"Hell, No! We Won't Go!!!" - The College Protest Thread.

I haven’t really been paying too much attention to campus protests regarding Gaza, but it’s been hitting the news pretty hard within the past day or two. I didn’t see a thread up here regarding them. Or any other protests. Old folks, please regale us young bucks with tales of your hippie protest youth!

I remember NJPIRG protests at Rutgers and kids getting arrested for that, but that’s about it. Oh, and there was a sit-in on Rt 18, shutting down all traffic to the campus in 1995.

anyway…gifted link to start.

It’s basically a manufactured panic, designed to distract attention. Over here we have one party that is in the middle of killing tens of thousands of people. But we don’t want to talk about or defend that, so over here we have some college students living in tents on university lawns, and they are the really dangerous people! Panic about that!

And the administrators are just making it worse. Sending NYPD riot cops to arrest people hanging out on campuses because they’re a clear and present danger is just about the most stupid decision one could make, and I imagine the kind of people who make it will ultimately be forced to resign.

I mean, these are the violent and rabidly antisemitic protestors:

Yeah, the university administration response has been just astonishingly stupid. “Hey, we’ve got a few dozen kids sleeping in tents on the quadrangle to protest the war in Gaza. How should we respond? Just let them be, they’re really not distracting from anything or being aggressive…”

“Nah, send in the cops. That’s sure to tamp things down.”

It’s not stupid really. Two / three administrators have been forced to resign thanks to the senate hearings. Big donors have made it clear what line administrators should take. And the GOP has made it all but their official policy that showing support for the Palestinians is effectively supporting terrorism - ie student protestors are terrorists.

The over the top reaction of the schools reflects
these pressures .

Isn’t this page 1 for how to make a whole protest come across as both extreme and evil? Find the most extreme elements in a protest (in this case anti-semites and people advocating for the destruction of Israel) and present them as representative of the entirety of the protest. Bonus is that you can use the extremists from other similar protests if the protest you want to demonize doesn’t have any of those extremists that are readily apparent.

Yup. There are idiots in every crowd, and if you can focus attention on the idiots, then your audience will think they’re representative of the rest of the crowd. And if, through sheer bad luck, there are no obvious idiots in this particular crowd, you can invent them.

It is actually stupid, because sending in the cops will make the protests bigger and more visible and more determined, and make the protestors more sympathetic, and the donors will be even less happyl

And in some cases, I’m not sure you even need the idiots (at least on the protesting side). On a story about this on NPR this morning, one alumna was calling for the resignation of Columbia’s president and other members of the faculty because, “I feel threatened.”

I suspect, sadly, the lesson kids are being taught today is that resistance is useless / impossible. I doubt arresting these kids leads to larger protests, but that rather people shuffle back to class and to showing anonymous support on social media with shares and likes.

I think it has already led to larger protests, and now the faculty seem to be joining the students.

Well hey that cool! I’m glad to be proven wrong within the space of a minute ;).


The Columbia faculty staged a walkout yesterday, protesting the arrest of students.

It really is spreading quickly. The kids are alright.

Presumably Jewish? The rise in anti-Semitism among the far and academic left seems to be a real phenomenon, and so having feelings like that toward a large and visible pro-Palestinian gathering is pretty understandable.

But it’s also the same inability to separate out the pieces on both sides here. People who equate the actions of the Israeli Government with those of Judaism as a whole are doing this. Just like people equating anyone who is at all pro-Palestinian with being pro-Hamas are doing.

Although some of that is getting away from the point. Universities should not be shutting down peaceful protests of any stripe. Call out and condemn the people who use this as an opportunity to spread their hatred but don’t use them as an excuse to shut down whole protests.

I get not sharing the overall goals of the BDS movement, but is divestment from arms manufacturing and Israeli companies really such a controversial move? I mean, couple it with divesting from petroleum/fossil fuels, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and Saudi Arabian companies, and it seems like a bit of a no-brainer.

Is it? I have a hard time gauging that, because — aside from a few examples — most of the claims I see along these lines quite obviously and wrongly equate opposition to Israel or its policies with antisemitism. If anything, the huge volume of claims of that kind makes it hard for me to tell whether antisemitism on the left is actually growing or isn’t growing.

Well, I think it’s somewhat hard to gauge in general. If you look at things like polling done by the ADL it has spiked. But that’s self-reported incidents during a time of heightened tensions. So how much is probably still a real question, but I don’t think one can discount it entirely. I do wonder if there is polling on how many college kids believe Oct 7 was justified? I’ve heard plenty of people assert it’s a high number but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any actual data to back that up.

Anecdotally, I’ve seen some things from people I know that have made me really uncomfortable, and I suspect would make you feel the same.

Yes, I’m feeling the same. Any insinuation that Israel is in the wrong = anti-semitism.

The woman I was speaking about earlier chimes in at about the 2 minute mark.

It’s an annoying feature that when - and this is at least how i see the dynamic evolve - when extreme pro-Israeli supporters associate criticism with Israel as being antisemitic, eventually some young critics of Israel are going to start sounding antisemitic. The apparent logic of associating Jewishness and the Jewish state as being inseparable means they perhaps shouldn’t then expect critics to do what these supporters refuse to do themselves.

The problem is that these feelings start to evolve a life of their own if they go unaddressed for too long.

But we also live in the time of the haunting shit-eating grin, always lurking behind every line of text on the internet, waiting to come out and scream Babadook style, and when some people see an opportunity to be Nazi-like, they’re going to jump on it.

Yes. To be clear, I don’t doubt that the is some antisemitism on the left, as there is some prejudice everywhere. What I wonder is whether there are more antisemites than there were before, or how we can even answer that question given the extent to which ‘antisemitism’ as a charge is being misused.

Yes, this is also a great point.