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03-05-09, 10:24 PM #1
Ayers, Churchill to appear at CU student event
DENVER - Former Colorado professor Ward Churchill was vilified for comparing Sept. 11 victims to Nazi Adolf Eichmann. Former Weather Underground member William Ayers was vilified as a radical.
On Thursday, they'll appear together at a student rally for academic freedom at the University of Colorado-Boulder, days before Churchill, who was fired on plagiarism charges, goes to court in an attempt to get his job back.
Churchill, Ayers and writer-activist Derrick Jensen are to speak at an event titled, "Forbidden Education and the Rise of Neo-McCarthyism." Sponsors are Students for True Academic Freedom, the 180 Degree Shift at the 11th Hour, and the Student Environmental Action Coalition.
Churchill was a tenured professor of ethnic studies at CU until he was fired in July 2007. He denies misconduct.
In his lawsuit, he claims the university was looking for reasons to fire him because of his comments about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"I'm feeling very good about the case I'm going to present" in the lawsuit, Churchill said Wednesday. He said he couldn't discuss specifics.
In an essay and a follow-up book, Churchill argued that the attacks were a response to a history of U.S. abuses. He said the victims of the World Trade Center collapse were "little Eichmanns," referring to Holocaust organizer Eichmann.
Churchill said Eichmann was a bureaucrat who carried out policies that were planned by others but was still responsible for his actions. The essay triggered a national firestorm and calls for his dismissal.
Jury selection in Churchill's lawsuit starts Thursday and testimony starts next week.
Ayers, an education professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, said his schedule didn't allow him to be interviewed Wednesday.
Ayers was a co-founder of the Weather Underground, a radical anti-war group that claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, including explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol that didn't kill anyone.
He was a fugitive for years. After surrendering in 1980, charges against him were dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct.
Churchill said he knew Ayers in 1970 when they were both active in the anti-Vietnam war movement, but he said they haven't spoken since. Churchill said he wasn't a member of the Weather Underground.
During the presidential campaign, John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, resurrected Ayers' radical past when she accused then-candidate Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists."
Obama and Ayers served together on the board of a Chicago charity, and Ayers hosted a meet-the-candidate session for Obama at his home in the mid-1990s when Obama first ran for office.
In an op-ed piece he wrote for the New York Times after the November election, Ayers said he wasn't a terrorist and didn't "pal around" with Obama.
"This is America, it's all about free speech," student organizer Sean Daly said.
Ayers, said Daly, has rejected his radical past and is focused on academics.
"He's been attacked because of his beliefs, because of his activities and he's been harassed because of his activities," Daly said.
University of Colorado-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard said the university has received feedback both positive and negative on Ayers' visit.
"A college is a place where ideas are debated all the time," Hilliard said.
Even when the university itself is being criticized.
"It wouldn't be the first time," Hilliard said. "The university is a public institution, like any other public institution, we have to endure criticism."
03-05-09, 11:08 PM #2Chief Wheaties PisserVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Just outside Latteland
- Rep Power
Well color me shocked.
03-05-09, 11:14 PM #3
Hey it must be a meeting of the Evil League of Evil!
03-05-09, 11:15 PM #4
03-05-09, 11:29 PM #5I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
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