Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bill Ayers speaks to huge Univ. of Wyoming crowd

University President Tom Buchanan (not the Gatsby character) had banned Ayers from speaking to a group of students last month, using threats of violence from right-wingers as his excuse. But a law suit initiated by student Meg Lanker and favorable ruling by U.S. District Judge William Downes  opened the university to the "dangerous" Mr. Ayers.

Result? Instead of the expected 150 ed students who likely would have shown for the earlier talk, an enthusiastic, overflow crowd of 1,200 turned out on a Wednesday evening. A handful of T-baggers picketed outside. And guess what?--the university is still standing.

Addressing the media beforehand, Ayers said he would have given the speech even if he’d been as “sick as a dog."
“Because in my view, when the people gather at the gates of an institution like this, with pitchforks and torches, and say the things that were being said, that they would burn the place down,” Ayers told reporters. “And I was told several times in e-mails that they were going to take me out to the Matthew Shepard fence and teach me a lesson. That’s exactly when I’m going to show up.” (Billings Gazette)
An important victory for academic freedom and social justice. Bill should send Pres. Buchanan some flowers.

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