October 10, 2006

Speech-Disrupting Students Claim They Are Victims

Of all the unmitigated gall!

First your try to prevent a speech by interrupting the speaker.

Then you rush the stage and unfurl banners, stopping the program.

You drive the speaker from the stage.

And when the college you attend seeks to punish you for violating the First Amendment rights of the speaker and his sponsors, as well as the academic freedom of the university community, you claim that you are the real victims!

The protesters who rushed the stage at Columbia University Wednesday night when the founder of a volunteer border-patrol group tried to speak are crying foul, asserting that they were the victims of the violence and that they should not be disciplined by the university.

After the students climbed onstage, overturning tables and chairs and causing mayhem, President Lee Bollinger called the students' disruption of the event "one of the most serious breaches of academic faith that can occur at a university."

"It is unacceptable to seek to deprive another person of his or her right of expression through actions such as taking a stage and interrupting the speech," Mr. Bollinger said in a statement, adding that "of course" the university is investigating the incident.

Three students who claimed responsibility for taking the stage and interrupting the speech by the border-patrol group known as the Minutemen held a press conference yesterday on Broadway outside the university. One of the students, Karina Garcia, the political chairwoman of the Chicano Caucus, said that she and her fellow protesters were the victims of a "massive campaign of vilification and demonization."

Flanked by members of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism group and the National Lawyers Guild, which have rallied to the student protesters' cause, Ms. Garcia said,"We wanted the whole world to know that the Minutemen are racists who terrorize defenseless immigrant families" and that the protesters set out to "sabotage them."

In other words, the arrogant Ms. Garcia claims that she and her Leftist colleagues have the right to determine what views are acceptable and may be expressed on the campus of Columbia University. They claim the right to respond with violence to silence any view that they disagree with. That is typical of a totalitarian mindset. I won't even get into the inaccuracy of the characterization of the Minutemen, whose group includes members of all ethnic groups and is concerned with stopping the illegal crossing of our nation's borders, not the race of the border-jumpers.

In a reversal of standard accounts of Wednesday evening's events, Ms. Garcia said that when the protesters stormed the stage, they were attacked by the Minutemen and other students. "Shame on the administration for launching an investigation into peaceful protesters," she said. Ms. Garcia referred to video footage captured by the Spanish television network Univision that she said depicted the violence.The video shows students fighting over a banner that the protesters unfurled, but the violence to which Ms. Garcia said she was victim is not evident.

Ms. Garcia said that no disciplinary action had been taken yet. She nonetheless called on the public to send letters to Mr. Bollinger demanding that the investigation be halted. She said that he has already received over 3,000 such notes.

Student protesters attesting to the violence they said had been inflicted on them by the Minutemen followed Ms. Garcia at the podium. The student leader of the International Socialist organization, Monique Dols, said that the Minutemen's "violent backlash" was "in the same tradition of the attackers in Birmingham and Montgomery," referring to events of the Civil Rights era. Comparing the plight of illegal immigrants to that of blacks in the 1960s, Ms. Dols advocated for granting full rights to illegal aliens, noting, "Every movement for social justice has always been deemed untimely or too extreme. It's time for immigrant rights."

Ms garcia, what those who had reserved the stage and sponsored the talk were doing was defending themselves and their civil rights from a lawless mob intent on denying them their liberties as American citizens. Given the history of violent attacks upon defenders of American sovereignty by those who support immigration criminals, their actions were reasonable. You engaged in mob action, and they treated you like the violent gang you and your supporters proved yourself to be.

Ultimately, Ms. Garcia, you reveal yourself in one comment from the press conference.

Challenged by reporters to square her advocacy of free speech with her decision to take the stage at last Wednesday's event, Ms. Dols said, "The nature of these questions shows there's more concern for the Minutemen than for helpless illegal immigrants."

Damn straight -- we are much more concerned with preserving our nation and the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution than in allowing and assisting the violation of American law and American sovereignty. That comment proves that you place foreign law-breakers ahead of American citizens. You should be ashamed of yourself. Here's hoping that Columbia expels the lot of you.

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