Haley Koch, one of the defendants, speaks at a rally outside the courthouse
The following article is from Fight Back! News:
A Victory Won in Struggle Against White Supremacists at UNC
By Carlyn Cowen
Chapel Hill, NC – Haley Koch and six community activists had their first court date June 1, for their participation in the Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode protests that took place in April. These protests were in response to a far right-wing organization, Youth for Western Civilization, that brought two anti-immigration speakers, Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode, to the University of North Carolina campus within a week of each other. Hundreds of students and activists protested the racism, xenophobia and white supremacy that these speakers promoted and seven demonstrators were arrested by campus police in response. They all pleaded not guilty, even after being offered a deal by the district attorney which would lighten their sentence in return for admission of guilt. The seven are standing strong in their belief that they did no wrong in protesting racism and white supremacy on UNC’s campus and will represent themselves in their next court date, Sept. 14.
Posted in Immigrants Rights, Student Movements
Tagged Carlyn Cowen, Chapel Hill, Fight Back!, free speech, Haley Koch, immigrant rights, racism, Tom Tancredo, UNC Protesters Defense Committee, Virgil Goode, Youth for Western Civilization
The following commentary by Kosta Harlan is from Fight Back! News:
Students at University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill made national headlines last week when they confronted the racist ex-congressman Tom Tancredo. 200 students marched, shouted down, or silently protested Tancredo. When 60 students chanted in the lobby of the building where he was to speak, police attacked the demonstration with pepper spray. Two women were thrown to the floor, another protester had her hair pulled by a cop and several people were pushed into the walls. The police drove the students out by threatening them with tasers. Shortly after we were pushed out, a window was broken and the event was shut down.
Thousands of articles, commentaries, and editorials have been written on this event. Most of it is a waste of everyone’s time. In typical mainstream media fashion, most of the coverage has completely turned reality on its head. Like Malcolm X would have said, they make the victim look like the villain and the oppressors look like the oppressed.
Posted in Immigrants Rights, Students for a Democratic Society, Theory
Tagged Chapel Hill, Erskine Bowles, fascism, free speech, Holden Thorp, Immigrants Rights, Kosta Harlan, Malcolm X, police brutality, police repression, racism, Roger Perry, sds, Tom Tancredo, Youth for Western Civilization
The following open letter, along with numerous other letters of support and statements of solidarity, is from the UNC Chapel Hill SDS website. Though I may not agree with every word of it, I am reposting here as it gets into some of the debate about ‘free speech’ raging over UNC students recent and heroic protest of white supremacist Tom Tancredo. For more information, please see UNC Chapel Hill students stand up for Immigrant Rights.
An Open Letter to Chancellor Holden Thorp
April 16, 2009
Dear Chancellor Thorp:
I want to express my concerns over the events of April 14, 2009. Currently, I am a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Communication Studies specializing in the rhetoric of social protest. I have been a part of the UNC system for 6 years and a student and member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community for over 4 years. During that time I have witnessed some of UNC’s proudest, shining moments and consider those less shining to be opportunities for growth and progress. As a member of this community, a first-hand witness to the protest events on April 14th, and as a scholar of free speech issues, I believe it is my responsibility to address what I see as precisely one of those opportunities.
Posted in Immigrants Rights, Students for a Democratic Society
Tagged Billie Murray, Chapel Hill, free speech, Holden Thorp, immigrant rights, police repression, sds, Students for a Democratic Society, Tom Tancredo, white supremacy, Youth for Western Civilization