Friday, November 18, 2016

#empogmgmu Part Three: George Mason University and Freedom of Speech

See all the #empogmgmu posts

I haven't told you everything about the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference at George Mason University. In addition to the conference, and the demonstrators at the conference, and the people who wanted everyone to be in a safe space, there were two more people roaming around campus.

One of these people was Oleg Atbashian.

You may have heard of Atbashian without realizing it. Oleg Atbashian came from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and reputedly did some artwork there for the local benevolent government. Atbashian eventually made his way to the United States in 1994, where he eventually exercised his satirical event with groups such as Communists for Kerry. Eventually he devoted his efforts to The People's Cube, where he authored a piece on Snopes' founders in 2015. The piece begins as follows.

LOS ANGELES, CA - owners Barbara and David Mikkelson were detained by police today after an unrelated investigation of a editor lead police onto a paper trail of corruption, bribery, and fraud at the very heart of the fact-checking organization.

Evidence obtained by police has revealed that, which markets itself as "the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation," has a history of accepting money and favors from left-leaning and pro-Islamic political groups and individuals for helping them to advance their cause by rigging public discourse with selective fact-finding and deliberate manipulation of public opinion.

Late Monday morning, Brian Williston, a editor, who also doubles as the accountant, found himself at a flea market on the outskirts of Los Angeles. As he was browsing the different tables and tents looking for antiques, an old mechanical piano began playing Dixie's Land, a song that was adopted as a de facto anthem of the Confederacy during the American Civil War and is now considered offensive by some due to its link to the iconography and ideology of the Old South.

The tune sparked an outrage in Williston, who began yelling and cursing those who "would like to bring back slavery and racial separation," and ordering the vendors to "turn off that racist music."

The piece goes on from there, and was enjoyed by many - for various reasons. It turns out that some people who enjoyed the piece don't realize that it's satire.

Snopes CEO was arrested on fraud and corruption charges last year!

People will continue to rely on Snopes for “the truth”. I’ve been telling people about this bias for years. It needs to be broadcast far and wide.

But Oleg Atbashian didn't see anything funny about the National Students for Justice in Palestine, and he decided to...Fight Back.

Whoops, wrong David Horowitz. There's a David Horowitz that runs the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Atbashian agreed with Horowitz's views about the SJP. Atbashian decided to design a poster for the National SJP Conference.

Source: The Gateway Pundit

So Oleg and someone else went to George Mason to put up the posters. I'll let Oleg tell the story:

This was supposed to be a two-day poster campaign, to counteract the George Mason University hosting an official national conference for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is an anti-Semitic organization with well-documented ties to Hamas - a terrorist group whose stated goal is to exterminate the Jews. The GMU poster campaign was conceived by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

My part in it was to create provocative artwork for the posters and to hang them around the GMU campus, as well as to distribute flyers in order to raise awareness among the students, faculty, and the administration about the true meaning of their support for the SJP conference....

On the second day:

[A]t about 4am, our car was pulled over by a GMU PD cruiser with flashing lights. As we found out later, they already had a description of our rental KIA Optima. Officer M.J. Guston and his female partner, Officer Daniels, requested to see our drivers' licenses, which they took away. Then they inquired if we had any weapons and proceeded with the visual search, noticing our bucket with mixed wheat paste and some rolled posters on the back seat, covered with towels....

They ordered us to give them our car key and to step out of the car. Then we were told to put our hands behind our backs and to spread our legs. Officer Guston then held my thumbs behind my back with his left hand, while his right hand gave me a complete and very thorough pat-down and searched the content of my pockets. He repeated the same procedure with my friend, repeatedly asking us if we had any kind of weapons on us or in the car....

Since they couldn't find any weapons and our message was protected by the First Amendment, the officers decided to charge us with "destruction of property worth of at least $2,500," which was a "class 6 felony."...

They were taken off campus...and straight to jail.

The full, politically correct name of the county jail was Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, but the jailers inside continued to refer to it as "jail." We were put before a magistrate named W. Talavera. Officer Guston repeated his trumped-up charges about the destruction of property, supporting them with a dozen computer printouts....

The magistrate's decision was quick: $8,000 bail for each of us and a mandatory court hearing within several days. As we were led away to be processed into the system, Officer Guston said, somewhat triumphantly, his final words to us: "You can't come to GMU ever again."

Let's pause here for a minute. The First Amendment to the Constitution, the same amendment that discussed George Mason's beloved freedom of the press, also talked about freedom of speech - specifically saying that Congress could not restrict it. As a public university, George Mason University is bound - or should be bound - by that same amendment. Yet Officer Guston believed that a satirist was not protected by that amendment. Some people are concerned by this. Others are not.

14 hours later, the two were out of jail, involved in a hassle with their rental car company, their hotel, and their airline that cost them some money. But now their story is out, and it's being treated differently by various sections of the media.

The mainstream media, to my knowledge, has been silent on the issue. The left-wing Silicon-Valley controlled Washington Post hasn't covered the story, and the right-wing Moonie controlled Washington Times hasn't covered it either, despite the fact that this is a local story.

But there's a lot of coverage from other sources, including a few that I've linked to above. And frankly they're just as bad as the National SJP. Take this Gateway Pundit headline:

Pro-Israel Artist Threatened with 5 Years in Jail for Campus Anti-Terror Posters

Either these people are trying to sell clicks by, um, trumping up the worst-case scenario, or they truly believe that Atbashian will spend five years in a Virginia prison. Either way, it'

As deplorable as Chloe Valdary regards the SJP:

The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda. It is thus high time to expose its agenda and lay bare some of the fallacies they peddle.

• If you seek to promulgate the legacy of early Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East, subjugated the indigenous peoples living in the region, and foisted upon them a life of persecution and degradation—you do not get to claim the title of “Freedom Fighter.”

• If you support a racist doctrine of Arab supremacism and wish (as a corollary of that doctrine) to destroy the Jewish state, you do not get to claim that the prejudices you peddle are forms of legitimate “resistance.”

• If your heroes are clerics who sit in Gaza plotting the genocide of a people; who place their children on rooftops in the hopes they will get blown to bits; who heap praises upon their fellow gang members when they succeed in murdering Jewish school boys and bombing places of activity where Jews congregate—you do not get to claim that you are some Apollonian advocate of human virtue. You are not.

And she continues, claiming that certain freedom fighter of the past would find the SJP to be abhorrent.

Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Zionist.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist.

I wonder what George Mason would have said, had he lived to see this.

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