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This is probably the only thing I’m going to write on this blog about the Pacifica Forum or those affiliated for the rest of the time I’m a part of the OC.

I am a firm believer that if you leave the Pacifica Forum protesters alone, they’ll continue to meet on campus in a small room, and nobody will even know they exist. Like before. Pacifica Forum protesters talk about how having the Pacifica Forum on campus will bring those with similar views to the UO, but until the protesters made a big fuss, most people didn’t know that PF even existed on our campus. The large-scale media attention that followed served to create the whole notion that individuals would flock to the UO campus because they sympathized with PF’s views. The protesters actually created more of the problem that they were — and still are — trying to mitigate.

Additionally, isn’t Orval Etter like, really really old? Isn’t he the only reason that PF are continuing to meet on campus? Not to be rude/mean/insensitive, but when Mr. Etter is no longer with us, won’t PF no longer meet on campus? And isn’t that likely to happen kind of soon?

Anyway, I really think talking about this is bringing more attention to the issue. The Ol’ Dirty opinion desk wrote an open letter to Pacifica Forum protesters yesterday, and I thought it was spot on:

But after six months of protesting, it’s time to face the facts — the Forum isn’t leaving the University or disbanding anytime soon. The Forum has the right to meet on University property because its founder, Orval Etter, is a professor emeritus. The Forum’s right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment, even though the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Forum a hate group.

[T]ry finding a new cause to protest. The Forum is a small, isolated group that isn’t growing a following and isn’t going to change its ways. Protesting the Forum is starting to seem like a lost cause, for a while at least, and there are thousands of other causes begging for awareness. Try directing your efforts to larger-scale projects that will reach a larger audience and engage more of the University community.

There is good work to be done, and lots of screwed up things to be protested. Move on, friends.

  1. rewrite says:

    But my actual point here, was supposed to be: that we HAVE been paying for the ability to continue meeting on Campus. It has seemed that the best choice to meet the stragglers/protesters (protesters USUALLY know what they are protesting), is via the short films that Jimmy has been showing. And that costs money. Every week.

  2. dc says:

    When PF was first moved to the EMU from MacKenzie Hall (because–apparently some members of “The Israel @ 60 Committee” started squawking RE our proximity to their new/’temporary’ digs), we were faced with the prospect of having to PAY big $$$ to be able to show our films, as we had been doing (at no cost) for years, in MacKenzie.

    The supremacist group that had targeted us was pleased with their maneuvering, as they’d NOT been happy with our (ALLEGED) “Anti-Semitic” films, such as the expose on Israel’s bombing of the USS Liberty, 2 Interviews with Edward Said, Jeff Blankfort, Alison Weir, even the film “Hijacking Catastrophe”! All of these were deemed “Anti-semitic”, “neo-nazi”,– you name it!
    (as were our book reviews; Jimmy Carter, James Bamford, John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, etc,etc,etc…)

    We tried and vied a good handful of times to get our old rooms back once they’d exited, but to no avail, because by then, they’d moved into phase IV of their perception management campaign against us (details forthcoming), and the Director of EMU formally refused our final request, stating that the decision to keep us there, was “for our protection”. ..(paraphrased:) “Security is ALWAYS on duty here, and if the tactics described were indeed the work of “the Lobby”, then the EMU is where he intends to keep Pacifica Forum.” Orval often referred to our confinement at EMU as “protective custody”.

    And… if we wanted to use the Tech equipment, we (like everyone else in that facility), would have to pay for it.

    This is part of the reason we had to rely on the Rojas for his willingness to hold the floor… Our regular attendees were a pretty small group, and those Fridays, come around pretty quickly.

    But the Hate Force saw fit to incite that group of students last January, and by putting a couple of it’s embedded players into the mix, we all got to experience the snowball/ mushroom effect of the “invasion of the incited”.

    I really wonder if those students ever figured out what they were objecting to.

    But my actual point here, was supposed to be: that we HAVE been paying for the ability to use Tech equipment. It has seemed that the best choice to meet the stragglers/protesters? (protesters USUALLY know what they are protesting), and within the new constraints imposed upon our political discussion group, is via the short films that Jimmy has been showing. And that costs money.

  3. Lyzi Diamond says:

    Anybody could meet on campus if they paid for it.

  4. Raul says:

    The author of this piece seems to believe most of what’s said about Pacifica. She just advocates waiting, instead of protesting, to get rid of it. But the Forum could still meet on campus – it has a student, and in any case, U of O is open to non students – the Black Tea people met here until they were arrested!

    ‘CALC Off Campus!’ raises an interesting question. How far can one go in defence of the 1st amendment? The SPLC, the Anti-Defamation League, CALC, the Anti-hate task force and Anti-racist action range from wealthy Jewish racists to young white punks, but they have the same aim – close down any expression of free speech which might help the majority of Americans understand that supporting the Israel Lobby is not in their interests.

  5. Lyzi Diamond says:

    CALC OFF CAMPUS! is actually Dawn Coslow in case anyone was wondering.

  6. CALC OFF CAMPUS! says:

    I vote students start protesting the Hate Force.

    Especially those that swallowed their drivel and then repeated it. I watched the newest CALC board member fall to pieces recently, because she believes PF is affiliated with the KKK.

    The Hate Force even had her speak to students at UO.


  7. Java says:

    Nice goin’ Lyzi. Without overzealous, self-appointed monitors and protesters, those who still find the Pacifica Forum interesting could make their weekly pilgrimage while The Commentator continues to put funny hats on the UO president.

    Instead, Pacifica Forum, the University and the city of Eugene find themselves sporting a black eye, compliments of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Wow! Guess that gives everybody something to live up to.

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