At Columbia, Students Attack Minuteman Founder

Eliana Johnson, New York Sun, October 5, 2006


See video of Minuteman Founder Attacked At Columbia.


Students stormed the stage at Columbia University’s Roone auditorium yesterday, knocking over chairs and tables and attacking Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the border between America and Mexico.

Mr. Gilchrist and Marvin Stewart, another member of his group, were in the process of giving a speech at the invitation of the Columbia College Republicans. They were escorted off the stage unharmed and exited the auditorium by a back door.

Having wreaked havoc onstage, the students unrolled a banner that read, in both Arabic and English, “No one is ever illegal.” As security guards closed the curtains and began escorting people from the auditorium, the students jumped from the stage, pumping their fists, chanting victoriously, “Si se pudo, si se pudo,” Spanish for “Yes we could!”

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The pandemonium that ensued as the evening’s keynote speaker took the stage was merely the climax of protest that brewed all week. A number of campus groups, including the Chicano caucus, the African-American student organization, and the International Socialist organization, began planning their protests early this week when they heard that the Minutemen would be arriving on campus.

The student protesters, who attended the event clad in white as a sign of dissent, booed and shouted the speakers down throughout. They interrupted Mr. Stewart, who is African-American, when he referred to the Declaration of Independence’s self-evident truth that “All men are created equal,” calling him a racist, a sellout, and a black white supremacist.

A student’s demand that Mr. Stewart speak in Spanish elicited thundering applause and brought the protesters to their feet. The protesters remained standing, turned their backs on Mr. Stewart for the remainder of his remarks, and drowned him out by chanting, “Wrap it up, wrap it up!” Mr. Stewart appeared unfazed by their behavior. He simply smiled and bellowed, “No wonder you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“These are racist individuals heading a project that terrorizes immigrants on the U.S.-Mexican border,” Ryan Fukumori, a Columbia junior who took part in the protest, told The New York Sun. “They have no right to be able to speak here.”

The student protesters “rush to vindicate themselves with monikers like ‘liberal’ and ‘open-minded,’ but their actions, their attempt to condemn the Minutemen without even hearing what they have to say, speak otherwise,” the president of the Columbia College Republicans, Chris Kulawik, said. On campus, the Republicans’ flyers advertising the event were defaced and torn down.

The College Republicans expressed their concern about the lack of free speech for opposing viewpoints on the Columbia campus in the wake of the evening’s events. “We’ve often feared that there’s not freedom of speech at Columbia for more right-wing views—and that was proven tonight,” the executive director of the Columbia College Republicans, Lauren Steinberg, said.

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Mob rule at Columbia University

By Michelle Malkin · October 05, 2006 12:45 AM

***update: more from the NYSun and Power Line***

Minutemen Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist spoke at Columbia University tonight. He tried to speak, that is. During his remarks, a mob of students stormed the stage and sabotaged the event. Every Columbia U. alum should be assailing the administration. Gilchrist is owed an apology. This is a disgrace.

The staff of the Blue and White, a Columbia Univ. undergrad magazine liveblogged it at “The Bwog” and took photos.

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The moonbats at NYC Indymedia are crowing and the mob is now trying to play victim:

The following short statement was put together collectively after the event by the audience members who had climbed up onto the stage:

We celebrate free speech: for that reason we allowed the Minutemen to speak, and for that same reason we peacefully occupied the stage and spoke ourselves. Our peaceful protest was violently attacked by members of the College Republicans and their supporters, who are the very same people who invited the Minutemen to our campus in the first place. The minutemen are not a legitimate voice in the debate on immigration. They are a racist, armed militia who have declared open hunting season on immigrants, causing countless hate crimes and over 3000 deaths on the border. Why should exploitative corporations have free passes between nations, but individual people not? No human being is illegal.

Such a triumph for rational discourse and liberal education.

***

Contact the president of Columbia University.

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