Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 17:52:17 EST
Subject: 2 b CPC Press Release Calls on Hunger Strikers to Drop Expansion Demands
To Coalition to Preserve Community members and others interested: 11/16/07
(1) Coalition to Preserve Community press release today urges students to
drop expansion demands on Columbia as part of the hunger strike. CPC members fear
that the students will starve to death before "all or nothing" Bollinger and
Trustees will respect the community and drop their monolithic, eminent domain
driven, development concept. (SEE PRESS RELEASE BELOW)
(2) There will be a student vigil and press conference at 9:00 PM tonight,
Friday, Nov. 16 on the Columbia campus (116th Street) at the Sundial.
***** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/16/07 *****
WEST HARLEM COMMUNITY GROUP ASKS HUNGER-STRIKING COLUMBIA STUDENTS TO WITHDRAW DEMAND REGARDING UNIVERSITY'S PROPOSED EXPANSION
Contact: Tom DeMott: 917-969-0669 Nellie Bailey: 646-812-5188; Luis Tejada:
Five days ago, on November 11, the Coalition to Preserve Community (CPC), a
four-year old West Harlem community group opposing the Columbia University
expansion plan, asked the Columbia students who had been on a hunger strike since
Wednesday, November 7, to withdraw their demand that the University recall its
197C rezoning application. They rejected our request at that time, but today
we are asking them again.
We do not want the students' health and welfare to be sacrificed in waiting
on Columbia to engage in an honest dialogue and negotiation with the community
on the rezoning application. For that to happen, President Bollinger and the
Board of Trustees would have to respect the ten points raised by the Community
Board as necessary to bring the Columbia plan into conformity with the
community plan. The students are correct when they say that this could be
accomplished, and they have done a great job bringing the true nature of Columbia's
eviction plan out in the open, but we have all seen over the past five days that
Columbia is stonewalling them, as it has stonewalled the community, on this
The students attempted to focus in on six points concerning the expansion,
and Columbia would not even make the basic commitment to negotiate a Community
Benefits Agreement exclusively with the Local Development Corporation. This
refusal reveals Columbi's underhanded strategy of dealing with elected officials
in back-door 11th-hour negotiations in order to circumvent the comprehensive
demands developed on LDC committees by grassroots people. Columbia and its
politicians want to sweep the work of community members under the rug and invent
some last minute deal that will be put forth as purported "mitigation" of the
devastation the Columbia plan will wreak in the community. The students should
not starve themselves any longer trying to change this bought-and-paid-for
scenario. It is clear that the fix is in regarding Manhattanville.
We have supported the advocacy efforts of the students on their other
important demands for a democratic and inclusive education and those talks have been
concluded. We will continue to work with them as we advocate for real
community planning that does not cause displacement nor depend on the use of eminent
Coalition members are extremely concerned for the well-being of the students.
Having dealt with the Columbia administration for four years on its proposed
expansion plans, the CPC is fully aware of Low Library's intransigence,
deceitfulness, and cold-blooded ruthlessness. Accordingly, the CPC calls upon the
students to withdraw their demand regarding Columbia's 197C application with
its reliance on bulldozing a community and eminent domain and to concentrate on
their other advocacy.
The striking students and their supporters will be conducting a vigil and
press conference tonight at the sundial on the Columbia campus at Broadway and
And go to www.stopcolumbia.org
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 16:45:37 -0800 (PST)
From: J Reyes-Montblanc firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: CB9M's Message to the Columbia University Hunger Striking Students
To: Natalie DeNault, Andrew Lyubarsky
CB9M Chairman's Message to Students in Hunger Strike.
As you may know I am away recovering from surgery but I am following the developments quite closely.
I firmly believe you have made your points and received wide media coverage.
I again beseech you to stop your hunger strike as it pertains to the CU Expansion issues.
The ULURP process is alive and well and I am confident that your personal sacrifices have been noted and opened some eyes both at the City Planning Commission and the City Council.
It would be highly detrimental if your health deteriorates and places your lives in danger with the onset of inclement weather. We need you healthy and in fit condition for the struggles still ahead.
I congratulate you for your courage, dedication and affection for our community, your efforts will have great value and take a place o honor in the history of student activism on behalf of our community.
I look forward to see y'all upon my return.
With respect and admiration
Jordi (George) Reyes-Montblanc, Chairman
Community Board 9 Manhattan
565 West 125th Street New york, NY 10027-2301 CB9M Tel: (212) 864-6200
CB9M Fax: 212-662-7396
JRM Tel: (212) 926-6425 or 862-5051
JRM Fax: 212-926-1765
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 13:21:10 -0800 (PST)
From: "J Reyes-Montblanc"
Subject: Re: Student Hunger Strike at Columbia
To: "Andrew Lyubarsky"
CC: "Patricia Jones" , "Rev. Earl Kooperkamp" , "Sarah Martin" , "Tom DeMott"
Although I am most grateful for the support your group is giving our 197-a Plan I must try to dissuade you from this step at this time. Such actions as you propose are extreme and should be considered only as a last resort.I am not convinced that we have reached such a point in time in the ongoing [ULURP] negotiations.
There are many other protest means available to you and the community at this time before such drastic measures are needed.I beseech you to reconsider and to exlore other effective and headline grabbing means of protest.I will be away for 3 weeks, y'all should to attend the next Manhattanville Rezoning Task Force Mtg and hear the up dates and results of the City Planning Commission decisions on both the 197-a and CU's 197-c Plans