Cognitive Dissonance on Campus

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Beginning at noon today, a strange face-off between Columbia activist-types and artist-types went down under Alma’s nose. First, the student council-sponsored Arts Fair unfurled on Low Steps, offering free hamburgers, pizza, models (clothed!) and music. Meanwhile, a clot of more than 100 anti-Columbia protesters with home-made noisemakers (corn kernel-filled plastic bottles) marched onto campus and coalesced at the sundial.

The Student Coalition on Expansion and Gentrification, who had originally sponsored the protest, pulled out last night when they heard they wouldn’t get a permit to demonstrate on the Steps–because the Arts Fair had claimed the space long before. Admins offered the activists the Pupin lawn and told them to come in at the 120th entrance, but community groups refused to take the space bargain.

And so the unofficial, ad hoc protesters, led by the Coalition to Preserve Community, the Coalition to Save Harlem, and the Mirabal Sisters, gathered a group of SCEG-ites and bystanders. While Tom “Peter Pan complex” DeMott ululated into his bullhorn, the bands on the steps–including the Kitchen Cabinet and a funk band (we didn’t catch the name) drowned out the addresses. One old man, spittle flying from his mouth, tried to rush the stage to stop the “fucking kids” from playing–there are also reports some protesters pulled their amp cords. “Surreal,” said one bystander. “This is hilarious,” quipped another. More pics after the jump.



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  1. actually  

    the protesters were really nice to the kitchen cabinet.

    but then again, i think they appreciated the twee folk feel.

    • ...  

      that's only because they could still hear the sound of their own rallying cries over the aforementioned "twee folk."

      and yes, a protester blinded with fury unplugged the the funk band's equipment mid-song. pissing off people seems like a great way to garner support.

  2. ugh  

    people are so stupid.

  3. Idiots

    The city already operates a BSL-3 lab in fucking Midtown, so I wouldn't worry about Harlem's safety. Operating this type of facility makes the city SAFER from bioterrorism and infectious disease, not the other way around. Even BSL-4 labs, which handle actually dangerous pathogens (BSL-3 labs can only handle treatable pathogens not including smallpox), are perfectly safe in big cities. There are three of them in Atlanta alone, and I doubt any of these activists would call for shutting down the CDC.

  4. ugh  

    the hardcore/punk rockers out there now suck so hard.

  5. bwog  

    it sounds like a horde of screeching cats/the apocalypse out there right now. wtf?

  6. i just  

    love how the student council hires professional distraction squads to sit outside butler during exams and prevent me from working.

  7. whatever  

    the punk is good, open your ears

    lola! hello!

  8. also  

    sucks for the luau people

  9. ...  

    i just emerged from a multihour google safari exploring the world of biosafety levels. yeah, bsl-3 is really not that big of a deal... there's a bunch in manhattan already as there are in urban cores all over the country.

    i think it's totally hilarious that this nick sprayregen guy has exploited the harlem community, turning community activists into free labor for increasing the price of his land. especially considering that el duderino has a history of converting his storage properties upstate into luxury condos. it's pretty clear that if it hadn't been for columbia his storage properties would be destined for the luxury condo market anyway.

  10. callida iunctura  

    google safari

    so clever

  11. Bands who have...  

    "IN GOD YOU TRUST....DO YOU TRUST YOUR GOD" fall in the category of major tools to the establishment.

    How much more cliche-punk can you get?

  12. i thought  

    the funniest part was that absent the protest the bands would have had basically no audience

  13. this is why  

    Columbia needs a closed campus. Fuck protesters and fuck parents bringing their 2 yr. olds to ride bikes around Furnald lawn. There's a park a block west!!

  14. ...  

    I work in a BSL-3 lab and it is not a big deal. I would prefer if the protestors made this more about Columbia and not evil scientists.

  15. whaa  

    haha more cognitive dissonance came from that really shitty punk band (who were they?) playing at the same time as the old luau musicians on the south lawn. it was seriously just a bunch of old folks sitting around in chairs having their music completely drowned out by a halfass punk band and it was kind of funny and kind of sad, so the best

  16. carman11fresh  

    quoting the band on the quAD: what did you do with my dog mom? you killed it? fuck you twat!

  17. the righteous...

    ...are generally a bunch of pricks.

  18. pete  

    the punk band was actually reagan youth:


    i admit i didn't love them but they are actually pretty influential and it was kinda sweet, though obscure, that they played here.

  19. the homeboy stephen  

    That funk band was called Haakon's Fault. They kicked ass.

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