NYC Students plan 'Keep CUNY Out of Amazon' protest
CUNY students will gather ahead of a hearing on Amazon HQ2 in Queens, plus other ways people in New York City are protesting the tech company.
Brooklyn college students plan to protest Amazon HQ2 in Queens on Monday ahead of a CUNY Board of Trustees public hearing at LaGuardia Community College.
Students with the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY) are circulating a petition criticizing how city, state and school officials have handled the Amazon in Long Island City situation.
Amazon HQ2 in Queens is set to be built near LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City.
CUNY Board of Trustees have said in a statement that CUNY is "thrilled to be a lead partner in Amazon's exciting headquarters expansion” and that the school “will commit our considerable college assets to ensure that Amazon has a strong pipeline for talents, ideas and innovation."
But CUNY and SUNY students “will not be used as pawns in the state and city's plans to bring corrupt corporations into the city,” they write in the petition.
“CUNY seems unable to pay adjuncts decent wages, cannot fix its infrastructure, keeps increasing tuition and more, and yet the University is okay with funding Amazon instead of CUNY,” it continues. “CUNY administration thinks it's okay for the State and City to invest $3 billion in Amazon while students struggle to pay tuition, graduate on time, make it to class on time because of a crumbling public transportation system, struggle with secure housing situations, are targeted and/or in fear of ICE, etc. CUNY administration thinks it's okay that taxpayer money goes towards funding a helipad for the richest person in the world instead of CUNY.”
Students and other activists will gather outside of the Mainstage Theatre on the LaGuardia Community College campus at 3:30 p.m. Monday, ahead of the CUNY Board of Trustees’ 4:30 p.m. public hearing.
Outside of just CUNY students, activists across the city are voicing their concerns about Amazon HQ2 in Queens.
Ahead of Cyber Monday, activists asked people to avoiding shopping on the site, and on Monday, Dec. 3, a group of activists launched a Google Chrome browser extension to help people boycott the tech giant.
The extension, called “Block Amazon For Me” (source code available here), blocks access to multiple e-commerce sites owned by Amazon, including Amazon.com, Audible.com, Pilllpac.com, Woot.com, Zappos.com, and more.
The boycott Amazon browser extension supports efforts by New York City groups that have been critical of the company’s labor practices and the tax incentives for Amazon HQ2 in Long Island City, including the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW, Workers United, SEIU, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change (NYCC), ALIGN and elected officials against Amazon.