September 2017 Archives

Barbra Roose.jpgWhat was it like to live as a Jewish little girl who had to hide her identity? It was very confusing for me, and I'm sure it is confusing for immigrants to the United States who should be proud of their heritage, explains Holocaust survivor Barbara Roose. 

"I see parallels [with the current political climate] -- you take away not only the physical safeties, but you take away their dreams, their homes, their talents. Unless we wake up here and say 'basta'.  

"These neo-Nazis and white suprematists are serious." Antifas aren't scary. Neo-Nazis are.
A close look at John Boalt's legacy, the Chinese Exclusion Act. Attorney and Lecturer Charles Reichmann will address the history of Berkeley Law's complicity in anti-Chinese racism.

Monday September 25, 12:45 - 2:00 pm
Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley

Ex-CIA chief Michael Morell resigned from his position as a senior fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Thursday, in protest of Chelsea Manning's short lived appointment as a Visiting Fellow; current CIA director Mike Pompeo canceled his scheduled talk. 

Chelsea says "Good." 

"Harvard has shown exactly what [marginalized communities on college campuses] are up against," opined John Judis at New Republic. "The real chilling effect on free speech comes from those with actual power, who receive funding from sources like the military, tech giants, and anti-regulation billionaires like the Koch brothers."

Controversial visitors come to campus all the time, don't they? And isn't it the conventional wisdom that their rights must be defended at all costs, no matter how unpopular their ideas or past behavior may be? Well, that may be the case when those who visit are right-wing provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter and those who protest their visits are minority or leftist students. But apparently it's not the case when the visitor is on the left and when it's the spies who are protesting. So, no sooner than one could say "whistleblower," in an act of mind-boggling spinelessness Harvard reneged on its offer. -- author Hank Reichman 

A 2015 report by Vice News on the most militarized universities in America ranks Harvard number 32 on the list of 100 schools receiving a combined $3 billion in national security research and development funding.

Hate Speech Isn't Free

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Defense of white privilege costs the disadvantaged dearly. Ask someone who's been there. American "free speech" law protects people against physical harm -- and tolerates unlimited emotional harm. Victims of hate speech suffer as much as or more than victims of hate crime argues Fordham Law Professor Thane Rosenbaum.

The liberal defense of fascists' "rights" does a lot of harm. UC Berkeley's new chancellor Carol Christ leads the pack of misguided academics enabling the advance of fascist agenda at universities across the country. "We urge you to think very carefully about the lives you are risking in giving white supremacists an even larger platform than they already have," concludes a letter to Christ initiated by members of the Berkeley Anthropology Department. The chancellor's "free speech year" premiers with the promotion of right-wing talk show host Ben Shapiro, followed by the return of infamous bigot-provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, whose appearance bumps the previously scheduled Annual Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Anna Tsing, Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. 

Provision of a platform is not the same thing as free speech, writes The Guardian columnist Owen Jones, "however much it is falsely and disingenuously portrayed as such. If someone refuses to lend you a megaphone, they are not infringing your right to say what you believe: they are simply not offering you their own resources to amplify your views to a broader audience." 

There is no perfect protest. "Those standing on the sidelines of the current racial-justice movement, waiting for a pristine or flawless exercise of righteous protest, will have a long wait," observe Michael McBride, Traci Blackmon, Frank Reid and Barbara Williams Skinner. "Our concern at this moment is with our moderate brothers and sisters who voice support for the cause of racial justice but simultaneously cling to paralyzingly unrealistic standards when it comes to what protest should look like."

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action." -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "Letter From Birmingham Jail"

Many mainstream media outlets have bought into Mr. Trump's "both sides" narrative of right- and left-wing extremism while ignoring the injustices that inspired the protests in the first place. 

"Rather than critique from afar," conclude the clergy members, "come out of your homes, follow those who are closest to the pain, and help us to redeem this country, and yourselves, in the process."

Get organized for November 4, the national day to come out in the streets and don't leave until the Trump/Pence regime is gone! 

Next Refuse Fascism meeting this Wednesday September 6, 7 PM, Omni Commons, 4779 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland 
There are limits to hate speech -- such as speech that is "inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action," ruled the Supreme Court in Brandenburg vs. Ohio.

The Berkeley Patriot event does just that. "We know that his [Milo Yiannopoulos] presence is going to likely create a confrontation," says Mayor Jesse Arreguin. Conservative provocateurs "bear responsibility for inciting a violent environment." 

"So let's stop the pretending that this is about free speech," concludes East Bay columnist Otis R. Taylor Jr. "Because what we're looking at is an invitation to violence."

UC Berkeley Billboard

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Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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