Sep

23

Everyone’s got something to say

Written by

The listservs have been hopping with tonight with breathless announcements and statements of varying degrees of pomposity. Here are some bullet points, with complete statements either linked or pasted after the jump (and a few more photos from today’s mini-protest). 

  • kkThe Muslim Student Association empathizes and keeps it brief
  • Lucha drags up Minutemen and takes it long
  • PRO-Israel PROgressives hopes for peace, bunnies, and flowers, now and forever
  • LionPAC fights for Western Values
  • Columbia Queer Alliance says Western cultural idioms are bogus
  • Pike, which is reportedly holding an Americana-themed party all tomorrow and tomorrow night, wins the concision award (thanks Spec!)
  • Professor Anne Prescott is our new favorite faculty member.

Meanwhile, there will be debriefings up the wazoo tomorrow night. The Dems (who are saying this during their 15 minutes in the sun today) are holding one at 9:30 pm in Hamilton 306. The Republicans (who are asking their members to bring their American flags to the rally) will debrief upstairs at 9:00 pm in Hamilton 507. And CCSC wants you to talk about your feelings in the Broadway Sky Lounge from 10:00 to midnight. Mama Michelle is bringing chips and cookies.

Aaaannnd Chas Carey and Josh Lipsky will be on Fox’s Big Story at 5:00.  

– LBD


MSA


jjh
Having also experienced direct attacks upon our community and faith beliefs post 9/11, the MSA empathizes with the student groups who are offended and outraged by the presence of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Columbia’s campus. As an organization, we will continue to strengthen our relationship with as many of Columbia’s religious, cultural, and political organizations so that Islam can be fairly represented on this campus and so that the MSA can maintain its role as a vital organization for Columbia student life.


LUCHA

Lucha believes that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presence at Columbia University is a chance to engage in conversation with one of the world’s most important political leaders. As the occupation of Iraq continues to destroy lives, generals and politicians blame the escalating violence on Iranian interference. As in Iraq, we fear that the American people will be misled into an unjust war with Iran. We see Ahmadinejad’s presence as a crucial opportunity to open dialogue, leading to diplomacy with Iran instead of invasion.

Lucha is concerned with the hypocrisy much of the media and Columbia Administration has displayed in discussing Ahmadinejad’s invitation to speak at Columbia. A self serving description of “freedom of speech” was used to condemn the non-violent protesters who unfurled banners onstage while Jim Gilchrist of the Minutemen Project was speaking on October 4th, 2006. The same ideologues who denounced Columbia when Minutemen supporters shut down their own event by attacking the student protesters, now criticize Columbia for opening a dialogue with one of the most important world leaders and for attempting to promote an exchange of ideas and diplomacy at a time when war with Iran seems ever more imminent. The Columbia Administration has shown incredible inconsistency. They have successfully created an environment in which Ahmadinejad’s positions will be forcefully critiqued, while the University did nothing to acknowledge how deeply offensive and threatening Gilchrist’s views and actions are to Latinos and people of color. We appreciate the University’s efforts in bringing Ahmadinejad to Columbia amid
jjconsiderable controversy and providing a forum for his views to be challenged, but feel it necessary to highlight their inconsistency.

We believe that Jim Gilchrist and Ahmadinejad are incomparable. For the Minutemen Project, speaking at Columbia represented a chance to bring tactics and ideology pioneered by the Ku Klux Klan into mainstream American politics. The consequences of Ahmadinejad speaking on the other hand, are entirely different. We believe it necessary to prevent an invasion of Iran, and Ahmadinejad speaking can only lead to further understanding and dialogue. We stand with the people of Iran in their struggle against anti-Semitism, patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, but we fear that these issues have been exploited by those who wish to promote a Zionist and imperialist American invasion of Iran.


PRO-Israel PROgressives

Within our group, there are varying opinions on whether Columbia University should have extended an invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Given he will be on campus tomorrow afternoon, we support the efforts of student groups who voice their opposition to Ahmadinejad’s opinions.  As well as being appalled by Ahmadinejad’s statements concerning Israel, PRO-Israel PROgressives is also deeply opposed to Ahmadinejad’s support of international terrorism, his denial of the Holocaust, his suppression of political dissidence, and his oppression of minority groups.

Although we clearly disagree with the repugnant views of Ahmadinejad, we hope his presence will begin a constructive conversation on campus, one that is in stark contrast to his own views. We hope future discussions on the Middle East are respectful and inclusive, reflective of a progressive vision, and focused on peace.

 


LionPAC, in an e-mail to its members

Tomorrow has almost arrived. Whatever happens, it is history in the making.  We can talk all we want about the horrific situation in Iran in our classes and in our dorms, but now we have the opportunity to do something and be seen and heard by the world.  To not show up tomorrow would be much more than a missed opportunity and more than a conspicuous absence.  This is a showdown between all the Western values we base our lives upon, and a man who actively works to dismantle those values.


COLUMBIA QUEER ALLIANCE


jhj
“These are the views of the Columbia Queer Alliance executive board and those members present at the meeting in which this matter was discussed. CQA is not the collective voice of the queer community; we do not claim to be expressing the views and opinions of all queer-identified individuals affiliated with Columbia University. However, as student leaders of a progressive activist organization, it is our responsibility to be a part of this discussion.”

“We condemn the human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian government under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We admonish the policies that make same-sex practices punishable by torture and death, as well as those that restrict the freedoms and self-determination of women.”

“We stand in solidarity with our peers in Iran, but we do not presume to speak for them. We cannot possibly claim to understand the multiple and diverse experiences of living with same-sex desires in Iran. Our cultural values and experiences are distinct, but the stakes are one and the same: the essential human right to express our desires freely.”

“Moreover, we would like to strongly caution media and campus organizations against the use of  such words as “gay”, “lesbian”, or “homosexual” to describe people in Iran who engage in same-sex practices and feel same-sex desire. The construction of sexual orientation as a social and political identity and all of the vocabulary therein is a Western cultural idiom. As such, scholars of sexuality in the Middle East generally use the terms “same-sex practices” and “same-sex desire” in recognition of the inadequacy of Western terminology.”


———- Forwarded message ———-

From: anne prescott <[email protected]>

Date: Sep 23, 2007 11:17 PM

Subject: tomorrow

To: anne prescott <[email protected] >

Hi, class. I’m going to head to Columbia early, or as soon as I can

get properly caffeinated. This is just to say do your best to come

but also follow your conscience. Remember, I was here in 1968 and can

go with the flow, although I’m not sure that flower power, as we then

called it, would mean much to the president of Iran. So do whatever

you think you would like to be able to look back on some years hence.

I will go over Love’s L’s Lost. Anne Prescott.

 

Tags:

34 Comments

  1. Anonymous  

    The party is called the Ahmanidejam and it is going to be epic.

  2. AhmedinaJackDaniels  

    yummeh

  3. fox

    so is it just lipsky and carey tomorrow? when? both after the speech?

  4. ZvS

    Exactly how hard is it going to be to get on campus, do we think? I wonder if I need to show up early.

  5. bwog  

    please precede your links with

    h t t p : / /

    "The Dems (who are saying this during their 15 minutes in the sun today)"

  6. wow  

    i'd love some of what lucha is smoking. apparently, when gilchrest spoke at columbia, we were legitimizing his views, but that isn't true with ahmadinejad. seriously, what does he need to do to convice lucha that he's at least comparable? kill an illegal (oh wait, he already does plenty of that in iran)

  7. times  

    Carey's on at 9. Josh's on at 5.

    Also: http://columbiaspectator.com/ahmadinejad/?p=57

    12:10: Jester(!?!) Can we have their statement, bwog? It can't be funnier than Lucha's.

    • yeah  

      Chas is on Hannity & Colmes at 9 and is live, Lipsky is on O'Reilly at 5 and it's taped. It would be inneresting if they were on the same show, though, as they're old freshman floormates.

  8. alexw  

    Chas Carey, I am counting on you to wear a Red Sox hat on H&C.

  9. "wow"  

    please read luchas statement a bit more carefully. they have not denied that there will be ramifications for ahmadenijad speaking at columbia, which is consistent with their previous stance that jim gilchrist speaking at columbia would have grave ramifications. however, whereas the consequences of a fledgling hate group spewing racist rhetoric would likely have exclusively negative consequences, ahmadenijads appearance will hopefully promote the requisite diplomacy needed to avert a second u.s. war of aggression in 5 years.... that is the difference. if you disagree, please argue against an honest representation of the argument.

    • Anonymous  

      Lucha's statement was very poorly written. Here are some examples:

      "As the occupation of Iraq continues to destroy lives, generals and politicians blame the escalating violence on Iranian interference."

      Does Lucha deny Iranian interference in Iraq? If so, it should do more reading. If not, the sentence was terribly ambiguous.

      "We believe that Jim Gilchrist and Ahmadinejad are incomparable. For the Minutemen Project, speaking at Columbia represented a chance to bring tactics and ideology pioneered by the Ku Klux Klan into mainstream American politics. The consequences of Ahmadinejad speaking on the other hand, are entirely different."

      Gilchrist's speaking at Columbia certainly did NOT represent an opportunity for the Minutemen to enter mainstream American politics. When did speaking at Columbia become an indicator of an organization's popularity? Was Lucha worried that Gilchrist would persuade a large number of Columbia students? Why doesn't Lucha then share the relatively popular yet baseless fear that Ahmadinejad's speaking at Columbia will help legitimize his radical foreign and domestic policies? Instead, much of Lucha's statement naively relies on the assumption that the discussion between Bollinger and Ahmadinejad "can only lead to further understanding and dialogue."

      Similarly, post #9 vaguely refers to "ramifications" and "negative consequences." What grave ramifications would there have been if Gilchrist had been grilled by thoughtful student questions and critiques?

      The worst, most insulting part of the statement is Lucha's cursory mention of those injured by Ahmadinejad's domestic policies ("We stand with the people of Iran in their struggle against anti-Semitism, patriarchy, sexism, homophobia.") Lucha stands with the Iranian people in one sentence and spends over a paragraph trying to defend its own suppression of free speech.

  10. alexw  

    Also, Lydia DePillis should probably get a Pulitzer for her near obsessive coverage of this Ahmadinejad bizness.

  11. shot calla'  

    i think lucha sucks. i dont need to argue against anything, just telling you they suck. and in case you decide to respond with something like "i think you suck" (which would be fair since i didnt use any justification for my position you wouldnt really have to either) i'll let you know that i wont be checking back. effectively, bitches, i just got the last laugh...hahahaha. lucha sucks. so do you. so does ahmadinjeatdhyutgyijhjf.

  12. Lerner

    Whats the deal with access to Lerner tomorrow? Also will the 115th gates on the broadway side be open?

  13. sigh  

    "but we fear that these issues have been exploited by those who wish to promote a Zionist and imperialist American invasion of Iran."

  14. er....

    why is there a pic of ari g accompanying the cqa statement? unless you guys know something i don't....

  15. so....?  

    if you think there are no positive consequences foreseeable for Ahmadinejad speaking, why is he here? Or do you think he should not be here altogether? Or is this purely a dick measuring contest of whose free speech balls are more gigantic? (Columbia 1; Iran 0). That seems absurd.

    The best rationale on which to have Ahmadinejad here is that it lessens the likelihood of war. Maybe Fox news will spin it out of control and misrepresent the nature of the event (actually this is sure to happen), but nevertheless, I think Ahmadinejad's presence is worthy because of the positive concrete affect it can have in preventing war with Iran.

  16. i wish  

    we were still arguing about the dude from "Lost."

  17. this must happen  

    I want a man to stand up and say, "Mr. President, in English, we have a saying: the punishment must fit the crime. Let me ask you, how does death fit this crime?!" And he turns around to the man standing behind him and they make out...fuck yes!

  18. Sprinkles

    The AAA's statement is lame. I guess they forgot that they're the Asian-AMERICAN Alliance, and Ahmadinejad's presence is of concern to all Americans regardless of ethnicity. Way to not be concerned about something just because you think it doesn't directly affect your ethnic group. Lame, guys. Lame.

  19. TECHNICALLY  

    IF THE MIDDLE EAST IS IN ANY CONTINENT IT IS IN ASIA

    HEY GUYS I GOT AN A+ IN WORLD GEOGRAPHY TRUST ME

    I USED TO DO CROSSWORDS AND TALK ABOUT BASEBALL WITH MY FRIENDS BUT I WOULD STILL DO THE ASSIGNMENTS

    • Don't  

      write in all caps. Really, you just look like an idiot trying to make fun of someone using the stylistic sensibilities of a middle school girl on AIM.

      • MANY WAYS  

        THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO PARSE THE CLAUSES IN THAT SENTENCE AND THE ONLY INTERPRETATIONS UNDER WHICH THE SENTENCE ACKNOWLEDGES ANY IMITATIVE INTENT OF USING ALL CAPS -- "Really, you just look like [an idiot trying to make fun of] [someone using the stylistic sensibilities of a middle school girl on AIM]" or "Really, you just look like [an idiot] [trying to make fun of] [someone using the stylistic sensibilities of a middle school girl on AIM]" -- SEEM TO IMPLY THAT THE STATEMENT WOULD HAVE TO BE WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS AND THUS DO NOT FIT (WELL) WITH "Don't write in all caps." BUT UNDER THE OTHER INTERPRETATIONS IT IS HARD TO SEE WHO IS BEING "MADE FUN OF."

        SO I AM "AT A LOSS" THEREFORE YOU "WIN".

        THE INTENTION BEHIND USING ALL CAPS WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME. I ONLY LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT TRYING TO PISS YOU OFF BY WRITING IN ALL CAPS.

  20. anti-climax  

    it's sad that the most boring part of the day will be his actual remarks. this dude A) is a puppet B) doesn't answer questions C) always says the same stuff

  21. Wait..

    Thought process of typical Columbia activist/trustfundee...

    "So this guy kills homosexuals, enforces oppression of women BUT he's got brown skin? D'oh! Hmmmmmm. Angry Studies 101 never prepared me for this. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Well, he does piss the Jewish students off so I guess I'll let him speak his mind. It is a University and all."

  22. wow....  

    the inherent racism in this statement is repulsive.....

  23. wait  

    Why was/is Chas Carey being interviewed? He just edits the Fed, right?

  24. Lucha  

    fuck you.
    love, lucha.

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