Five students were arrested late Tuesday night in the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University; three of them were pushed around by an unnecessarily aggressive police officer. Twenty economics students in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street sat cross-legged with locked arms in front of the doors of a JP Morgan Chase recruiting event inside their campus’s business school.
The event originally started with a large group of students sitting down in front of the doorway while simultaneously allowing passers-by to enter and exit the room. When police became increasingly aggressive, some students stood up and moved back from the area. There was an initial warning from an Indiana University police officer—those who were not willing to get arrested rose from their spots blocking the door and the five remaining activists were removed and arrested.
Two youtube videos taken by nearby observers show the details of the non-violent protest transpiring. One video lasts for 10 minutes and clearly shows the events that unfolded after students were arrested. At about the five minute mark a collective of students bring attention to the fact that officers succeeded in accomplishing their own initial goal and yell, “Thank you for blocking the door for us.”
In a shorter, forty-second video a detective from Indiana University’s police department wearing a gray suit is shown aggressively pushing and shoving two male students and one female student down a hallway in an attempt to prevent them from reaching the front doors of the recruiting event.
Campus violence has been a hot-button issue since the recent assaults against students peacefully demonstrating at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and CUNY Baruch. Albeit with far less brutality and violence, Indiana University has now joined the ranks of these colleges after a campus detective assaulted three students; they had not done anything illegal yet they were still subject to unnecessary brutality.
The activists’ intention behind this act of civil disobedience was to send a message to JP Morgan that they are not welcome on IU’s campus. In an exclusive email to one of Occupy College’s organizers, protestors claimed they were not trying to prevent their peers from attending the recruiting event but were its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities and other fraudulent banking practices.
“We are oppressed by a system that is corrupt both in that individuals and corporations with power abuse their power and actively maintain their strength at the expense of others,” said Peter Oren, one of the students arrested on Wednesday night. “JP Morgan Chase has played a significant–though not solitary–role in this globally perverted economic structure, and thus action against this company is action against oppression."
“JPMorgan Chase was among the major financial institutions that caused the 2008 financial collapse with its criminally greedy, fraudulent lending practices,” said Nick Greven, another Indiana University student arrested in Wednesday night’s protest. “It has not ceased in their fraudulent practices and has contributed enormously to the corruption of our democracy, has caused misery on a massive, debilitating scale within this country, and has a list of other crimes to its name that is too lengthy to enumerate.”
In a written statement Greven went on to explain, “JP Morgan Chase is a perfect example of the perversion of democracy and capitalism that is the state-corporate complex, and I do not believe that an entity this immoral should be allowed access to impressionable students."
Arrested students will appear in court today at 1:30 in the afternoon.
The above information was provided to one of the main organizers at Occupy Colleges immediately after the protests, and arrests occurred at Indiana University. Get in touch with Occupy Colleges about your own campus’s protests—provide updates, tips, or seek assistance and help if necessary. Send emails to info@OccupyColleges.Org, call (323) 642-8102, and follow @OccupyColleges on Twitter.