Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Students Charged With Crimes For Protesting Border Agents

Free speech? What the FUCK is that?

2 Students Face Criminal Charges After Calling Border Agents ‘Murderers’

The two undergraduate students, Mariel Alexandra Bustamante, 22, and Denisse Moreno Melchor, 20, were charged with interfering with the peaceful conduct of an education institution, a misdemeanor. Melchor was also charged with issuing threats and intimidation, a campus spokesman said. Both were cited and released on Monday. 
The protest began on March 19 while two Border Patrol agents were speaking about career opportunities in criminal-law enforcement. They had been invited by the Criminal Justice Association, a student club. Outside the partly open door of the room where they were speaking, at least one protester recorded them, calling them "murderers" and other names. 
"This is supposed to be a safe space on campus," the female student said. "But they allow an extension of KKK on to campus." A member of the student group invited her to come in, but she said she didn't feel safe doing so.

They are murderers. But also, "interfering with the peaceful conduct of an education institution," really? So basically any campus protest can be called a crime? And yet somehow, the white supremacist "Patriot Prayer" rallies continue to be allowed on the University of Washington Seattle campus even though it means that peaceful education events including one to encourage and support black kids have to be canceled.

But god forbid we let students of color call Border Patrol what it is.

Also, I'm confused as fuck on this part:

The case is being closely watched by free-speech advocates who say it is unusual for arrests to follow a nonviolent campus protest. They say tougher crackdowns on student protests can be expected in light of President Trump's executive order threatening to withhold federal money from campuses that fail to protect free speech.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Trump's order to """"protect free speech"""" was actually an order to protect Border Patrol and other murderous government agencies against the free speech of marginalized students.

In all seriousness, freedom of speech is supposed to protect the common people, not government agencies spreading their bullshit propaganda to kids. The idea that any "disruption" to any presentation is a violation of free speech is dangerous. We can't even disrupt fascist and white supremacist gatherings now? Am I going to get arrested at the next counter-protest to Patriot Prayer fuckery because I participated in chants to try and drown out their hateful screaming? This seems like a serious step toward/into fascism and it's freaking me out a little.

Oh, and remember my ongoing and fairly one-sided feud with "FIRE"? Get ready for another chapter.

In an earlier statement Robbins touted the university's "green light" rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the free-speech advocacy group. FIRE, in a statement issued Tuesday, called the incident "a close call between competing First Amendment interests." 
"Taken alone, the content of the speech at issue here — calling Border Patrol agents 'murder patrol' and 'an extension of the KKK,' for example — is plainly protected by the First Amendment," the statement reads. 
"Likewise, the call by a Border Patrol agent (with considerable political influence) to investigate and punish students for a letter criticizing the Border Patrol is a clear demand that the university violate the First Amendment." 
But FIRE's statement goes on to say that the First Amendment protects the right of public-college students to hear from the speakers free from what's called a heckler's veto: "However … isolated heckling, fleeting disruption, or other expressive activity that does not prevent audience members from seeing and hearing the speaker is generally permissible."

Ok, I get it. When it comes to a dude's ability to harass female students, he has absolute freedom of speech and the disruption to her education doesn't matter one tiny bit. But when Border Patrol, a government agency that is not a person, comes to campus to push their murderous and racist propaganda, it's time for a wishy-washy ehhhhhhhh *vague hand wiggle* "both sides are bad" back-and-forth mess.

Even if the charges can't possibly stick, and I seriously hope they can't but I'm not placing bets, this is a clear method of intimidation. Students of color can hardly afford the disruption to their lives that is arrest and then dealing with criminal charges. But hey it's not like they're doing something as important as trying to get their dicks wet so FUCK 'EM, right, FIRE?

Fuck the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and their misnomer of a name and their extremely white staff and their likely origins as right-wing hysterics over public universities being some kind of liberal brainwashing machine.

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