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Pacifica Protestors

Tonight there was a Pacifica protest meeting at Cafe Roma. The Commentator was a seemingly unwelcome addition to the meeting when it was stated by one of the Black Tea Society affiliates wrapped in a particularly douchey bandana that, “Contributors to the Oregon Commentator have voiced their support of free speech by ANY means necessary.” This seemed a bit absurd to me. I believe the blog comment (not a staffer’s post) was:

“OC editors, I respect you: Call me on it if I’m wrong to be frustrated with the funding side. I support free speech, and would, indeed, fight to the death to protect the PF’s right to it. (Well, maybe not Marr. But the others? Sure.)”

The protesters on Friday were disorganized to say the least. They could not agree on what it was that they were protesting, let alone whether they were to be silent or disruptive. Fortunately, this was first thing on the agenda.

Cimmeron Gillespie wanted to emphasize that protesters against the forum should not associate their cause with the question of free speech. Gillespie made it very clear that the reason for the meeting was to plan an effective protest against what they believe to be a narrow-minded group with ties to one or more groups, such as Volksfront and Stormfront, who have an alleged history of violent bigotry.

“Again, this is a campus and student safety issue,” Gillespie continued. He then ran us all through the plan of attack for their protesting of the next Forum topic: Neo-Communism and the Anti-Hate Task Force (which, supposedly, targets one of Eugene’s own Lane County Board members. Pictures of him and other protesters from last Friday appear on the fliers). The plan consists of three parts:

1. Framing – Emphasize safety, not free speech.

2. Administration – Gillespie described the UO administration as, “A giant tractor with no engine. We have to pull and push and move it how we want.”

3. Forum – Develop a reasonable argument with constructive questions that will lead Billy Rojas and his followers to either “hang themselves up,” or realize the error of their ways.

Emma Kallaway put in her two cents, using her experience with the administration to her advantage. She thought that this whole fiasco is even more complicated than it seems. The fact that the University of Oregon is a public institution funded by the state and part of OUS (Oregon University System), iterates that the buck doesn’t stop with Dick Lariviere. Furthermore, to change policy regarding alumni, old professors and rights to the usage of OUS property is asking quite a bit.

As for the Pacifica Forum, hopefully they will have a chance to exercise their right to free speech this Friday. Personally, I can’t speak to the extent of their connections with violent groups and whether or not they are using Pacifica as a front for their “socialist recruiting machine.”

There will also be a Senate meeting in the Walnut Room on Friday at 7pm. The first ten minutes will consist of four people recalling their individual altercations with Pacifica attendees. The rest of the time is reserved for questions.

Those wishing to learn more about the issue are encouraged to attend and not ignorantly yell and scream like a fucking idiot.

  1. […] the Pacifica Forum protesters discussed a rumor that the Oregon Commentator would, “Send 30 or 40 people to protest our protest of […]

  2. Dane says:

    It should be noted that Ekblad was reporting on it. Our basic editorial stance is covered in my article here:

    It should be said, in general, that outside of an editorial stance, Commentator staffers are allowed to express their opinions even if they differ from said editorial.

  3. Dane says:

    The way I’m reading that drop quote, Ekblad was pointing out that the kids at the meeting were factually wrong about anyone here advocating violence or the defense of free speech “by any means necessary”. Additionally, the quote seems to be used here in a fashion that suggests, ” This is the only thing that could be construed that way and even then that’s not what the quote is getting at.”

    I think it’s fairly clear that Ekblad is not suggesting that OCFan was suggesting “by any means necessary”. Rather, he was highlighting the quote the Black Tea Society member was referencing and pointing out how they were misrepresenting what you had said.

  4. Former OCfan says:

    Betz: That link is hilarious, and I’m guilty as charged. I definately had an emotional reaction this morning. #6 is the one I feel far sillier for.

    The lesson I’m taking from this is that once you release your words and opinions into the world, they no longer belong to you. They are now the world’s to do with as it pleases. I’m also taking from this that emotions and communication do not necessarily make good bedfellows.

    That said, I still very strongly feel that there is a big difference between “Defend to the death” and “by any means necessary.” The former is passive, the latter is active. While free speech is of paramount importance to me, I am also a pacifist: “Any means necessary” isn’t something I said, nor believe.

    But yeah. My head is hung appropriately low.

    I miss CJ.

  5. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I think Gillespie has a hard fought battle to come if the wannabe free speech bank robbers (I can’t think of a good name for people who wear bandanas around their faces) are going to actually ‘get it’ and frame their displeasure in a rational way.

    The more I read about this, the more I want to organize an anti-idiot protest.


    “What do we want? Rabble Rabble Rabble! When do we want it? RABBLE!”

  6. Cmon Meow says:


  7. Betz says:

    It’s one thing to to defend the 1st amendment by asserting that any body (or group) is guaranteed the right to free-expression of ideas through speech (except for those instances, such as the “fighting words” clause, as mentioned on the ACLU page.) It’s another to misrepresent the 1st amendment as a law that protects them from any kind of criticism from anyone, and even requires others to pay for and maintain a platform to express those ideas. This is why I also think it is perfectly acceptable and reasonable to defend the rights of the PF to express their views on campus (all funding-related issues aside), while still supporting a movement to remove the forum from campus. In a hypothetical world, if the PF is removed from campus – its not like this group will just go away instantly, squashing their right to free speech forever; They will just move their meetings elsewhere. They still retain their right to free speech – just not their right to free speech on the campus. I think that is the difference, IMO.

    Question: Was the OC reporter (Ekblad) reporting on the PF Protestors meeting, or were they invited as a participant in this operation? Based on this latest article, I am in the same position of Roryphant: I’m not sure anymore what the OC’s stance is on this matter.

    You’ve got chops, kid. I admire your gumption. But according to this article summarizing internet argument techniques, you are in violation of articles 3 and 6.

  8. Ross Coyle says:

    Listen to this guy. As far as our position, you can read mine or Danes pieces in the blog on it, or wait till next issue for our coverage of PF.

  9. Cmon Meow says:

    PF are similar to internet trolls: if you ignore them eventually they’ll get bored and go back to playing with themselves.

    These people thrive on negative attention. Stop giving it to them.

  10. Roryphant says:

    Could you or Dane or someone make a more precise statement of the Commentator’s position in this matter? It sounds like Ekbold is reporting that the organizers of the protesters tried to not make it a free speech issue, but that the OC feels that it is about free speech. Is this correct?

    A more articulate version of the student referenced in this blog entry may wish to ask: To what extent would the OC support efforts (doubtlessly in motion) to deny PF a venue on campus, or disallow hate groups on campus, by to some reasonable definition of hate group? If the OC would not support efforts along these lines, would it respect the such an outcome as an expression of general will of community, so long as, again, they were reached in accordance with certified procedures for changing policy? Or would such an outcome be, in the view of the OC, a miscarriage of free speech rights? I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I’m merely curious about the philosophical foundation of the OC’s position on this issue.

    For instance, I’m of the opinion that it’s perfectly consistent to support the right of PF to showcase views on campus in a manner complying with university policy while also supporting efforts to discontinue the agreement with PF the next time it comes up for review (if that’s how it works?), or implement a policy along usual protocols banning certain types of speakers, for safety or other reasons. Is some version of this the position of the OC?

    Also, does the OC likewise support the right to protest at PF meetings, and if so, to what degree of disruption? If there are limits on the permissible level of disruption, does the OC believe it’s the responsibility of the university or other entity to enforce a relatively uninterrupted meeting? Or would any enforcement be going too far, perhaps because it implies UO endorses the views of the speaker? Does the OC believe it has a role as a soft enforcement mechanism in the arena of public opinion by, for instance, calling the disruptive protesters names, especially if an official enforcement mechanism (by presumably UO) is politically untenable?

  11. FORMER OCFan says:

    My original post, for FULL context. It was a direct response to the OC’s assertion that this is a free speech issue: ” OCfan says:
    January 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Thanks Cims, you put it better than I could. I don

  12. FORMER OCFan says:

    Oops, according to the wikipedia page I just linked it WASN’T Voltaire who said that: “The most oft-cited Voltaire quotation is apocryphal. He is incorrectly credited with writing,

  13. FORMER OCFan says:

    Y’know what, OC? You owe me better than a pull quote that completely misrepresents me. I get that you’re making it clear that is was ME that the protester was misrepresenting (and what a douche indeed) and not a member of your staff…. But you at least owe me an extra line in the story above after my quote, something to the effect of “And he was actually actively advocating the PF beng kicked off campus.”

    Re-read my posts from yesterday, my stance is, item by item, EXACTLY the 1.-3. list that you show above. $%$#@ I’m fuming right now, I’ve never been targeted by shoddy journalism before. Thanks for misrepresenting me and thanking me for being a member of your online community in this way.

    That protester with the sign is the douche, don’t punish me because he can’t understand my big words and arguments. What an ass.

  14. OCFan says:

    WHAT? They quoted me? Dude, I was paraphrasing the famous quote! I am totally opposed to the Pacifica forum, and will be at the protest Friday!

    Oh, man, I am really embarrassed. I’m on their side!!!!!!! I’m going to be PROTESTING AGAINST THE FORUM ON FRIDAY!!!!!

    I’m never posting anything online again. What the heck. Someone back me up here, read my comments on the other thread. I spent all day yesterday arguing with PF members online, and now I’m being cast in a pro-PF light? Please, OC, willing to fix your story???? You’ve taken one line completely out of context here and are completely misrepresenting my stance.

    I was NOT advocating any kind of violence, I was paraphrasing a quote from Voltaire, famed french enlightenment essayist. Christ, this is a college! If I can’t quote famous lines without being told I’m advocating violence, what the heck are we doing here?

    Voltaire info:

    Someone PLEASE back me up here, I was just trying to explain that I felt this wasn’t a free speech issue so much as a question of funding and whether or not it is apropriate for this group to be meeting on campus. I was trying to split the hair between SILENCING the forum and making them LEAVE CAMPUS. (I am behind the latter position.)

    Really, please, somebody back me up here. My head is spinning.

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