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January 14, 2009

Bill Ayers’ talk at St. Mary’s is sparking protest

Bill Ayers, the terrorist with whom President-elect Barack Obama liked to "pal around"—at least according to my favorite GOP spitfire, former Vice Presidential Candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin—is coming to speak at St. Mary’s College in Moraga on January 28.

This news about the brewing protest comes from the logal blog Halfway to Concord. The blog’s editor publisher reports that the protest is being organized by a group calling itself Concerned St, Mary’s Students, who believe that the presence of Ayers, co-founder of the violent radical ‘60s organization, Weather Underground, “would be detrimental to students and our college’s reputation.”

Ayers is now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has just released a book, Handbook for Social Justice in Education. During the presidential campaign, Palin and other Republicans alleged close ties between Ayers and Obama, who until recently lived in the same Chicago neighborhood. But Ayers denied any close association with the president-elect.

Bringing thought-provoking speakers to St Mary’s College is the reason the campus invited Ayers to participate in the school’s regular January Term Speakers Series, explains Michael Beseda, vice president for college communications.

The theme for this year’s speaker series is “Against the Grain,” a theme which reflects the provocative stance” Ayers and the four other speakers have taken “on issues ranging from politics to sustainable living.”

All these lectures are open to the public. The speakers preceding Ayers’ January 28 talk are: Doug Fine, author of Farewell, My Subaru; Davey D, Bay Area hip hop historian; Chris Carlsson, co-founder of the Critical Mass bicycle movement; and Marilyn Wann, body image activist and editor of the magazine Fat! So?

To read more about the protest, including the letter written by students objecting to Ayers' appearance, click here to visit the Halfway to Concord site.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as Mr. Hip Hop doesn't blast anyone with his "music" and Mr. Ayers doesn't demonstrate his bomb-making skills, I guess there's no problem. It's all about Free Speech. They may not be the perfect role model, but listening to them speak is one way of determining if you stand with them or against them. Me? I'm against them...

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about free speech, or indoctrination?? I read on another local site that two St. Mary's professors are ardent supporters of Ayers. We're talking about impressionable students. I agree with the "concerned students" that their parents are going to be upset about this!

C. Alford said...

Moraga is pretty white bread, but hopefully no Canyon boys show up. Could get interesting.

Anonymous said...

"We're talking about impressionable students."

Are we talking about kindergartners here, or adult college students? Are you kidding me?

Anonymous said...

Of course 18-22 year olds are impressionable. Adults? How old are you? 18-22?

You have a lot to learn.

Mike said...

It doesn't matter how old the kids are... what the hell is the college doing letting this terrorist speak? Will St. Mary's finance a friggin' field trip to visit Chucky Manson next? Wait, he hasn't killed enough people.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Ayers did 40 years ago are nothing compared to the crimes committed by the US government during the Vietnam War, against the people of Vietnam AND Cambodia. The US bombing of Cambodia unleashed the Khmer Rouge and the genocide in that country. And Ayers' crimes are nothing compared to the war criminals we have had in the White House and Pentagon over the past eight years.