Friday, January 15, 2010

"We Won," says one Pacifica Forum Protestor

The forum met this week in Agate hall.  At least one hundred demonstrators marched from the EMU to Agate Hall to attend the forum.  The room was at capacity by the time I arrived, so my information is all second hand and somewhat sketchy at best. More details and photos will be added soon.
What we know so far:
- A number of people (8ish?) were escorted from the building by the department of public safety for disturbing the event.
-Presenter Jimmy Mar left before he was able to speak. Him along with another man sieg heiled while leaving.
While the the debate went on inside, a crowd waited outside the "full" hall. A class of middle school students joined the rest of the crowd (comprised mostly of college students) to show their disproval of hate. The middle schoolers engaged other protesters to learn about why the older students cared about having Nazis on campus. Erika, a soft-spoken demonstrator, explained she was embarrassed that the UO served as a home to Nazis. The middle schoolers responded that they too did not understand why someone would hate their Jewish friends. (To be fair, I don't understand either and I'm about to graduate college.)
"Why don't we just ignore them?," read a flier that magically appeared in my hand while wandering through the crowd. "Ignoring hate groups allows them to expand unchecked, threatening our freedom and safety. So, by not dealing with hate group sympathizers, we only allow their negative thoughts and ideologies to permeate our communities and society." <---- Just something to think about.


Anonymous said...

I was really impressed by protesters wearing surgical-style masks to hide their faces, and then leaving them on the floor for others to pick up. Class. Don't pay my tax dollars for this.

Hope you wash you hands on occasion given it's still flu season and there are concerns of memingitis.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone attend the lecture about the swastika that was today at 3?

100+ did & everyone's free speech thundered! Re: lecture, Billy Rojas (supports Dalai Lama's Peace swastika) said he came to debate Jimmy Marr to "kick his Nazi behind"...ended up explaining to us how this emblem, before twisted by Nazi, stood for peace and is still honered by millions, including the Dalai Lama (his official emblem).....Billy Rojas wants to get this word out to help peoples 'round the world regain the swastika's original peaceful meaning....would be a great stand if believing peoples could reinstate its original peaceful meaning...but who knows if it's possible after how its been 'twisted'....what do you think?

Anonymous said...

What do I think? I think you're a PF member trying to characterize what happened friday as something other than a 300 strong crowd of students telling you in no uncertain terms that you are not welcome at the University of Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Well, if the Student Insurgent ever decides to protest Israeli crimes, be aware that you could well be next. They can't get you for holocaust denial, of course, but they can get you for the Insurgent's support, at least in the past, of arson and vandalism by enviromental activists. And after this, invoking your own right to "free speech" is going to be awkward.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that the pacifica forum is a group advocating violence. Whereas the insurgent does not call for death to any group of people.

Anonymous said...

If Pacifica Forum had made any call for violence, we'd have heard about it in detail a long time ago. Even if they had, it doesn't help you.

The Insurgent has been targeted by Hillel and the JSU before:

Anonymous said...

I once witnessed an act of ageism at the Pacifica Forum. One of the older attendees complained that Orval Etter's wife was no longer around to bake and bring cookies to the Forum.

Valdas Anelauskas confirmed there would be no more cookies.

Anonymous said...

in the Dec. 2009 meeting the public cctv recording has their presentation saying "Death to jews" at 45.06 min. ... they have advocated violence, also they have implied that rape is acceptable in some cases and called out as groups they hate: "Muslims, Gays and Feminists "- Billy Rojas. They further have evidenced hate against Jews, racial minorities and just about everyone. This is not ok.

Anonymous said...

Who said "Death to Jews"? The speaker at the forum? Someone attending the forum? Didn't they showed a video of neo-Nazis? Was it someone on the video?

They're pro-Palestinian so they aren't entirely anti-Moslem.

It doesn't change my point in any case. The Student Insurgent has come under sustained attack from Hillel and the JSU in the past. If you're half as radical as you think you are, you'll come under attack again.

If someone wants your funding cut, you won't be able to defend yourselves on free speech grounds. You won't be able to say you allowed people with views they don't necessarily share to express themselves in the paper. You'll have to explain and defend everything you've ever printed.

It could be a problem.

Anonymous said...

Wait, are you Pacifica Forum members suggesting that we didn't have a right to protest your gathering? Are you suggesting that it is somehow unethical that we came out in opposition of you like we did? (Those are yes or no questions.)

Are you too stupid (that's a deliberate insult) to realize that we DON'T want to silence your free speech, we just don't want it on our campus unless you're paying to use the space?

Anonymous said...

Is THAT what the protest was about? You didn't care about the Nazis or the anti-Semitism or the "hate speech"? You were just upset about the fee?

I'm not part of Pacifica Forum. I said nothing about your right to protest and I didn't suggest anything about it was unethical.

But if someone decides they want The Insurgent's funding cut, they'll be able to say the same thing you did. They're not depriving you of your right to publish. They just want you to pay for it yourself.

Anonymous said...

Well I certaintly can't speak for others, but myself and the three friends who went with me were there because we don't want our tuition dollars paying the way for non-students to come on campus and spout ideology that we personally find repulsive. Were this a group of students who were paying tuition, I'd still be disgusted.... But I'd also be staying at home, because as student's they'd be paying their share. So yeah, that's my personal beef, and I don't believe I'm alone.

And you're right, people COULD do the same to the Insurgent, the Commentator, the Marching Band, etc. OSPIRG was booted from campus last year for similar reasons. But they WON'T. People WON'T show up in a group of 300 to protest the Insurgent. It takes something truly repulsive to mobilize and entire community like this. 300 people didn't just randomly wander by last friday, 300 people showed because that's how many people felt strongly enough on the issue that they felt a personal responsibility to do something about it.

This is social pressure. Have you ever seen 300 people show up to protest anything else on campus? I've been here a long time (I'm one of those idiots who goes to the same school for grad work as undergrad) and it's the first time I've seen those kinds of numbers. If something I were involved in were to lose its way like the Pacifica Forum has, I would hope that 300 people would show up to call me on it, because that might just be enough people to pull my own head out my own you-know-where.

You're saying that "But they could do this to you oh noes!" And I'm not arguing that at all. Not being morally bankrupt, I don't think I have anything to worry about.

(And for the record, I do NOT have any use for the Insurgent. I picked one up once and found it useless. I'm posting here because I KNOW there are forum members reading, though you might not be one. I'd be totally cool with seeing the Insurgent's funding cut, but I don't have strong enough feelings to act on that in any way. I am repulsed by everything the membership of the pacifica forum stand for, so I DO have strong enough feelings to act against them. I am an example of my own argument.)

This is not hipocrisy. I understand that my own actions are every bit as subject to critique and social correction from my peers as the Forum's actions. You point this obvious fact like it's a "gotcha" argument, but I think you've just underlined your own lack of understanding as to what Accountability is.

Anonymous said...

It's not a "gotcha" argument. It's not an argument at all. It is, as you said, an obvious problem.

The Insurgent came under attack before, not because it was "morally bankrupt", but because it criticized what Israel was doing to Palestinians. The Jewish Student Union threatened to stage a sit-in at the Insurgent office. It wouldn't take any three hundred people to do that. The Insurgent backed down in that case. They quit running the columns.

I'm all for the protests. But people--not you, apparently, but other people--could face problems later.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I see. Wasn't familiar with that situation.

I still think that your "careful, this same thing could be applied to you!" line is pretty idiotic. I don't think anyone involved in protesting the forum on any front is under the impression that this kind of societal conversation isn't a two way street. Nobody has stated that. Nobody on the anti-pacifica forum side has even implied it.

To me, it's like saying "You shouldn't judge people who kick puppies harshly. What if you decide to kick a puppy someday? Then you will be the one who is judged!" Guess what? I don't go around kicking puppies.

I suspect that you ARE a forum member, or perhaps an anti-insurgent axe grinder jumping on a bandwagon opportunity. Your arguments don't seem to apply to the situation at all. I'm really kind of confused as to what the point you're trying to make. I get the "judge not least ye be judged" thing, but I think applying that logic to the forum is a mistake (Assuming you're trying to speak in support of their precense here) because then you get into a "but THEY judged people first!" argument that will devolve into a Who Startd What debate that's pretty irrelevant to the topic of what happened last firday, and what's going to happen this friday.

We're going to protest, and it's going to be awesome. You can stay at home. Sound like a plan? Great.

Anonymous said...

The Insurgent stopped printing the column, because the writer stopped doing it. That happens, people graduate, move on. Thats the nature of the University who has students who graduate every 4-5 years. We have had columns on herbal remedies, sex help and street corner interviews. They stop when their writers stop. It wasn't under pressure.

The Insurgent also operates under a viewpoint neutral funding system. Further still, the Insurgent is not far one sided, we publish most of what people submit, even criticism and crazy prejudice.

So the arguments don't apply. Oh, and your welcome to submit something to test that theory

Anonymous said...

Actually, I was refering to events around 1990. I didn't realize it was that long ago when I posted. I was around when that stuff was going on. The head of JSU in those days was a "progressive Zionist" who thought that the Left's sympathy for Palestinians could only be explained by anti-Semitism.

More recently, in 2006, The Insurgent came under attack from William Donohue of the Catholic League. The Insurgent ran blasphemous cartoons of Jesus in response to that Danish newspaper running cartoons of Mohammed. The Insurgent wanted to show that Christians had issues, too, but the Catholic League and Bill O'Reilly seemed to be the only ones to take the bait.

It is a problem that the people running The Insurgent are there for a few years at most. There's no memory of anything that went on more than three or four years ago.

And I apologize for running this into the ground, but Pacifica Forum met at UO under a policy that was "viewpoint neutral". According to them, they allowed pretty much anyone to speak, even to criticize them or (obviously) express crazy prejudice. Two members of the Anti-Hate Task Force delivered long lectures attacking them and I imagine they could again if they wanted.

Anonymous said...

"Ignoring hate groups allows them to expand unchecked, threatening our freedome and safety."

If you replace "hate groups" with "terrorists" this line could have come straight from a Bush speech about the need to invade Iraq. Nice to see the insurgent is still sensationalizing and fear mongering in order to further their agenda.

"The difference is that the pacifica forum is a group advocating violence."

Oh, so arson isn't violence. Got it.

Man you people are hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica Forum expanding is nothing to worry about. People have been leaving the group for a long time. Now they're down to the dregs.

They had some decent people in the past, many of whom held out longer than they should have. As they walked away, the worst people were left in charge and that's why the group has taken such a sharp turn for the worse.

Anonymous said...

Of course, now it turns out that Billy Rojas in May of last year posted an article calling for the Muslim Student Association to be banned from the UO on the grounds that other such organizations have invited anti-Semitic speakers to speak at other universities. He calls for the MSA to be banned and for their faculty adviser to be fired.

I still don't want PF banned. If a member of the group was packing a knife, like people are saying, ban that individual. If any of the Nazis in the group are harassing people, ban them from campus. It's done all the time.