Columbia = Big Fat Liar

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…or so says a flock of neighborhood residents and students in biohazard t-shirts protesting right now in a police-barricaded rectangle outside the gates at 116th.

Pants suited journalists, angry community activists, and bemused passersby found good company on the sidewalk. But Bwog did feel slightly sorry for earnest Young Spartacist manning a little table outside the main event. Why didn’t she join in? “Too many police.”

And really, what’s a 17-acre neighborhood when you’ve got Mumia Abu-Jamal to save?

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  1. speaking of loud people  

    there's some guy forcefully shouting "amen!" on 114th street...I can hear him from the 11th floor of broadway. does anyone know what it's all about, and why no one has "politely" told him to move on (I have papers to write, grr...)

    • J Train  

      That man screaming "amen" is probably unrelated to the protest. He might be the old guy who walks around the neighborhood holding up the Bible and loudly proclaiming his faith. He's cool.

      • yeah but  

        I agree he's cool, but I prefer it when he keeps to below 110th so I can get some work done. also, he woke me up at 4am the night before a 9am final freshman year by going up and down the same block of amsterdam and I've never forgiven him for it.

  2. soes anyone know  

    When they will disperse? The last thing I need post-all-nighter paper writing frenzy is "Amen" and banging trash cans six floors below me.


    they're RIGHT under my window, and my ears are ringing from this crap. SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!


    they're screaming "haaaaiiii (which i can only guess to mean "harlem") not for saiiiilll"...nobody's buying your ghetto apt. we're TAKING it from you and KICKING you out.

  5. me  

    What I love is how they've got signs that say "stop eminent domain abuse", and then there's the circle and line through that. So really it's a double negative - I guess that means they don't want to stop eminent domain abuse at all, but instead to encourage more of it.

    This kind of stuff just makes me shake my head and be glad that I'm not one of them.

  6. all politics is local  

    good job alienating the columbia student body with all that noise, locals...

    • elitist bastards  

      is what you are. i'd say racist, but it was an incredibly diverse group. so i'll just go with elitist. you're not better than they are because you're housing-secure. just less stressed.

  7. Property rights  

    The spartacus chick probably wasn't involving herself in it because socialists don't believe in property rights.

  8. Dismay  

    Honestly, you people sort of make me a little sick when you talk like that.

  9. fuckin' a  

    I find it apalling at not just the apathy, but the downright condescension with which people are treating this. Isn't the point of going to a university like Columbia to learn that there are different opinions about issues, listen to them, and only then formulate your own? I guess some of the previous commentors are reluctant to examine any issue that can't be easily reduced into a witty one liner to throw around at a cocktail party or, I daresay, on a blog. Sorry their disrupting your nap, but these peoples' livelihoods are at stake. Listen to what they have to say. If you agree, great. If you disagree, equally great. But its an attitude like this that makes me ashamed to be a student here sometimes.

    • don't be ashamed...  

      for having sympathy for idiots. unfortunately, that's a very common illness. But you see, intelligent, educated, employed, and respectable people don't hold protests. They find how shall I say...more appropriate and effective methods of voicing their opinions, instead of screaming into a megaphone under people's windows, during a time when everyone is especially stressed. As for me, I have neither sympathy nor tolerance for such imbeciles, and will therefore continue to express my complete disregard for them and their problems.

  10. More effective means  

    like hiring one of the foremost legal minds of our generation (Norman Siegel) to represent them? Like playing the zoning codes like a Schubert sonata in order to stall Columbia and possibly force a mandate? Like holding press stunts to garner favorable media coverage? Yeah man, you clearly know a heluva lot more about fighting the expansion than they do.

    As for educated, how does a Columbia degree sound? As I recall, Tom DeMott is CC '80. Or a doctorate, like Tom Kappner has.

    Bunch of swines they are, truly. I bet they small bad too.

    • you're still wrong  

      I don't go screaming outside their windows about how I favor the expansion. And if the "foremost legal mind[s] of our generation" can't win the case, maybe they don't have a case to begin with?

  11. please shut up  

    It's one thing to disagree with the protestors, or to be in favor of expansion in a vague, uninformed way as many Columbia students seem to be… But to say these people are disrupting your nap with their screaming? Jesus have you heard of free speech? Have you considered that maybe their goal is to force people like you to recognize their presense? I'd say they're doing a pretty fucking successful job, maybe you should pick up a paper once in a while and read about what's going on with Manhattanville and these opponents before you comment on their strategies.

  12. It's hard to win a case  

    That has yet to go to court.

    But if you examine the legal precedent (I'm sure you have, along with the other volumes of research you've done) in the Kelo v. New London case, you'll see that while economic development was generally accepted as a 'public use,' Justice Kennedy's concurrent opinion is very explicit that in a case where eminent domain is invoked at the behest of a developer (Columbia) and not by an outside authority who plans to put the acquired parcel out for competitive bidding, the action is not justified under the fifth amendment's taking clause.

    Though eminent domain wouldn't be the only issue in play.

    Regarding the zoning, it seems clear that Columbia is not moving forward as briskly as possible, due in no small part to the 197-a plan Community Board 9 officials are moving through the approval process.

    So tell me, what case has the community lost?

    • stop reading between the lines  

      Stop twisting my words around. I did not say a case they lost, I said a case they "can't win", as in the future tense. If they were confident about their position and their legal support, they wouldn't need to protest with a megaphone, screaming absolutely incomprehensible shit when people are trying to work.

      • Jimmy  

        I don't see the two as mutually exclusive. I'm thinking about the civil rights era, where NAACP litigators like Thurgood Marshall won rights in court while others organized peaceful demonstrations that, at times, screamed in front of peoples' windows. I wasn't alive to determine the sound quality of their "shit."

        I think that the larger point of this protest is to garner attention to the issue in support of their other efforts. If you feel personally alienated, then they've failed. But I don't think it's fair to characterize the demonstrators as imbeciles or any of the other things you said.

        • ahem  

          you could hear them for blocks. I heard they could be heard in butler. when no students can get any studying done at a crucial time, they're not exactly advancing their cause among the university community. I just think they were being very counterproductive with this. the above poster is proof that their behavior alone will move some people into the pro-expansion column.

          it's the same with many other protest groups. no matter what legitimacy shocc's complaints hold, their tactics have made them a campus joke. just like "bringing democracy to the middle east" is a good idea in theory, but the way it was executed (invasion and occupation of a country) alienated and pissed off many. chew on that.

          • Jimmy  

            Then I think we'll agree to disagree in this particular instance. I'll let people who organized the protest speak about their decision making, though I think it might be a little bit of a stretch to compare roughly fifty people with megaphones to the military campaign in Iraq.

          • um  

            the comparison had a simple basis: they're both the wrong way to achieve their respective ends. don't throw up their obviously distinct natures as a straw man.

  13. i love how...  

    your name is "please shut up" and then you talk about free speech. I never said they were disrupting my nap. they were disrupting my work, which I had to get done, seeing as I have class on friday. And just to spite mindless underdog-sympathizers like you, I'm going to be come a vehement expansion supporter, even though I couldn't give less of a shit.

  14. actually  

    I'm not really strongly on one side or the other in terms of expansion, but the complaints voiced on here about the protest are just immature and ridiculous. I'm not sure I agree with them, but you have to admit that they have organized pretty damn well. I'm just in favor of informed opinions...

  15. And why don't you  

    Scream in front of my window in a pro-expansion protest? I'd welcome it. Beats sniping anonymously on a blog.

    Jimmy Vielkind

    aka 'fuckin' a'

    aka 'More effective means'

    aka 'It's hard to win a case'

  16. Xavier  

    The anti-expansion crowd has this framed as a populist struggle of the working class versus the heartless corporation, but much of the opposition comes from Manhattanville landlords who want to hold out for as much money as possible from Columbia. I have a hard time buying the idea that the neighborhood is better served by a bunch of warehouses and auto repair shops than by a well-planned and good-looking campus with new retail space. I'm not ordinarily a fan of eminent domain, but I wouldn't be too sad if Columbia ended up using it against speculating landlords who want exhorbitant buyouts.

    • not to mention  

      the "community plan" that's being pushed by all the anti-expansion people would essentially leave those landlords in place within the new campus. want to take a guess as to whether they would continue to let poor people live there with thousands of rich columbia students pouring into the area?

      and even if columbia built nothing, high housing prices are pushing gentrification into every corner of the city, columbia's presence regardless.

      we might as well have a non-fragmented new campus, so long as these processes are inevitable anyway.

  17. irony  

    I found this on [email protected]:

    "don't get me wrong. I have no love for manhattanville protestors. I thought though that I should share the ironic quote of the day. Big football player type: "Damn it, Get the fuck out of our neighborhood." "

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