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Columbia Students Invade Minutemen Project Event

In Children and Youth, Civil Liberties, Economic Justice, Immigration, International politics, International Trade, Labor, Laws & Regulation, Netroots, New York City, Progressive Politics, Race, religion & politics, US Politics on October 5, 2006 at 8:49 am

“As a large, vocal protest raged outside Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia University, Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist was heckled and confronted onstage by students, prompting a fistfight between students and the Minutemen. According to an on-scene report, ‘there [were] at least two minutes of chaos between students, other students and the Minutemen.'” Read it at NYC Indymedia.

I whole-heartedly support this, supposing that students first went through other means to have Gilchrist dis-invited. In late 2002, someone I know snuck into NYU’s student center ‘dressed as a Republican,’ in order to get into the student center and remove prominently placed signs promoting the “need” to invade Iraq, prepared by the College Republicans. The signs were the nauseating “if-you’re-against-this-war-than-you’re-against-getting-this-five-year-old-Iraqi-girl-medical-supplies-and-clean-drinking-water” type of signs. Through this low-key act of disobedience and the intense conversations with a small group of activist friends, I feel I came to a much clearer understanding of free speech on campus. Gilchrist is a xenophobic fascist, yes, but he also has the right to speak in public. To speak on private ground, such as a Columbia University, where student tuition pays a substatial portion of the overall bills, I believe students have the right to fight not to have someone on campus. If they went through other channels first, such as petitions and targeted media work to shame him and his inviters into cancelling the event, I support this action. I do wish they would have interrupted it loudly and with the strong message they clearly had and then allowed the mess of a show to continue. Beat back ignorance with open-mindedness and universal respect.

In NYC’s guest-oriented college demo circuit, New School activists recently demo’ed against an appearance by New Gingrich.

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  1. […] I wanted to post on this the other day, but didn’t get a chance. Keeley’s post about freedom of speech at colleges and the activities of campus based Republican groups reminded me of it… […]

  2. […] While I doubt they used the N-word 12 times, and I do have my misgivings with the demo, this guy is is simply a jackass. […]

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