Police from the Public Safety Department of the City University of New York (CUNY), assisted by the New York City Police Department (NYPD), arrested 15 students at a public hearing of the CUNY Board of Trustees at Baruch College in Manhattan Monday evening. The students had gathered to oppose a $300 tuition hike and demand that earlier tuition increases be rescinded.

Students who had entered the lobby of Baruch’s Vertical Campus were barred entry to the hearing by police. Some students sat down in protest. With drawn batons, CUNY cops advanced in an attempt to clear students from the lobby.

Police struck male and female students in the face, head and stomach, according to witnesses. Others were pushed to the ground and manhandled by as many as five officers at a time. Video footage of the incident shows police dragging students on the ground.

A Baruch undergraduate told the Daily News, “They started pushing us and beating us. We didn’t want this to be violent. We just wanted our voices to be heard.” One student who was arrested said, “The officers were attacking us, unprovoked.”

In a statement, the university said that the students posed a “public safety hazard.”

Thugs. Pure and simple.

(via occupyonline)