From:   Gabriel Johnson <>
Sent time:   Thursday, November 03, 2011 4:44:41 PM
Subject:   [september17discuss] Report back on Columbia action this (Thursday, November 3) morning (Immelt & Bloomberg)

Hi y'all,

So I heard about the protest action this morning that people were planning for Bloomberg and Immelt's talk at Columbia about jobs (the irony is really self-apparent there). So I got there a bit late, 8:40 or so (NYC subways run slower during rush hour, apparently! who would have guessed), when they were already inside Low "Library" (not a real library but the place they were speaking) and when I did, there were about 15 people, mostly students at the University (couple of people who I think went in the '60s and are now active with community groups opposing the Columbia northward expansion). We were in a circle, talking about cuts and issues relevant to the neighborhood, the city, the country, and the world, GA style complete with people's mic (which wasn't strictly necessary at all and I was feeling a bit dubious about at first, but I appreciated it as a way to get our message out to passersby). During this time, someone mentioned that about 40 cops had shown up for their march from Morningside that had about 20 of them and was advertised as totally peaceful (lol, NYPD overreaction). At about 9:30, when their talk was scheduled to be over, we decided to march up the "library" stairs and invite Messrs. Bloomberg and Immelt to our discussion. A security officer there did not let us go up the last flight of stairs, and refused to relay our request to the speakers for a conversation, so we used the human mic to loudly and politely invite them and ask them the questions we would if they showed up (e.g., "Mr. Immelt, as head of GE, one of America's largest, most important, and most well-known companies, please pay the taxes your company owes to the United States Federal Government! Thank you!") After about ten minutes of this we marched back down the stairs to a drumbeat and then left. I really loved the tone and pretty much everything about it (only 15 people, but at 8:30 on a college campus? that's pretty good).

Summary: Not that many of us but still went pretty well.

Also, if anyone is doing any OWS protest actions between midtown and Harlem, I will drop whatever I can to join you, and please relay any of those to the list. I think it's really important we take it up to where the one percent actually is (which, despite the symbolic value, is not actually Wall Street by and large).