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Audio Posts In Russian

Немецкий аналитик: падение Часова Яра – лишь вопрос времени


Украинцы близки к потере контроля над Часовым Яром. Город в Донбассе находится под прицелом российской армии. Солдаты пересекли канал, ведущий в Часов Яр. “Теперь то, когда они войдут в этот город, — это лишь вопрос времени”, — подчеркнул немецкий корреспондент Юлиан Рёпке.

Новые известия поступают с украинского фронта. Россия продолжает наступательные действия. В Донецкой области под угрозой находится Часов Яр. Немецкий корреспондент Юлиан Рёпке сообщил, что российская армия применила в этом месте тактику двойного удара. Москва атакует восточную окраину города и продолжает осаду со стороны сел Богдановка и Ивановское.

“В центре и на севере ВСУ поддерживают оборону”, — говорится в сообщении Рёпке. Ситуация выглядит значительно хуже на южном участке, где россияне пересекли канал “Северский Донец — Донбасс”. Прохождение этого места открывает путь к последующим достижениям. Сам канал находится всего в километре от Часова Яра.

Немецкий корреспондент не сомневается, что в ближайшие дни следует ожидать новых потерь для Украины. “Теперь то, когда русские войдут в этот город с востока или с юга, — это лишь вопрос времени “, — написал он.

Агентство УНИАН отметило, что, несмотря на усиленные действия противника, украинские силы продолжают защищать город. Они хотят сохранить позиции в надежде получить американскую военную помощь. Почти 13-тысячный город (данные за 2021 год) — лакомый кусок для россиян. Часов Яр известен своими богатейшими залежами огнеупорных глин.


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Audio Posts In English

Pushing for a cease-fire in Gaza


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with Israeli leaders in his push for a cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas. Violence and chaos erupt on campuses as protesters and counter-protesters clash over the war in Gaza. South Korea held talks on joining a part of the AUKUS defense deal between the U.S., Britain and Australia. We talk with Naoko Aoki, an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation. The average income of people around the world will be cut by one-fifth because of climate change. And high school students in the U.S. are becoming poll workers for the upcoming election.

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Goodbye, Bonza airlines, you were taken from us too soon. Thank you for saying g’day even when my flight was delayed | Vivienne Pearson


There was a hilarious theme-park element to flying the budget airline, which gave us more than just cheap flights and a bizarre booking system

Bye bye Bonza. I will miss you. As someone who lives in regional New South Wales and has family in country Victoria, I am mourning the loss of the only direct Gold Coast to Albury flight. I’m also sad I did not get a chance to fly from Gold Coast to Darwin, a route I’m astonished no other airline offers.

In case you’re not yet in the know, Bonza airline has gone belly-up. Not literally, though I did have a very rough Bonza landing at Albury airport just before Christmas – I think the pilot thought the tarmac was a couple of metres lower than it was – but the plane was upright once we came to a hastier-than-usual stop.

Continue reading…


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Columbia’s Relationship With Student Protesters Has Long Been Fraught


Columbia University students protest against apartheid in front of Hamilton Hall. in New York City, on April 4, 1984, calling for divestment from South Africa.

It’s been more than 50 years since Columbia University became the site of student demonstrations amid unrest over the Vietnam War, but the spirit of protest on campus remains strong. 

Late Tuesday night, dozens of protestors sieged Hamilton Hall—the iconic site of numerous student occupations over the course of history—and unfurled a banner to reveal the building’s new name by protestors: “Hind’s Hall.” The designation was in honor of six-year-old Hind Rajab, who was killed by Israeli troops in Gaza. More than 100 people were arrested at Columbia by the New York Police Department (NYPD), with dozens apprehended in the hall. Those detained face charges ranging from trespassing, criminal mischief, and burglary, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said during a Wednesday press conference.

[time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”]

The student takeover is part of ongoing pressure to have Columbia divest, or remove investment funds, from companies that have business ties, or profit from their relationship with Israel. The actions are also a show of support for the Palestinian people in Gaza who have been living in a warzone since Hamas kidnapped more than 200 hostages and killed around 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7. More than 34,000 Palestinians have died since, per the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health.  

Aniko Bodroghkozy, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia, spoke with TIME about how recent protests compare to other moments in Columbia’s history some 40 and 56 years back. Bodroghkozy participated in a 1985 protest calling for Columbia University’s divestment from South Africa while she was studying for her Master’s.

Aniko Bodroghkozy on Columbia University campus in 1985.

This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.  

It’s been more than 50 years since the 1968 Vietnam War protests that rocked Columbia’s campus. Looking at the present-day encampment, what are the biggest similarities between these two flashpoints in history?  

The most obvious one is the student takeover of Hamilton Hall, which, in 1968, was the main classroom building. It was the main classroom building when I was at Columbia in the mid-1980s when the student divestment group, Coalition for free South Africa, blockaded Hamilton Hall. 

The other obvious similarity is Columbia University administrators calling the NYPD to come onto campus and clear and arrest the students. In 1968 that happened twice. That was devastating to the university and ended up radicalizing a lot of students that had not been participating in the protests. It had such a negative impact on Columbia as an institution that by the time I was on campus in the ‘80s—which was the next major upsurge of student protests—we always said, “they’ll never call the cops again after what happened in ‘68’.”

Another similarity that doesn’t get a lot of attention is there’s been a lot of focus on the fact that the pro-Palestinian students have been more antagonistic to other students who [don’t] support them. At Columbia in 1968, [there] was a…significant number of student athletes, but not exclusively [just them], who attempted to prevent students from getting inside the buildings. There were scuffles among student demonstrators…and so that kind of antagonism between different student groups was also going on in 1968. Much less so in 1985, [though] our divestment movement has provided some inspiration to the pro-Palestinian, anti-war movement.

Since you’re mentioning it, I’m wondering if you can explain a bit more about the aims and goals of the 1985 protest, how that played out, and how it compares to what’s happening right now?

The focus was on South African apartheid, and students demanding that the university divest its financial holdings from companies that were actively engaged with South Africa. By the early-to-mid-1980s, a coalition at Columbia and other universities were starting to make demands of the Boards of Trustees to look at [their] investment portfolios. At Columbia, after a number of years of students trying to engage with the administration on the issue, they began to raise the stakes with a hunger strike. Then, the Coalition for a Free South Africa basically chained the doors of Hamilton Hall… and just started camping out on the steps. I think students could get in and out but that encampment went on for many, many weeks.

Eventually, the students and the administration came to an agreement to seriously talk through the issue and a number of months later, the Board of Trustees agreed to divest.

Are there any differences or anything that really distinguishes the protests we’ve seen over time? 

In 1968, there was a clear leader, or spokesman. His name was Mark Rudd. He was the head of Columbia’s chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society—that was the group that coordinated the protests. He became a media celebrity, and sort of became [the image of] the student protests. 

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, which very much [had] a kind of non-leader, very grassroots, or everybody can be a leader, but we don’t have charismatic leaders — I think we’re seeing the same thing with this movement [model]. It doesn’t seem that there are leaders or spokespersons who are being elevated into celebrity kind of positions, so that seems to be a clear difference…Certainly, how the students interact with the media, or kind of don’t [is interesting.] There seems to be more anonymous students, because many of them are masked.

What about public perceptions of this protest? How do you think they compare then vs. now?

I would reframe that to media perception. Media was quite hostile to Columbia student activists in 1968. [I think] they referred to students as vandals, as barbarians. [It was] really quite hostile coverage…One quote…[was], “they’re staging the revolts at the Winter Palace,” so making references to the Russian Revolution was not favorable coverage.

The mass media was always looking at the moderate students: “Well, what are the moderate students saying about all of this,” or focusing on what the administration [was] saying. So the hostilities that we’re seeing towards the activists, not just Columbia, but throughout the country, feels very, very similar. 

Also, the emphasis on outside agitators—that’s a term that I certainly was hearing a lot with the coverage I was watching and had been reading about what happened yesterday. That it’s “outside agitators” who have taken over Hamilton Hall. There was a certain amount of that in the coverage in 1968: “they’re taking their marching orders from these Black Power radicals,” particularly with the taking of Hamilton Hall, which was coordinated by Columbia’s Society for Afro-American Students…. So there’s that hostility [that’s] quite different from media coverage of youth activism in previous [or recent] years around gun control, the Parkland students, the march of 500,000 in Washington, climate activists or in the summer of 2020, George Floyd activism. That was—as far as other mass media coverage—somewhat more positive. 

Certainly what I’m seeing with the coverage of the students at Columbia is that it seems to be quite hostile. I think that can be in part because the students are masked in all kinds of ways. Of course, some of the rhetoric was also troubling in 1968, and the media tended to emphasize the most flamboyant things that the activists were saying.

In terms of the response by university administrators, would you say their reactions to the protests are pretty similar?

In both periods, administrators seem to not quite know what to do. In 1968, the Columbia administration really did not want to call the police in, but they were kind of in a position [with] all these buildings that have been taken over. What the administrators couldn’t control was the way that the police behaved…[They] were quite violent. What appears to have been the two times that the police have been called on protesters—this past week, and then yesterday—is apparently much more kid gloves. 

On the other hand, we don’t really know what happened last night. I was watching CNN and all the journalists were basically kicked off of the campus…We don’t have [much] news coverage of what the police did last night when they went into Hamilton Hall and cleaned it out. And then of course, when you have city police come onto your college campus, they’re not university police so university administrators don’t have any kind of jurisdiction over how they do their jobs. It appears that it wasn’t violent, but we don’t really know.

[While TIME was at Columbia University on Tuesday night, press was ordered to leave Hamilton Hall before officers moved into the building. Journalists running WKCR, the university’s radio station, say police used sledgehammers as they attempted to enter Hamilton Hall. Samaa Khullar, an investigative fellow at the university, said that student press were “pushed back almost immediately after [the] NYPD came in. Many of us were hit, [and] shoved,” she tweeted on X. NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry shared a video on X of how officers entered Columbia and City College of New York.]    

Read More: ‘Why Are Police in Riot Gear?’: Inside Columbia and City College’s Darkest Night

What effect do you think this will have on Columbia’s legacy, having done this in the past, and doing it again? How will it affect current students, future students, alumni, and others?

If the past is any guide, what’s happening at Columbia right now is not good for the institution. On the one hand, one can see why the administration may have felt they had no choice but to call the cops, but especially for a place like Columbia, because of that history—the irony being, of course, its history that the institution has embraced, right? When Columbia as an institution tells a story, the protesters who took over the building [in 1968] are not presented as vandals in a way that the mass media tended to frame them at the time. But I think for many students, certainly for Jewish students, coming to Columbia will be very fraught. I suspect for Muslim students, considering Columbia will also be fraught. 

There’s no way that this is a good story for Columbia. Certainly, all highly selective universities are very concerned about their public image. Columbia’s public image right now is really terrible. And, you know, for students considering going there the issue of safety [is big]. “Am I safe as a Jewish student? Am I safe as a Muslim student? Am I safe?” You want to go to a university so that you can explore different ideas, meet new people, and feel that you are welcome. And right now Columbia is not seen as a welcoming place for anyone…Institutions like Columbia will eventually rehabilitate their reputation. But in the short term, this is really bad for Columbia not just because these protests are happening on other college campuses, but [because] Columbia has a very particular history around this.

Does that rehabilitation of their reputation just come with time?

In 1968, it came with all new leadership. Columbia’s President Grayson Kirk was as out of touch as one could be with the sort of the politics of the era, the culture of the era. He was just completely disconnected from where the students were. The current Columbia president… made her own set of mistakes. We’re still in the midst of this crisis. 

I think there’s a lot of mistrust between administrators, faculty, and students…I think it will probably take at least a few years of some kind of institutional change. But again, we’re in the hot fire of this right now. So I think Columbia just wants to get to the end of the semester, graduate the students without more protests (but if Columbia ‘68 is any guide, there will be protests). [But] when you have a large constituency of students who are riled up it’s hard to stop them from expressing themselves.

Columbia is also home to one of the most well-known journalism schools across the country. But at the same time, there have been serious attempts to limit the press’s access to the protest and cover it. What do you make of the idea that a school meant to educate future journalists has been pulling back on freedom of the press?  

That was distressing to me when I was watching the coverage last night. It’s not a good look for the Columbia School of Journalism. As I understand it, their journalism students and faculty were told to shelter-in-place, were not allowed to leave the building, or to cover this major, international media story. I’m sure there will be a lot more discussion about why journalists, whether it’s student journalists, or journalism faculty, at Columbia, barred from what was going on last night on their own campus.

Do you think that—because of modern society, social media, and online doxxing—students engaging in protests today are more at-risk of facing consequences, than students who participated in protests in the ‘60s and ‘80s?

I get the fear of doxxing, [but] I think back to the Civil Rights era. These were activists and protesters who were literally putting their bodies and their lives on the line and there’s a part of me that thinks if you are going to engage in a protest in a public space that you [should] bring your whole self to that protest. There are of course, consequences. One of the consequences is you can be identified, but you are putting your body on the line for a cause… So masking and trying to hide your identity seems somewhat contradictory to the purpose of protest action. And if the purpose is to change minds and build solidarity, this, to me at least, does not seem to be a productive way to go about that.

With you having been a participant in the 1980 protests, can you talk a little bit about why you decided to join the protests? And were you at all concerned about possible disciplinary action back then?

For me, I went to teach-in to learn more and it just felt to me that this is obviously something that I should support, and if I’m going to support it I will sit-in. I wasn’t prepared to get arrested. As a Canadian citizen, I was on a student visa…To me, this was a morally simple matter, right. Apartheid in South Africa was an immoral regime. The wholesale segregation of its Black population, it was just wrong. Nobody, not even the Reagan administration was standing up for South Africa. So in some ways, it was kind of easy. I think in some ways one could argue that the war in Gaza, the horrific loss of life, being that in some ways, is morally, an easy call to make. But the movement itself is going to other places, [with] anti-zionism and all of that is not as morally simple as the case was with South Africa in the mid-1980s.

In terms of the change that the 1968 and 1985 protests brought about, I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about that, and whether you think the protests happening now will bring about change?

The clearest thing that the protesters got was stopping the construction of this gymnasium in Morningside Park. The whole issue around that this [was] a gymnasium that Columbia is going to put into this park that largely is used by the African American community, and they get an entrance from the back. So that gym never got built in Morningside Park, [but] the protesters obviously didn’t stop the Vietnam War. 

Obviously, the 1985 protest, we won. I’m hoping that the upsurge in student protests about the war in Gaza, will lead to the political will for a ceasefire, and for an end to the horrific horrific death and destruction in Gaza…The divestment [push today] is so much more complicated than the divestment movement against South Africa… I don’t quite know what success for these students really looks like.


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Donald Trump’s jailbreak


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“Tonight, there’s going to be a jailbreak.” Just kidding. There IS, however, a strategy being quietly planned. This strategy, with a name that could only be conjured up in a comedy sketch, is the ‘Jailbreak Strategy’.

Oh, God. Oh, NO. Yes, the Trump team is eagerly planning what to do if their orange beast of a client winds up in the clink, a scenario that seems more and more likely. So, my friends, I introduce you to the Trump team’s “Jailbreak Strategy”- a plan to ensure their dazed and confused client spends no time in jail.

File an emergency write of habeas corpus. They would be asking for an immediate stay of the contempt order. They also think it would be granted. And, these nitwits insist it would be granted so quickly that Trump would escape jail-free. The reason for that is that the Trump team believes it would take a lot of time to “sort out the “logistics” of imprisoning Trump.

Therefore, they feel escape is right around the corner! What a pathetic plan. The logistics would not take THAT long. Indeed, the Secret Service has already been meeting about these very logistics. Trump is undoubtedly in for a big surprise if he thinks LOGISTICS will save him.

The Trump team is also foolish if they think that they will automatically win any stay. In fact, I think they’d lose. They are undoubtedly planning this “jailbreak” contingency plan because they want their client to stop yelling at them, which he’s reported to have started doing.


. . .



He will yell even more when his jailbreak plan goes up in ashes. There won’t be a jailbreak “somewhere in the town.” What there will be is a stalemate between an apocalyptic Trump and his lawyers when their incredibly idiotic plan goes up in smoke.

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Columbia University student journalists had an up-close view for days of drama



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A Guide to University Statements on Anti-Israel Campus Protests


Student protesters have erected more than 100 “Gaza Solidarity” tent encampments on college campuses across the United States in recent weeks. College presidents and provosts from coast to coast have issued statements addressing the disruptions. Some of them have stamped them out expeditiously, while others have fanned the flames.

Below we present those statements—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

 

The Good

University of Texas at Austin

School officials swiftly called police after protests began, and officers arrested protesters for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

“UT Austin requested backup assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety to protect the safety of the campus community and enforce our Institutional Rules, such as the rule that prohibits encampments on campus,” the university said in a statement.

“Because of the encampments and other violations of the University’s Institutional Rules related to protests, protestors were told repeatedly to disperse. When they refused to disperse, some arrests were made for trespassing. Others were arrested for disorderly conduct.”

Northeastern University

Northeastern administrators warned protesters to leave a campus encampment. After they refused, 98 students and 6 staff members were detained. Police cleared the encampment.

“Those who refused to leave were detained by police. Students who showed a valid Northeastern ID before arrest were released and will face disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct,” provost David Madigan and chancellor Ken Henderson wrote on April 29. “Those not affiliated with Northeastern, or who refused to show identification, were arrested.”

“According to the official police report, 98 individuals were arrested, including 29 Northeastern students and 6 Northeastern faculty and staff.”

“The escalation of tensions on Friday night made it necessary to restore civility and ensure that our campus is a place where all students—including the more than 8,000 who are celebrating their commencements this week—can share in full and free access to space and facilities.”

University of Florida

UF has taken a harder stance against the encampments than other schools. Nine protesters were arrested on April 29.

“This is not complicated: The University of Florida is not a daycare, and we do not treat protesters like children—they knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they’ll face the consequences,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said.

“For many days, we have patiently told protesters—many of whom are outside agitators—that they were able to exercise their right to free speech and free assembly.”

University of North Florida

On April 30, less than two hours after protesters created an encampment on campus, police ordered them to leave and dismantle the tents or face arrests and suspensions. The students complied. The school’s administration has yet to release a statement.

Ohio State University

OSU released a statement saying encampments aren’t allowed for any reason. They then began arresting those who did not comply.

“As a public university, demonstrations, protests and disagreement regularly occur on our campus—so much so that we have trained staff and public safety professionals on-site for student demonstrations for safety and to support everyone’s right to engage in these activities,” president Ted Carter wrote in an April 29 statement. “Sadly, in recent days, I have watched significant safety issues be created by encampments on other campuses across our nation. These situations have caused in-person learning and commencement ceremonies to be canceled. Ohio State’s campus will not be overtaken in this manner.”

“We have been abundantly clear in a multitude of communications that Ohio State has and will enforce the law and university policy, which is what we did on April 25. I most recently stated this in a campus message on April 22.”

“The university’s long-standing space rules are content neutral and are enforced uniformly. Thursday’s actions were taken because those involved in creating the encampment on the South Oval were in violation of these rules and had been notified of this beginning at 4:30 a.m., when the first encampment was attempted, and continuing repeatedly throughout the day.”

“At approximately 5:30 p.m., a group of more than 300, many of whom were not students, faculty or staff at Ohio State, crossed College Road to the South Oval and set up an encampment. Over the next five hours, the group proceeded to establish and build upon the encampment, while being repeatedly warned that this was prohibited.”

“The Ohio State University Police Division was the lead agency, and after numerous warnings, the university made the decision to begin arrests. At approximately 10 p.m., law enforcement began the process of arresting and charging individuals with criminal trespass for knowingly violating university policy and police orders. Encampments are not allowed on campus regardless of the reason for them.”

George Washington University

The George Washington University police department called on Washington, D.C., police to help relocate the encampment. The school vowed to enforce time, place, and manner restrictions on protests and initiated “academic and administrative consequences” for those who refused to abide by the rules. D.C. police declined to assist in the endeavor.

“The George Washington University will continue to uphold the right of all our community members to freely express their views and to foster dialogue in a way that models productive disagreement. We will also insist that protestors meet their responsibility to university policies that prohibit the disruption of the normal academic activities of our community—the vast majority of whom are not protesting,” president Ellen Granberg wrote on April 25. “Occupying campus grounds, establishing outdoor encampments, and blocking access to buildings create safety concerns and can disrupt learning and study, especially during this critical final exam period. Such activities are inconsistent with the university’s mission, values, and commitment to providing a safe environment for all students and employees.”

“As we have always done, we will allow GW students an appropriate place for their protest within the defined limits of free expression at GW. However, we will not allow students from other local colleges or unaffiliated individuals to trespass on our campus. We can and will enforce the time, place, and manner restrictions that continue to govern activities on our campus.”

“On Thursday, when the demonstrators refused multiple times to relocate, GWPD requested the assistance of the DC Metropolitan Police Department to provide additional support related to the demonstration.”

“As far as the university is aware, there have been no incidents of violence. However, as the first evening progressed and the crowd on University Yard grew larger, our priority became safeguarding our community and implementing the safest resolution possible with the personnel and resources GW had available,” Granberg wrote three days later. “With this in mind, the university focused on limiting access to University Yard as protestors departed, without resorting to forcible relocation, and on initiating academic and administrative consequences for those who continued trespassing on GW property.”

Cornell University

School officials, led by president Martha Pollack, asked student protesters to move to a neutral space. When they refused, Cornell suspended encampment participants and issued a statement lamenting anti-Semitic chants heard on campus.

“We have issued immediate temporary suspensions for several student participants in the encampment, and are preparing to issue additional suspensions, as well as referrals to HR for employee participants,” vice president for university relations Joel Malina wrote on April 27. “We have similarly suspended the student group that submitted an application for an event under false pretenses, stating that it would not include tents and would end at 8 p.m. None of these students have been denied housing or dining privileges, nor access to student health services.

“We are also deeply distressed by chants made at some of the rallies near the encampment, particularly the phrase, ‘There is only one solution: Intifada Revolution.’ The protesting group has repeatedly stated that their protest is political and not antisemitic, but these chants belie that claim. We implore all Cornellians to consider the impact of their words as well as their intentions as we navigate the immense pain and suffering that many are experiencing.”

Princeton University

The Princeton administration said encampments are “inherently unsafe” and vowed to arrest, suspend, or expel those who defied school rules. Police arrested 13 protesters Monday evening.

“In addition to disrupting University operations, some types of protest actions (including occupying or blocking access to buildings, establishing outdoor encampments and sleeping in any campus outdoor space) are inherently unsafe for both those involved and for bystanders, and they increase the potential for escalation and confrontation,” vice president of campus life W. Rochelle Calhoun wrote on April 24. “They are also inconsistent with the University’s mission and its legal obligation to provide a safe environment for all students and employees.”

“For those reasons, among others, our policies explicitly prohibit such conduct, and I want to be sure you understand that we will act promptly in order to address it. Any individual involved in an encampment, occupation, or other unlawful disruptive conduct who refuses to stop after a warning will be arrested and immediately barred from campus.”

“For students, such exclusion from campus would jeopardize their ability to complete the semester. In addition, members of our community would face a disciplinary process (for students this could lead to suspension, delay of a diploma, or expulsion).”

University of Connecticut

Twenty-three protesters were arrested at the University of Connecticut on April 30. Police dismantled the encampment, which protesters first created on April 24.

“The group was warned multiple times over a period of days that while they were free to be in the space and exercise their free speech rights, the guidelines needed to be followed and the tents needed to be taken down. This was ignored,” university spokeswoman Stephanie Rietz said in an April 30 statement.

“UConn Police directed them four times on Tuesday morning to remove the tents and disperse, and they again repeatedly ignored the directives. Officers then entered the site to remove the tents and tarps, and to arrest those who refused compliance.”

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame quickly quashed an attempted tent encampment on its campus. Police confiscated tents during the first day of the protest. Then, protests continued peacefully without tents for a short time afterwards before protesters dispersed.

In a statement to The Observer, university officials said they welcome “students’ voices on issues and causes they care about” but have “rules in place that govern when, where, and how gatherings and demonstrations can happen.”

“This evening a small group of students attempted to pitch tents on the South Quad,” the statement read. “After being reminded by University officials that tents are not permitted, Notre Dame Police confiscated the tents. The students continued their gathering peacefully and eventually dispersed.”

University of Southern California

Ninety-three protesters were arrested on the same day an encampment was constructed. Tents were removed by police.

“These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for all of us. As your president, my responsibility is to uphold our Trojan values so that everyone who lives, learns, and works here can have safe places to live, learn, and speak,” president Carol Folt said on April 26.

“This week, Alumni Park became unsafe. No one wants to have people arrested on their campus. Ever.”

“But, when long-standing safety policies are flagrantly violated, buildings vandalized, DPS directives repeatedly ignored, threatening language shouted, people assaulted, and access to critical academic buildings blocked, we must act immediately to protect our community.”

 

The Bad

Harvard University

Harvard’s dean, Thomas Dunne, warned students in two separate emails that “disciplinary consequences” were imminent, but it is unclear whether Harvard has begun that process.

“Those participating in the ongoing encampment and associated activities will face disciplinary consequences as outlined in existing policies. Repeated or sustained violations will be subject to increased sanctions,” Dunne wrote in an April 27 email to students, adding the encampment has “taken over and occupied a central space in Harvard Yard” and caused noise disruptions during “a critical juncture in the academic year when students study and prepare for examinations and complete end-of-term projects.”

New York University

The NYU administration told protesters to take down tents. Some complied. Others chose not to leave. The school tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the remaining protesters. A disciplinary process is underway.

“NYU representatives engaged in many hours of discussion over Saturday, with support from several members of the faculty, in exchange for a commitment from the students that they would leave. The students failed to honor that promise,” spokesman John Beckman wrote in an April 29 statement. “Ultimately, no agreement was reached that day because at the 11th hour, others, including, we believe, outsiders, insisted that all demands must be met as well.

“Despite that 11th-hour reversal, we re-engaged again yesterday. By Sunday night, we presented the protesters with two options to which they were originally supposed to respond by 11:00 pm and which we extended until noon today:

“#1: The protesters agree to end the overnight stays on the Greene St. Walkway and all overnight supplies must be removed. We gave students an opportunity to leave the Walkway without consequences and to continue a dialogue with them about their concerns.#2: If the protesters chose not to end the overnight stays, there would be no more dialogue and the University would need to move forward on conduct charges.

“The students have not responded, and they have remained at the site. Accordingly and regrettably, NYU is moving forward with disciplinary processes.”

Purdue University

Purdue administrators accused protesters of violating “camping” policies and threatened “disciplinary proceedings” after an encampment had been established for nearly a week.

“This rule is not merely a reasonable regulation to ensure the University complies with building and fire codes, but it also exists for individual safety reasons, since the drilling of stakes into the ground, for example, runs the risk of a utility line rupture that can be extremely hazardous to demonstrators and passers-by alike,” associate dean of students Jeffrrey Stefancic wrote in an April 29 email.

“This structure continues to be in violation of University policy and must be disassembled.”

Stanford University

Stanford officials distributed letters to protesters informing them that their encampment was in violation of school policies and could lead to arrests.

“Last night after 8 p.m., university staff handed out letters signed by the two of us to approximately 60 students who remained on White Plaza, notifying them of the university policies they were violating,” president Richard Saller and provost Jenny Martinez wrote on April 26.

“These letters informed students that failure to cease conduct in violation of university policy would result in a referral to the Office of Community Standards (OCS) student conduct process and also could result in arrest if laws are violated.”

University of Michigan 

Shortly after students established an encampment, university officials deployed police to monitor the situation.

“Students are able to engage in peaceful protest in many places on campus and, at the same time, the University has a responsibility to maintain an environment that is conducive to learning and academic success,” university spokeswoman Colleen Mastony said on April 22.

“No one has the right to substantially disrupt university activities or to violate laws or university policies. We are working to minimize disruptions to university operations—most especially with classes ending tomorrow and the study period beginning before finals. Safety is always a key priority and, as such, we have increased security on campus. We are carefully monitoring the situation and remain prepared to appropriately address any harassment or threats against any member of our community.”

University of Pennsylvania

On April 26, Penn officials ordered student protesters to end their encampment, citing “harassing and intimidating comments and actions.” Days later, protesters were still there, with no arrests made.

“Penn has and will continue to support the rights of our community members to protest peacefully and in keeping with University policy. At Penn, we will stand up for free speech and the productive exchange of ideas, even when we disagree,” interim president Larry Jameson wrote.

“We will not stand by, however, if protected protest and speech deteriorate into words and actions that violate Penn’s policies, disrupt University business, or contribute to an intimidating or hostile environment on our campus. We are assessing the details of the protest through this lens and will take follow-up action as appropriate.”

“The encampment itself violates the University’s facilities policies. The harassing and intimidating comments and actions by some of the protesters, which were reported and documented by many in our community, violate Penn’s open expression guidelines and state and federal law, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. All members of our community deserve to access our facilities without fear of harassment or being subjected to discriminatory comments or threats.

“The vandalism of the statue in front of College Hall with antisemitic graffiti was especially reprehensible and will be investigated as a hate crime.”

Yale University 

Yale police are investigating reports of intimidation and threats and will make referrals for discipline. Forty-seven were arrested on April 22.

“Yale College and graduate school deans and other university leaders have spoken multiple times with students participating in the protests to make clear university policies and guidelines, including the importance of maintaining open passageways in the event of a fire or other emergencies, the role of the university’s postering and chalking policy in fostering the exchange of ideas, and the need to allow other members of the community to use campus spaces,” president Peter Salovey wrote on April 21.

“Putting up structures, defying the directives of university officials, staying in campus spaces past allowed times, and other acts that violate university policies and guidelines create safety hazards and impede the work of our university. We are continuing to speak with students who are participating in protests, so they understand the disciplinary consequences of actions that violate Yale’s policies.

“Many of the students participating in the protests, including those conducting counterprotests, have done so peacefully. However, I am aware of reports of egregious behavior, such as intimidation and harassment, pushing those in crowds, removal of the plaza flag, and other harmful acts. Yale does not tolerate actions, including remarks, that threaten, harass, or intimidate members of the university’s Jewish, Muslim, and other communities. The Yale Police Department is investigating each report, and we will take action when appropriate, including making referrals for student discipline. We are providing support to affected students.”

“I call upon everyone involved—protesters and counter-protesters—to return to expressing their views in ways that are compatible with the fundamental value of intellectual freedom, that comply with university policies, and that foster civil discourse on our campus,” Salovey wrote days later. “I hope that we can do this without further disruption and without violating policies or laws. Civil disobedience is a time-honored tradition in this nation, and with it comes consequences.”

“I urge every member of the university community to be mindful of the effect of their choices and to be respectful of the need for civility in the way we conduct ourselves. Most importantly, I call on our community to live up to Yale’s mission and to show the world how we can learn from each other and work together even across a divide.”

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Thirty protesters were detained Tuesday morning after the administration warned students that they risked arrest and expulsion. Interim chancellor Lee Roberts and provost Chris Clemens said protesters “must remove all tents, tables, and other items and depart from the area.”

“Failure to follow this order to disperse will result in consequences including possible arrest, suspension from campus and, ultimately, expulsion from the university, which may prevent students from graduating,” they said.

 

The Ugly

Brown University

Brown president Christina Paxson initially threatened students who violated school policy with probation. Then she agreed to hear a divestment proposal later this year.

“Provided that the encampment is peacefully brought to an end within the next few days and is not replaced with any other encampments or unauthorized protest activity (any protests violating University policies related to time, place or manner) this academic year,” Paxson wrote in an April 29 letter to students, “the Corporation of Brown University will invite five students representing the current encampment activity and a small group of faculty members to speak with a similarly-sized group of Corporation members about their arguments for divestment.”

Northwestern University

Northwestern University administrators, led by president Michael Schill, reached an agreement with students allowing them to remain on campus until June. As part of that agreement, Northwestern will offer faculty positions and scholarships to Palestinians and reestablish an investment advisory committee complete with representation from students pushing the school to divest from Israel.

“Earlier this morning, community members attempted to set up a tent encampment on Deering Meadow on the University’s Evanston campus, an act that is prohibited under University policies. University officials, including Northwestern Police and representatives from Student Affairs, are on site and have informed the group of the policies,” school officials said in an April 25 statement. “They are working with the demonstrators to have the tents removed. Students who refuse to remove their tents will be subject to arrest and their tents will be removed by the University. Community members who do not adhere to University policies will face discipline.”

“We have reached an agreement with a group of students and faculty who represent the majority of the protestors on Deering Meadow to bring the demonstration into compliance with University rules and policies,” Schill announced four days later. “This agreement represents a sustainable and de-escalated path forward, and enhances the safety of all members of the Northwestern community while providing space for free expression that complies with University rules and policies.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT president Sally Kornbluth did not issue a statement for almost a week after an encampment was established. On April 27, she said university police are deployed around the clock.

“We have heard the views of our protesting students. The grief and pain over the terrible loss of life and suffering in Gaza are palpable,” she said in a recorded message. “Out of respect for the principles of free expression, we have not interfered with the encampment.”

“But it is creating a potential magnet for disruptive outside protestors. It is commandeering space that was properly reserved by other members of our community. And keeping the encampment safe and secure for this set of students is diverting hundreds of staff hours, around the clock, away from other essential duties,” Kornbluth said.

“We have a responsibility to the entire MIT community—and it is not possible to safely sustain this level of effort. We are open to further discussion about the means of ending the encampment. But this particular form of expression needs to end soon.”

University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California has a system-wide policy to only call police when “absolutely necessary,” university leaders reiterated amid ongoing encampments. No arrests have been made, even after protesters and counterprotesters fought each other overnight on May 1. The school canceled classes in response to the violence.

“We’ve taken several steps to help ensure people on campus know about the demonstration so they can avoid the area if they wish,” vice chancellor Mary Osaka wrote on April 26. “This includes having student affairs representatives stationed near Royce quad to let Bruins and visitors know about the encampment, redirect them if desired and to serve as a resource for their needs.”

“UCLA has a long history of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken to report that today, some physical altercations broke out among demonstrators on Royce Quad. We have since instituted additional security measures and increased the numbers of our safety team members on site,” Osaka said in a Monday statement.

Columbia University

Columbia president Minouche Shafik for days declined to bring police to campus to remove unsanctioned student protesters who plagued the school for nearly two weeks, saying that doing so “at this time would be counterproductive.” After four missed deadlines to vacate the encampment and days of fruitless negotiations, cops swept through campus and arrested more than 100 protesters, some of whom stormed and occupied a university building.

The post A Guide to University Statements on Anti-Israel Campus Protests appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.


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UCLA’s Race And Equity Director: Jews ‘Enjoy the Benefits of Whiteness’


Anti-Israel protests have turned violent at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Johnathan Perkins, the school’s director of race and equity, has lamented that Jews “enjoy the benefits of whiteness” and questioned whether nations would support Israel “if the Jewish people persecuted in the Holocaust are not also considered ‘white.'”

Perkins has long railed against white people, including Jews. In May 2020, he said that Jewish people “enjoy the benefits of whiteness,” a position he reiterated following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on the Jewish state.

“Jews are latterly white yes,” he wrote in January.

“Among the primary benefits all white people automatically receive from white supremacy is, not a life free of suffering, but the assurance that your race will never be the root cause of any such pain,” Perkins wrote in 2020. “That is your so-called privilege #GeorgeFloyd #GeorgeFloydProtests.”

Perkins’s rhetoric could bring scrutiny from lawmakers as an anti-Israel tent encampment sows chaos on UCLA’s campus, prompting House Republicans to invite the school’s interim chancellor to testify before Congress.

UCLA canceled classes on Wednesday after a violent clash between pro-Israel and anti-Israel demonstrators. Police were forced to disperse the crowd, though they made no arrests. The university has taken a consistently hands-off approach to the anti-Israel tent encampment on campus.

Beyond the encampment, Jewish students at UCLA have been subjected to anti-Semitic protests amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. A viral video in November showed protesters smashing a piñata showing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a student yelled, “Beat that fucking Jew,” through a megaphone.

Neither Perkins nor UCLA responded to the Washington Free Beacon‘s requests for comment.

In the days and weeks following Oct. 7, Perkins argued that “nearly everything” pertaining to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is rooted in and maintained through a “white supremacy lens.” Questioning all the support Israel received following the October attack, he asked, “Does any of this happen if the Jewish people persecuted in the Holocaust are not also considered ‘white?'”

Perkins is a prolific social media poster on the subject of “whiteness.”

“If you are white, please know your racial ancestors—not necessarily your biological relatives, but all the white people who preceded you—committed their racist horrors so you’d never have to even THINK about your own race: whiteness as default is foundational to white supremacy,” Perkins wrote on X, formerly Twitter, in February. He wrote in a November post that white people “are controlled by the 15 pillars of white supremacy.”

In 2022, Perkins garnered headlines after calling Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” and saying that everyone secretly wants to see him die. Last month, he spread the conspiracy theory that Princess of Wales Kate Middleton is faking her cancer diagnosis. In 2023, Perkins declared white people should be required to work on Juneteenth—a recently minted federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of slaves.

The post UCLA’s Race And Equity Director: Jews ‘Enjoy the Benefits of Whiteness’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.


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All of Taylor Swift’s Met Gala looks, ranked from least to most iconic


A side-by-side of Taylor Swift at the 2014 and 2016 Met Galas, where she wore two very different looks. The former was Old Hollywood, while the latter was futuristic, in keeping with the event's theme.Fans have connected some of Taylor Swift’s Met Gala looks to her music.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Taylor Hill/Contributor/Getty Images

  • Taylor Swift has attended six Met Galas since 2008.
  • Some of her Met Gala looks have fallen flat, while others solidified her fashionista status.
  • Her 2016 look was her most iconic to date, particularly because of its significance in her music.

The fashion world is abuzz as the 2024 Met Gala is swiftly approaching.

On May 6 — the first Monday in May — stars will gather at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” gala.

The Met Gala red carpet is always exciting as celebrities reveal their interpretations of the event’s dress code, which is “The Garden of Time” for 2024.

But it’s also thrilling to see which stars ultimately attend the event since the guest list is kept under wraps. For instance, there have been conflicting reports on whether Taylor Swift will attend the gala after releasing her record-breaking album “The Tortured Poets Department.”

But whether she attends in 2024 or not, Swift’s legacy at the Met Gala looms large. Take a look back at all the looks she’s worn to the event, ranked from least to most iconic.

Taylor Swift’s dress for the 2010 Met Gala was too simple.Taylor Swift wears a white dress on the Met Gala red carpet.Taylor Swift attends the 2010 Met Gala.

Rabbani and Solimene Photography / Contributor / Getty Images

Swift looked angelic in this white Ralph Lauren gown, with its off-the-shoulder sleeves and ruffled hem.

But the dress was too simple, and instead of elevating it with accessories, Swift instead wore minimal jewelry and kept her hair in a demure updo. 

The look also didn’t speak to the “American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity” theme, making it a bit of a letdown. It didn’t make enough of a statement to be considered iconic.

The singer’s dress fit the “Savage Beauty” theme for the 2011 Met Gala, but she could have done more with the look.Taylor Swift poses for a photo on the Met Gala red carpet in a peach and black gown.Taylor Swift attends the 2011 Met Gala.

Kevin Mazur / Contributor / Getty Images

Swift upped her game for the 2011 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” Gala, arriving in a one-shoulder J. Mendel gown with a mermaid skirt.

The dress fit the theme thanks to its mix of sheer fabric, layered skirt, and contrasting colors.

But Swift again kept her hair in a simple updo, which held back the overall effect. A more over-the-top hairstyle or dramatic makeup look could have taken this ensemble to the next level.

Swift’s semi-sheer gown for the 2013 Met Gala was eye-catching.Taylor Swift poses for a photo on the Met Gala red carpet in a black gown with mesh cutouts.Taylor Swift attends the 2013 Met Gala.

Lars Niki / Contributor / Getty Images

In one of her most daring looks up to that point, Swift sported another J. Mendel gown for the 2013 “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” Met Gala.

The bodice of the black, floor-length gown was covered in cutouts of sheer, webbed fabric.

A jeweled collar and dramatic, smokey eye makeup completed the daring look, which was well-suited to the punk theme. 

Swift’s dress for the 2008 Met Gala was iconic because it hinted at her sophomore album, “Fearless.”Taylor Swift poses for a photo in a gold dress on the Met Gala red carpet.Taylor Swift attends the 2008 Met Gala.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty Images

Swift attended her first Met Gala in 2008 wearing a gold ombré gown from Badgley Mischka. 

The dress suited the event’s theme, “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy,” as the head-to-toe embellishments and shape nodded to a mermaid tail. She paired the look with her signature curls worn loose.

But the look is iconic because it seemed to have acted as an Easter egg for Swift’s “Fearless” album released in October 2008.

The album cover had golden tones, on which Swift was photographed with her hair flowing around her as she spun her head — which Swift modernized for “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” in 2021.

Her Met Gala gown had the same color scheme, and her hair had a similar look, setting the tone for the release of Swift’s second album later that year.

Swift stunned in an Old Hollywood-inspired look at the 2014 Met Gala.Taylor Swift poses at the bottom of the Met Gala stairs on the red carpet, wearing a pink gown with a long train.Taylor Swift at the 2014 Met Gala.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The theme of the 2014 Met Gala was “Charles James: Beyond Fashion.” The event had a white-tie dress code, meaning celebrities were expected to dress formally.

Swift arrived in a soft-pink Oscar de la Renta gown that was embroidered with delicate flowers. The column dress had a low back and a dramatic train that flowed out from an oversized bow.

The elegant dress was modern but evoked the glamour of Old Hollywood, and unlike in years past, Swift matched the look of the dress with her hair, which was swept to the side in soft waves.

Swift not only honored the theme with her 2016 Met Gala look, but the ensemble came to be culturally significant for her fans.Taylor Swift poses at the Met Gala with bleached hair and wearing a short, flared metallic dress, dark lipstick, and strappy black heels.Taylor Swift wore a robot-inspired dress to the 2016 Met Gala.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Swift was a Met Gala co-chair in 2016, so it’s no surprise she embraced the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” theme. 

She walked the Met Gala red carpet in a metallic dress custom-designed by Louis Vuitton. It had a scaled pattern and daring cutouts along the stomach. Swift paired the dress with heels that wrapped to her knees. 

Bleached hair and black lipstick completed the futuristic look, and the departure from Swift’s typically softer looks made it a standout.

But the look became truly iconic because the 2016 Met Gala proved significant for Swift personally and in her music. 

She was first romantically linked to Tom Hiddleston at the Gala, with a video of her dancing with him in the Louis Vuitton dress going viral.

And the 2016 Met Gala was also where fans speculate Swift met Joe Alwyn, who she dated for six years. Swift and Alywn split in February 2023, and she’s been dating Travis Kelce since the summer of 2023.

Fans also suspect her interactions with both Hiddleston and Alwyn at the Gala served as inspiration for two songs on her album “Reputation” — “Dress” and “Getaway Car.”

The silver-toned look she wore to the Gala also mimicked the coloring of her “Reputation” cover, again connecting the album to the event. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Democrats win special election in blowout


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On Tuesday, after a fresh round of dooming over a CNN poll, Democrats once again did what they do best: winning special elections in a blowout. This one, in NY-26, the part of the Empire State that includes Buffalo, however, was more than a blowout.

The Democratic candidate, Tim Kennedy, outspent his candidate to the tune of over $1 million despite having a safe seat, meaning it was likely he would overperform somewhat in a seat that went for 28 points to Democrat Brian Higgins in 2022 (something of an overperformance from when it went for Joe Biden by 24 points in 2020.)

Kennedy is ahead by 36 points with much of the vote in, meaning he didn’t just overperform, he massively overperformed, which suggests two things could be true this fall, when he runs for a full two-year term. One: Democrats still have room to grow in urban areas of the country, which means any degree of canvassing or donating can prove effective. (We’ve also seen rural gains for Democrats in previous special elections this year even when Republicans won.)


. . .



It also narrows the majority Republicans have in the House to just two seats, making it nearly impossible for them to do anything on their own (unless they were actually interested in governance.) I’m hardly sick of all this winning now, so let’s stay the course and flip the House on Nov 5.

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