Skip to comments.Columbia admin restricts WEF protestors; Sharpton gets involved!
Posted on 01/18/2002 8:44:45 AM PST by rmlew
By BENJAMIN SMITH
NEW YORK -- A face-off is developing at Columbia University between students and the administration over a "counter-conference" planned by opponents of the World Economic Forum.
A key element of the dispute is the students' reluctance to make available a list of participants in their gathering, which, like the conference of business leaders that is usually held at Davos, Switzerland but this year is to be held in New York, begins January 31.
The "students, activists, rabble-rousers, and concerned citizens" invited to attend the Columbia conference will join thousands of protesters expected to flock to New York for the World Economic Forum. The forum is one of a number of global meetings that have been enveloped in recent years in demonstrations against capitalism, corporations and globalization. Clashes between police and demonstrators last July in Genoa, Italy, left one protester dead, and similar protests marked meetings in Seattle and in Gothenburg, Sweden. The outcome of negotiations between Columbia and the students organizing the conference could set a tone for the New York event.
"The administration is throwing roadblocks in our way," a member of Students for Global Justice, a group of student activists formed to organize the counter-conference, said. The member, Columbia junior Michael Castleman, accused Columbia of a "clampdown on academic freedom."
The counter-conference could draw from 250 to 1,000 participants, not all Columbia students, Mr. Castleman said. It is scheduled to take place at Columbia-affiliated Barnard College, and will run from January 31 to February 3, the first four days of the five-day World Economic Forum. The Columbia event is scheduled to avoid conflicting with the Midtown protests against the forum, according to information on the Web site studentsforglobaljustice.org. The workshops at the Barnard counter-conference will say "NO to the war on terrorism" and participants will discuss "US imperialism" and "global corporate domination," the Web site says.
The students met with the administration last Thursday, and the students complain that, in that meeting, the administration offered them too little space for the workshops and speeches. But Mr. Castleman said late yesterday afternoon that the university has made more space available.
"We're glad to work with them," Columbia spokesman Virgil Renzulli said, calling the students' claims "misinformation." "We haven't banned anything," Mr. Renzulli said.
The university's request for disclosure of the names of the participants in the counter-conference, however, remains a source of conflict. Barnard College Director of Safety and Security William Plackenmeyer met yesterday with Mr. Castleman to request that the students agree to give him access to the list of participants who register for the counter-conference. But Mr. Castleman said he refused, on the grounds that "the administration might share" the list with the police.
"I am interested in having that information available in case of an emergency," Mr. Plackenmeyer told Smartertimes.com. "I am not interested in the names of the people attending."
The students, he said, are "being paranoid."
Mr. Castleman said his group was exploring its options in case the university refuses to compromise. The conference could relocate to New York University or Hunter College of the City University of New York, he said. Mr. Plackenmeyer would not comment on what the university will do if the students try to hold the conference without making names available.
Now, the political stakes could go up for the university: the Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network took up the students' fight Thursday.
"We are very concerned about protecting civil rights and civil liberties on the college campus," said an aide to Rev. Sharpton, Dedrick Muhammad
Concerned citizens, I thought they were a bunch of communitsts and anarchists? SO much for being PC.
Hopefully, if and when he graduates, he'll get a job, settle down, and meet the real world.
anti-globalization = anti-american ?
My advice to anyone planning to be in the area (especially on that Saturday) is to wear an NYPD hat and some sort of mask that will mitigate the effects of tear gas.
ECON SUMMIT BRINGS OWN TERROR THREAT
By STEVE DUNLEAVY --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bad guys coming.
January 18, 2002 -- YOU can take the cop out of New York, but you can't take the cop out of John Timoney, former deputy police chief of this wonderful town, and former police commissioner of Philadelphia. Over a light beer at Langan's, he was extremely worried about the dates of Jan. 28 to Feb. 5, when the World Economic Forum will be hosted, in part, at the Waldorf-Astoria.
"There are some very serious bad guys out there, and I am not talking about Osama bin Laden. We are talking about pretty sophisticated bad guys," he was saying.
Timoney, like most cops, has been beaten and shot at by punks all his life. In his new job as CEO of BDA Security and Investigations, he has 500 people working under him, "mostly former NYPD who are very well trained to look after punks and people who wish to do us harm."
I have seen John in action, in New York City, the Republican Convention in Philadelphia, and while he gives everyone the Miranda, don't throw a punch at him unless you have gone to confession.
"There is an element out there - Seattle, Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Democratic Convention - which is threatening. I don't have to tell Police Commissioner Ray Kelly what to do. He is an exceptional professional. The best."
But private big shots have hired John, who left the Philadelphia police commissioner's job two weeks ago, to make sure they don't wear broken egg on their suits from numskulls - or toe tags in the morgue.
"It is quite serious what might take place, and let's hope the word 'might' is the operative word," he said.
"I think New York was given the host city because the world felt sorry for us all. And that is a grand gesture for business which I applaud.
"But the truth is, it is going to cost the city a fortune in security."
And then, out came the real cop.
"It costs the city of New York about $50 million a year in paying cops to host security for the United Nations and presidential visits and all the other heads of state to be here," he said.
"We get $7 million as a cap in return. And the cops here make terribly low wages. I mean terrible."
Timoney had to be the only member of the police brass who actually gave evidence for the working cops to get a raise when the case came up in 1996.
"After 29 years in the department and having a lot to do with handling the operation of 50,000 people in the NYPD, I left for Philadelphia to be the police commissioner, and I was in debt. I mean debt," he said.
We are now looking at a potentially scary scene, promised by little nasty twits, when the Economic World Forum comes to our front door.
Timoney and Kelly know what they have to do.
But I don't. Because who in this bloody world knows how we are going to pay the cops for what they are about to face.
Oh, they will get their pay, but is it what they are worth?
You work it out, I can't.
LOL! Yes, that one once graced the bumpers of many a VW bus in Berkeley.
Here's a couple more winners --
Scrawled on a Bekins storage building circa 1978: "Don't Abolish Wage Slavery. I Won't Get Paid!"
Appended to an Italian sports car billboard, proclaiming "If it was a lady, you would pinch its behind." -- "If this woman was a truck, she would run you over."
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