Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Like a No-Smoking Sign on Your Cigarette Break ...

Remember this? Last October, Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-immigration group The Minutemen Project, was invited to speak at Columbia University by the school's College Republicans. That never happened. Not really. He was booed off stage, physically assaulted, all before he was even able to get to the substance of his remarks.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar, was criticized for essentially letting the marauding students off scot-free, thereby disenfranchising the free-speech rights of both Gilchrist and those who'd come to hear him speak. (A related New York Post editorial is here.)

Earlier this month, Harlem's Community Board 9 held a hearing on Columbia's proposed expansion. The scene was chaotic. When Bollinger rose to speak, he was practically booed off stage. But not quite. Unlike the hooligans who attacked Gilchrist, Bollinger was at least able to finish his speech. Not that either group was particularly polite. Anyway, here's the video. Bollinger appears none-too-pleased.

As a long-haired Canadian once asked: Isn't it ironic? Don't ya think?

Incidentally, I'll have much more about Columbia's expansion coming in the next week or so.

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