About Democracy for NYC

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.

EndorsedLogo PlasticWe work both locally and nationally to ensure that fiscally responsible and socially progressive candidates are elected at all levels of government. We develop innovative ways to advocate for the issues that matter to our members and support legislation which has a positive effect in our communities.  We promote transparency and ethical practices in government.  We engage people in the political process and give them the tools to organize, communicate, mobilize, and enact change on the local, state, and national level.

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About Democracy for New York City


We Shall #OccupyCUNY

We are reposting this press release because the unjust actions of the police at Baruch College on November 21st must be known by as many people as possible. As Justice Brandeis once said, "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."


Josh Silverstein
Democracy for NYC

Statement Condemning Police Violence at CUNY Board of Trustees Public Hearing
Posted on November 22, 2011 by keith

PRESS RELEASE: Board of Trustees Public and Budget Hearing, Baruch College, CUNY
#occupyCUNY[1], November 21, 2011

WE CONDEMN the use of police violence against CUNY community members
who were protesting peacefully at the public Board of Trustees Public
and Budget Hearing at Baruch College on November 21, 2011. We also
reject the official statement[2] released by the administration of the
City University of New York regarding those events.

STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF peacefully entered the Baruch lobby to
attend the public meeting of the Board of Trustees and were
immediately met by a line of police carrying large wooden truncheons
and blocking access to the building. Students who were on the official
roster of speakers were also denied access. At no time did the
students, faculty, and staff attempt to push past the massed police
officers, nor to confront them physically in any way. The police
directed us to the first-floor overflow room where the meeting would
be televised live. Knowing that our voices would not be heard in the
broadcast room, we decided that we would hold an assembly in the lobby
and allow people to tell their stories and testimonies of experiences
as students at CUNY. Most of us sat down on the ground so that
speakers could stand and be heard.

THE POLICE ATTACKED US shortly after we sat down and began pushing us
toward the wall, responding to our peaceful, lawful protest with
physical confrontation. The suggestion provided in the CUNY
administration’s statement that anyone “surged forward toward the
college’s identification turnstiles, where they were met by CUNY
Public Safety officers and Baruch College officials” is a categorical
lie, and this is documented in video footage of the events (see
below). As the officers continued to push us away from the public
meeting, they blocked all exits from the lobby but a single, revolving
door, through which we were forced to walk one at a time. Many of the
peaceful protesters were shoved violently by the campus police, jabbed
and struck in their ribs with wooden truncheons, and left badly
bruised. At least one student was struck in the face. It was a miracle
that no one was more seriously injured. Those who refused to leave
were told that they would be arrested; when one person identified
himself to officers as a CUNY faculty member and asked on what charge
he would be arrested, he was not given an answer. Another officer
blurted, “Because it’s a riot!”

WE DEPLORE THE USE OF VIOLENCE against peaceful protesters. We deplore
the criminal charges made against peaceful protesters exercising their
Constitutional rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. We also
deplore the CUNY administration’s misrepresentation of the events at
Baruch, devised to obscure its complicity in violent action against
its own students, faculty, staff, and community.

(More below the fold)
Video footage of the event can be viewed at the following links:


We are CUNY. We are of the working class of New York City. We teach
the working class of New York City; we teach the immigrants who have
come to New York to live and work; we teach the present and future
public employees of New York City. Our brothers, sisters, children,
cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents—they are police officers,
firefighters, social workers, teachers, factory workers. WE ARE NEW
believe in this university and in this city. We are CUNY faculty, who
have chosen to teach at CUNY because we believe in the mission to
educate and elevate our sisters and brothers. We are the 99%, and we
demand a public education system that is truly public.

For standing with our brothers, sisters, and students, we have been
assaulted by police officers who have not yet accepted that they have
a legal responsibility to refuse unlawful orders, and that they have a
moral responsibility to follow their conscience when they are told to
turn on their own. Our fight is not with the Police Department of the
City of New York, but the NYPD has chosen to fight their own brothers
and sisters, mothers and fathers, and children. We have no desire to
be in conflict with them, but if they continue to “just follow orders”
in the face of all moral, ethical, and political compulsions to the
contrary, then we have no choice but to resist them. But we will
resist them peacefully, civilly, using our rights to do so. We do not
want to fight them; we want them to realize that our fight is one
fight. We know that they know this.

The students and teachers of the CUNY system stand with all of those
who believe in the mission of public education, and the crucial
importance of education for the public. We stand against those who
seek to privatize an institution that was established to serve the
most disadvantaged of New Yorkers. And we refuse to passively accept a
program of tuition increases that would disenfranchise our students,
whom we love and we fight for every day of the week. We do our jobs
based on heartfelt and hard-won principles; we study in order to be
better citizens and workers, we teach to be better citizens; and we
ask that the city’s police, firefighters, public employees, teachers,
transport workers, shopkeepers, students, factory workers, service
workers, care workers, health workers—THAT THE WHOLE CITY STAND WITH

21 November, 2011.


Contact Information

Email: info -at- dfnyc.org


A local coalition group of Democracy for America since 2004

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.