CUNY students are protesting the militarization of their university with a recent return of ROTC and military recruiters to the campus, hiring Petraeus to teach, and naming of one of the buildings after Colin Powell.
Video footage of the hecklers went viral, particularly with respect to the language employed by one unidentified protester who called Petraeus, "a piece of shit."
Otherwise, the students and faculty called out, "War criminal!" "You will face justice!" and chanted, "Every Class, David!" and "Petraeus Out Of CUNY!" Students confronted Petraeus with acts of violence encouraged and committed under his authority by the American military, asking what he had to say for himself.
As seen in the footage, the retired general appears to condescendingly smile in response, as he continues walking (fast).
Activists say that they will continue to implement weekly protests. Erick Moreno, a 28 year old CUNY Queens College student said, "The purpose of the protest is to let the administration know that war criminals cannot be hired, especially on a campus that historically has been a working-class institution […] He is obviously not in our interest. So we want him out of campus."
S. Sandor John, an adjunct professor of Latin American History at CUNY Hunter, agreed, saying that the group hoped to mobilize mass protest and exposure to "drive out 'Death Squad Petraeus' and ROTC." The professor told reporters that outrage over Petraeus’ teaching position was perfectly justified and that "participants seen in the video were voicing indignation shared by many."
“A great many CUNY students’ families come from countries directly targeted by the death squads, military coups, drones, spying and mass bombing organized by the likes of Petraeus … and the U.S. military as a whole,” the Latin American history teacher said. “Together with many others at CUNY and elsewhere who oppose militarism and imperialism, I am indignant at the idea that our university would become in effect a branch of the Army War College or the infamous School of the Americas.”
David Petraeus reportedly teaches Mondays.
A recently posted twitter photo appears to show the retired general escorted to the campus by a security team.
Is @macaulayhonors paying for #Petraeus' security detail? @petraeuspatrol @OccupyWallStNYC pic.twitter.com/7LQ8VE6HnR
— Lex Valeria-Horatio (@subverzo) September 16, 2013