David Suker

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David Suker


David Suker was active in Student Liberation Action Movement. He is a military veteran.

CUNY activism

David Suker was a continual presence at the Graduate Student Council, serving as its chair in 1996, Suker was a key part of the fabric of student life at City College for almost five years. So much so that the busy Suker often slept in various niches on campus at night.

Suker had a prominent role in resuscitating the Graduate Student Council, which had been little else but a patronage farm (and is once again under the current reign of Martha Flores). He helped numerous students maneuver through the Finley Center bureaucracy, form cultural clubs, and receive funding. He was a key organizer of events including the incredibly popular Talent and Fashion Show.

Moreover, he was a major organizer in every CUNY-wide political event since 1995. Suker was a founder of the CCNY Coalition to Stop the Cuts in 1995, the backbone of hunger strikers against the budget cuts that were jailed. He was a founding member of the CUNY-wide SLAM! network that began in 1996. He took a key role in a group called Students for a New USS (SNUSS) that attempted to bring new blood into the usually and still corrupt and ineffective CUNY-wide government. Suker also hit the streets, attending just about every demonstration on- and off-campus against Moses, Giuliani, Pataki, the Board of Trustees and all their plans to wreck CUNY with budget cuts, tuition hikes, departmental closures, guns on campus, CUNY Cards, etc.

Suker was also involved in two lawsuits against CUNY. He was a plaintiff in the lawsuit brought against CCNY for spying on activists with a hidden surveillance camera. He was also a plaintiff along with Professor William Crain that temporarily blocked CUNY's attempt to end remedial classes in the senior colleges.

In 1996, Morales convened a disciplinary panel at City College-stocked with personal appointments-that suspended Suker for an entire academic year. Suker's crimes? At the administration building he loudly demanded to see President Moses. He got some paint on the NAC Rotunda floor when making banners against the budget cuts. He demanded to be allowed onto a CCNY bus going to Albany to lobby legislators. He interrupted Carl McCall's budget-cut apologia when the State Comptroller spoke at CCNY. The panel's penalty was so egregiously political that a CUNY Central appeal committee reduced the suspension to one semester- still an absurdity.

In 1998, Morales again went after Suker. His crime this time? During the summer of 1998, soon after Suker and other activists leveled a lawsuit against the College for the surveillance camera, Suker, a GSC member, attempted to bring his then-two year old daughter Serenity Suker with him on the annual student government retreat to Pennsylvania. Only after Suker had boarded the bus with his daughter did administrators inform him that his daughter wasn't allowed to go. This, despite the fact that students and administrators in years past had brought their children including, ironically enough, Morales himself. Suker never raised his voice or even refused to leave the bus. He only demanded the incident be documented by a security guard.

Nevertheless, for this heinous crime another disciplinary panel convened by Morales punished Suker with a five-semester prohibition from student life activities, including participation on the GSC, a clear violation of his right to participate in government and a punishment clearly tailored to end his activism.

During this second "trial", all testimony about the pattern of administration harassment against him was ruled out of order, while Morales was allowed to give the panel's members copies of Suker's disciplinary record and to verbally malign Suker's character.[1]

Spyng on students

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Front cover of Harlem’s Amsterdam News, June 4-10, 1998 reports on students Ydanis Rodriguez, David Suker and Brad Sigal’s discovery of CCNY administration’s secret spying pro- gram against student activist meeting space in NAC 3/201.

Sigal v. Moses case

On Nov. 21 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas P. Griesa ruled in favor of Brad Sigal, Ydanis Rodriguez and David Suker, three former student activists at the City College of New York (CCNY). The students praised the court decision in the Sigal v. Moses case, calling it an important victory for student activists and the student media.

The Sigal v. Moses case was filed over ten years ago in June 1998. The students sued City College President Moses over a series of incidents of repression against CCNY student activists that happened in the spring of 1998. This was during the height of the student movement to stop attacks on access to education and budget cuts at CUNY.

In his decision, Judge Griesa ruled that Moses acted illegally in nullifying the results of a student government election that a slate of progressive student activists, including Sigal, Rodriguez and Suker, had won in April 1998. President Moses nullified the election because she said that the election edition of the CCNY Messenger, a progressive student newspaper that some slate members worked on, was biased toward the students' slate, and therefore constituted illegal campaign materials. The Messenger newspaper was known as a strong student movement voice criticizing attacks on access to education and budget cuts by the CUNY administration and by then-Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki.

In court the students disputed that the election edition of the Messenger was biased. They pointed to the fact that the editorial about the student government elections was written by a neutral staff member, and didn't endorse any slate, while statements and photos were printed from all candidates running. Further, the Messenger editorial even strongly criticized some members of the slate they were accused of supporting. The students also held that even if the Messenger had favored the activist slate, it shouldn't have resulted in the nullifying of the student election because student newspapers have the right to endorse candidates in student elections. This is regular practice among student newspapers and has been upheld repeatedly in the courts.[2]

Job battle

In December 2015 New York City lost a four-year, $1 million battle to fire a teacher arrested in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

David Suker, a US Army veteran who taught at-risk youths in The Bronx for 14 years, was removed from the classroom in December 2011. He was charged with riling up students during an NYPD presentation at a school town-hall meeting by complaining he had been roughed up by cops, showing a scar on his head, and exchanging high-fives and fist bumps with teens.

Suker was also charged with failing to immediately report one of his five Occupy Wall Street arrests in Washington Square Park on Nov. 2. He notified the Department of Education three days after getting out of jail.

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But now Suker, 47, has won his job back — and $260,000 in back pay.

“I’m no angel, but I’m also a great teacher and a loving father who believes in the founding ideals of this country. I’ve served in the military and I’ve served in public schools for these beliefs. I deserve justice, and I feel now I’ve been vindicated,” he told The Post.

Suker was terminated in August 2012 after the DOE hit him with additional charges of mishandling two unruly students three years earlier, and 11 absences deemed excessive. Suker was the only teacher in a GED program serving troubled students ages 17 to 21, many released from prison, and had an otherwise spotless record.

The DOE also had investigators secretly follow Suker’s 15-year-old daughter from her mother’s Bronx home to a Harlem high school, and interrogate her. Suker, a divorced dad, was accused of falsifying his address to enroll her in schools since kindergarten, although she passed entry exams.

Suker appealed his firing in Manhattan Supreme Court. Judge Alice Schlesinger tossed out the most serious charge, the record falsification, as years too late. She found Suker a good teacher who deserved to be punished, but not fired.

Last week, another arbitrator set his fine at $7,000.

But the case cost the city an estimated $1 million, Suker and his lawyers say. Besides the back pay, the DOE paid Suker for more than two years to sit idle, hired substitutes, and racked up extensive legal expenses.

“The time and resources that the DOE wasted to get a $7,000 fine is completely absurd and outrageous,” said Suker’s lawyer, Maria Chickedantz.

The DOE had no comment. A spokesman said Suker “remains reassigned.”[3]

"Morales / Shakur Center" student suspensions events

On October 28, 2013, a City College administrator suspended Tafadar Sourov and Khalil Vasquez, two students who led demonstrations against the administration’s illegal raid and seizure of the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community Center. The Morales / Shakur Center is a space that has existed at City College for more than 20 years and was first won in 1989 through a mass student strike and occupations throughout CUNY.

In response to the attacks on our student leaders, students and community say: WE ARE NOT AFRAID. Repression will not end the campaign to save the Morales / Shakur Center or the broader struggle to liberate CUNY for the people. Hundreds on campus and in the community will follow their example. Any punitive measures against Taffy and Khalil will only be a lesson to the people that the CCNY administration dismisses the people’s concerns and that the people must escalate their mass actions.
Taffy and Khalil are fighting for the people, defending the last autonomous campus space that serves the community and defending the legacy of the people’s revolutionary heroes. THE PEOPLE MUST DEFEND TAFFY AND KHALIL. The people cannot stand aside and look as the City College administration attempts to isolate them and promote fake sellout student leaders who want to negotiate away the Center. The Center was won through struggle and will be reclaimed through struggle.

Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee organized a meeting in Edgewater, 160 Convent Avenue,New York, Friday 8 November 2013, to organize resistance. Those indicating their willingness to attend on the Whenever website included David Suker.[4]

"PACK THE COURT: DEFEND THE CUNY6, KHALIL & TAFFY"

100 Centre Street, New York, Thursday 9 January 2014, organized by Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, "PACK THE COURT: DEFEND THE CUNY6, KHALIL & TAFFY".

The CUNY 6 and Khalil and Taffy have open criminal cases with ongoing court appearances. All 8 students are set to appear in court on January 9th, 2014 at 9:00 am, at 100 Centre Street. We call upon all students, faculty, and members of the community to come out and pack the courts on January 9th in support of the CUNY 6 and Khalil and Taffy.

Those indicating support or attendance on Wherevent, included Yanett Ramirez, Denise Lupita Romero, Padraic O'Brien, Zulai Romero,Tommy Maggio,Gregoire Jacques, Far Han, Miguel Rodriguez, Ben Fredericks, Christian Laureano Peruyero Bracero, Narish Singh, Norman Clement, Nick Maniace,Ramiro Funez, Jesse Eyezen Marcus, Karsten Kvistad, Tony Troy Yashin, Freddy Gee, Nadine Aly, Ramya Ramana, Stephanie Zukasaka, Brad Sigal, Cathy Rojas, Josefina La China, Elisa Lorde, Bayu Patria, Harly Rodmarti, Freddy Bastone,Robert Moore,Elliot Vazquez, Josmar Trujillo, Andrew Pollack, Dan McKenzie, Micah Ascaso, Joslyn Alexis, Joe DeWeezy,Maria Volpe,Tony Troy Yashin, Neda Kit, Percy Lujan, Khalil Vasquez, William Simon Kang, Rajib Lovesramen Miah, Daniel Pana,Mariam Castillo,Rafael E. Pena, Akash Rahman, Agust Freeman, Roselle Valerio, Roselle Valerio, Analisa Svehaug, Tafadar Sourov,Juan Alberto Perez Vera,Elif Fatıma Gorken, Marisa Jalo, Linda Morales, Isis K. Colon, Sharmin Hossain, Nicole Husbands, Abdu Salman, Rey Valentin, Erick Moreno, Hoda Mitwally, Alice Feng, David Suker, Raj Maheshwari[5]

"Refugees welcome! Fascists are not!"

Tuesday 24 November 2015, Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee organized an "Refugees welcome! Fascists are not!" forum.

Those indicating their support or willingness to attend, on the event's Whenever webpage included Daisy Crispin, Omar Rashid, Daniel Dunn, Yhamir Chabur, Tafadar Sourov, Daniell RK MarleMao, Merv Blue, Luis Henriquez|Viejo Chuleta, Percy Lujan, Jacqueline Mendoza, Dan Cione, Sara Mustard, Greg Butterfield, Sam Aldailam, Tonur Mukh Mondolboi, Akram Guzman, Nizum Khan, Joe Catron, Jon Laks, Hasan İncedere, Sabin Rene Figaro, Marvin Balthezar, Dakem Roberts, Nerdeen Kiswani, Shirley Lopez, Kai Yang, Talii Malik, Fernanda Pardo, David Suker, Savanna Young-Jarboe.[6]

Remember Morales/Shakur Center

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Suzy Subways October 20, 2013;

I went to City College of NY this morning with David Suker at 10:30 am to stop by the Morales/Shakur Center, a center of student and community movement-building for more than 20 years. We were signed in at the front desk and then followed by security who told us we'd be arrested if we didn't leave right away, because we asked what had happened to the sign! This is what we saw: Please share. Rodolfo Leyton, Sydney Jordan Cooley, Hank Williams, Khalil Vasquez, Brad Sigal, Angelica Clarke, Biola Jeje, Isham Lakatos, Christopher Gunderson — with Alyssia Paula, Eric Odell, Kazembe Balagun, Terance Podolski and Fanshen Wong.

References

  1. [http://leftspot.com/blog/?q=farewellmoses Leftspotblog, Farewell, Moses: Summation of the Yolanda Moses Years at CCNY (1993-1999) by Rob Wallace, 1999
    preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/leftspot/public_html/blog/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.Submitted by LS on Fri, 11/03/2006]
  2. [FightBackNews City College of New York student activists win rights case in court by staff | December 3, 2008]
  3. NYPost City spent $1 million trying to fire this teacher — and failed By Susan Edelman December 27, 2015
  4. Activities Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee Edgewater /
  5. [.http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Revolutionary-Student-Coordinating-PACK-THE-COURT-DEFEND-THE-CUNY6-KHALIL-TAFFY]
  6. Wherevent Refugees welcome! Fascists are not!