The passion of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations at the two-month mark of the extended protest movement spread to the buildings of a Greenwich Village-based college, where students from several city campuses staged a sit-in Thursday on par with the protests of the 1960s.
"I think occupying campuses is a goal of the larger movement," said Zoltan Gluck, 26, a graduate student at the City University of New York, who was part of a group called the NYC All-students Assembly, which occupied the New School for Social Research.
Several dozen students jammed into the building starting at 4 p.m. and were still there as of 10 p.m. Gluck said the group had been discussing ways to find a space to host a teach-in and other events to support OWS.
"This movement has now gone into a new phase and will start exploring creative ways of occupying and using privately owned space in ways that open up a public sphere in the private space," Gluck said.
New School officials said they would not evict the protesters.
"The New School is a place where we celebrate dissent," said spokesman Sam Biederman.
Aaron Jaffe, 28, a philosophy student at the New School who participated in the march to Union Square, said the college's student center was chosen partly because it was along the path of the OWS march from Union Square.
"Shortly after I came in, about maybe 20 more people came in and police blocked the entrance," he said, adding that the space can become a locus for a splinter group associated with OWS.
"There are a lot of people who have been at Zuccotti Park who are homeless," he said.
"We can open this space for them and use it as a staging ground for expanding the movement. We can use this as a planning space for future movements. It's really important since the winter is coming."
With Zachary R. Dowdy