Horowitz isn’t welcome here

March 3, 2010

AMHERST, Mass.--About 45 students and community members gathered to show their opposition to right-winger David Horowitz, when he spoke at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on "academic freedom" and the "dangers of political correctness" on college campuses.

On February 23, the UMass College Republicans made their racist, sexist, red-baiting agenda clearer than ever when they hosted hate-monger Horowitz.

Before the doors opened for the event, International Socialist Organization members and others gathered and passed out fact sheets that explained why we were protesting Horowitz. Protesters met over a dozen people who didn't know who Horowitz was or that he was coming, but were instantly appalled and wanted to take action.

One woman, after hearing about Horowitz's attacks on Islam, ended up canceling her original plans, so that she could join the growing group protesting Horowitz.

The UMass Republican club has a long history of bringing right-wing, hateful "intellectuals" to campus. After speaking to several student and professors, they agreed that inviting speakers who promote intolerance has the potential to turn any university into a hostile environment.

The president of the Republican club began his introduction for Horowitz saying, "Today, we live in a society where use of the word 'niggardly' requires an apology," and mocking the pronoun "zhe" used by many transgender people.

As Horowitz walked toward the microphone stand, the anger in the crowd of about 60 grew greater and greater. After several minutes of commenting on the presence of protesters, Horowitz began his tirade against liberal academia.

He said that he stopped by the Women Gender and Sexuality Department on campus. After speaking to the head of the department for several minutes, he got into an argument and was asked to leave the building. He claimed that the department is trying to make students into radical feminists, which the protesters responded to with cheers.

Within just 45 minutes, Horowitz managed to attack students of color, radicals, women, gays, lesbians and transgender students, and demonize the Muslim Student Alliance on campus, associating it with "terrorists."

A number of protesters lined up behind the second microphone to call Horowitz out, but Horowitz didn't answer a single question. Even some of the Horowitz supporters got up to ask questions and were sneered at by the speaker. Horowitz's behavior began to demoralize the right-wingers in the room.

While one protester calmly began asking a question, Horowitz announced that he was done. As soon as he put the mic down, the crowd roared.

Not only did activists get to put Horowitz on the spot, but people new to activism were able to come together to confront the bigot. I never thought I would say this but, thank you, David Horowitz. You've helped bring a lot of new people to our side. But you're still not welcome here.

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