume and this scene could have been in Moscow, Kiev or Minsk, among other freedom loving states!!
    Now let´s talk about freedom of speech and other rights provided by the Constitutions and Bill of Rights!

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