Update 7:00 PM: Bwog has confirmed that Kulawik will appear at 9:00 tonight on Fox News’ Hannity and Colmes with Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist, while opening speaker Marvin Stewart will appear on the Bill O’Reilly Factor at 8:00 and 11:00 PM. Protesters were asked to appear on The Factor, and one accepted, but declined shortly before the taping.
Campus, city and national media have already spun the Minuteman Brawl of 2006 into a harbinger for Armageddon, and Bwog would like to level the conversation a bit. We’ll start with the source, President of the College Republicans (ex-College Conservatives President) Chris Kulawik himself. In an early morning interview, he told Bwog why controversy follows him everywhere, what he saw, and why he brought members of a vigilante border patrol to campus in the first place.
Over the summer, the Republicans sent out about 40 invitations to different potential speakers and elected representatives. Kulawik said the invitations “got a pretty decent return rate,” and Gilchrist and Stewart got invites because
In anticipation of student reaction, he forwarded a link to the 600+ member Facebook group protesting the Minutemen to Public Safety, which he said must not have predicted the extent to which the event would escalate. “In the wake of Ashcroft, the ISA, protesters, and Chicano Caucus were better prepared to mobilize,” Kulawik said.
When the rumble broke out, “It was really hectic up there,” he said. “I can’t tell you how scared I was…The [protesters] were looking for a fight…I really felt that my personal being was in danger… they literally staged a premeditated attack.”
After the event, Kulawik called an emergency College Republicans executive board meeting and said administrators also had a huge closed door meeting. As of 9:00 this morning, he had not yet had any communication with administrators.
He noted being “concerned” about future speakers deciding not to come to campus, and said he was worried the event would keep others from joining the College Republicans.
“Not only does it set back the university, it sets back the movement of mature debate.”
As for the Minutemen themselves, Jim and Marvin “were really quite upset…I think they really feel bad for my organization and my friends.”
Kulawik also had some warm praise for the conduct of the Minutemen supporters (one of whom was witnessed kicking a student in the face.) “They refused to let protestors drown them out in a forum of debate…they ran out to defend Jim and Martin.”
And he maintains the speakers at last night’s circus “opened some eyes. When people have different ideas, people don’t want to listen to them.”
Kulawik says he still plans on running next week’s event which will feature Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who now speaks out for