Higher Ed Unions Stand Up for Campus Free Speech (FREEDOM SCHOOL – Rutgers AAUP-AFT)

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Leaders of unions representing faculty, grad workers, and others at Rutgers University, UCLA, and Northwestern University speak out about the House Education and Workforce Committee’s witch-hunt hearings directed at their campuses on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

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Higher Ed Unions Stand Up for Campus Free Speech

FREEDOM SCHOOL – Rutgers AAUP-AFT Streamed live on May 23, 2024 Leaders of unions representing faculty, grad workers, and others at Rutgers University, UCLA, and Northwestern University speak out about the House Education and Workforce Committee’s witch-hunt hearings directed at their campuses on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

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0:00you need if you want to need anything we have handouts of a joint statement from some of the union leaders who are

0:05speaking here today we have run a show so just look for me or Alexis um off to

0:11the side um I’m just going to we’re going to save question and answer for the end we have a number of speakers to

0:17get through so we’re going to get right into it and I want to it’s my honor to introduce Congress person

0:23T thank you so

0:28much thank you everyone I’m congresswoman Rashida T from the incredible most beautiful blackest city

0:34in the country the city of Detroit I represent the 12th congressional district uh I’m here because it is

0:39appalling to witness the Crackdown and violent repression of First Amendment protected speech in assembly on college

0:46campuses throughout our country I know that students constitutional rights do not end when they set foot on college

0:54campuses I am so proud of the Brave students and faculty from all different backgrounds and Fates leading nonviolent

1:00Civil Disobedience and support of saving lives no matter Faith No Matter ethnicity calling for an end to this

1:08genocide students are putting their bodies on the line to demand that their universities divest from the same

1:14weapons manufacturers that are sending the bombs to murder innocent children families and

1:20gazda I want you all to think about it for just a minute why are our universities invested in weapons and War

1:27in the first place and why are these University sending militarized police after their students to protect those

1:33investments in war just think about that for one moment and this divestment

1:39movement did not start with the genocide in Gazza it is disgusting that the Biden

1:44Administration and my colleagues in Congress continue to smear them for protesting to save

1:51lives my colleagues are outraged over these protests but they are silent about

1:56the students that are what the students are actually protesting about out right that’s right I know that descent is a

2:03fundamental American value can you imagine the attacks and descent in our

2:08country that continues to happen but imagine that we just wipe it off I know from the Civil Rights

2:15Movement to the Vietnam War to the end of aparte in South Africa to the movement for black lives our country has

2:21a long history of students leading nonviolence Cil Disobedience and demanding change in

2:28our country students have been on the right side of History time and time again it is

2:34utterly disgraceful that the university administrators and government officials are sending again militarized police

2:41forces to stop students from exercising their First Amendment right it is sickening that police are entering

2:47college campuses across our country with their guns pointing at the students targeting them with prepper spray tear

2:54gas rubber bullets tasers think about it they’re literally spraying them with chemicals

3:00this week at the University of Michigan police violently destroyed the peaceful

3:06God most beautiful encampment Interfaith students encampment they sprayed them with

3:13chemicals brutalized them many were hospitalized for exercising their First

3:18Amendment right and saying we are tired of supporting War I call on these college

3:24administrators their exercise restraint respect the civil liberties of their students

3:30their constitutional rights and and their repressive violent tactics and

3:35denounce the ongoing again brutality of these students the grace and courage so many

3:42of these students across our country have shown in the face of vicious smears

3:47and racist attacks is a source to me that there is hope for our future cuz

3:54they’re not backing down that’s right and neither are we I want to read the following St

3:59statement from one of our allies as it’s been the ark Jewish action they said

4:05quote protest is essential to our movement work it must be protected and

4:11we firmly stand against anti-Semitism being used as an excuse to threaten free speech and criticism of University and

4:19US policy they they ended by saying to be clear criticism of American policy

4:25towards Israel is not inherently anti-semitic I am so so grateful again

4:30for every one of the incredible union leaders and people here protecting their students they’re here today because they

4:38are leaders and they are speaking truth to power and standing again on the right side of

4:44History I’ll end with this because you know for me seeing the American civil liberties Union in Michigan and really

4:51throughout the country and making sure that we’re remembering that we are in the United

4:56States of America that’s right they said quote as you fashion responses to the

5:02activis activism of your students and faculty and staff it is essential that you do not sacrifice the principles of

5:09academic freedom and free speech that are core to the educational mission of your respected

5:15institution I hope my colleagues understand what is at stake when they have these kinds of hearings right here

5:21in Congress in the people’s house I hope they listen to their constituents the overwhelming who have

5:28said ceasefire the overwhelming who have said we’re done with endless Wars so again I thank you all so much

5:35and again for these incredible leaders here and faculty and staff and I know what you’re risking in being here and I

5:42want to thank you as the only Palestinian American servant in Congress I know for many of these students ending

5:48the M manufacturing Investments and so much more is extends more than just about Philistine but as a person again seeing

5:55right now how unbelievably racist people have been towards folks that and and brutal towards folks that

6:01are speaking truth to power I want you to know that I appreciate you trying to save lives I appreciate you trying to

6:08move our country towards wanting to invest in life and invest in programs

6:13and projects invest here at home and thriving not invest in death and destruction thank

6:19you next we’re going to have Todd wolson president of rushford’s aaup aft

6:25associate professor stay strong love you

6:31thank you so much congresswoman T we’re so we appreciate standing and solidarity

6:37with her and with all of us here today so I’m Todd wolson I’m president of Ruckers aupa and a faculty member at

6:44Ruckers University workers AA represents 6,000 full-time faculty grad workers

6:52posts counselors Librarians and we’ve come down here as a cohort with 13 of

6:59you that represent 13,000 workers at the University including healthcare workers

7:05including our adun faculty and including our professional staff and we stand here

7:12together so dozens of us came down to condemn in the strongest possible words

7:18congresswoman Fox’s Kangaroo Court which we just witnessed now that’s right we

7:24came down to Washington DC because we see a crisis as our colleges and

7:30universities come under increasing attack we have watched this higher

7:35education which is the Bedrock of democracy as well as the engine of technological innovation social mobility

7:42and social progress and one of the most respected sectors uh in our society has

7:48become a punching bag for bad faith actors that’s right that’s right I am

7:54quite certain congresswoman Fox and her allies have not stepped foot on our

8:00campuses this past year certain of it so I want to set the record straight here

8:05along with being a union leader I’m a Jewish faculty member and I was at Rucker’s encampment multiple times over

8:12the week it was up not once not once did I feel unsafe not once did I see anti-Semitism

8:21in those encampments I did see students criticizing the state of Israel and that

8:27is not the same as anti anti-Semitism and we will not allow for that

8:33equivalency I saw students that stood up to any form of hate including islamophobia and

8:40anti-Semitism and they were not outside agitators they were my students in my

8:46classes and when we went on strike last year they walked the picket line with us they did they are the very best of the

8:52young people right now the very best and bravest the claims of congresswoman Fox

8:59and stefanic and their outline and their allies are simply wrong but that won’t stop them because they have a larger

9:05agenda they are manufacturing lies and weaponizing painful riffs in our

9:11community as part of an assault on higher education and that’s their goal their goal is to control our campuses

9:18and tell us what we can research what we can teach and what we can learn that’s right we need to rebuke this and instead

9:26we need to fully fund public higher education fully

9:31funded we need to end student debt and we need to make sure all workers on

9:37their campuses have a living wage the Ed education Workforce

9:44committee hearings are a Witch Hunt yes they are and they are rep reminiscent of some of the worst times in this

9:49country’s history where clout seeking politicians use their microphone to spread fear and attack those they

9:55disagree with to that end the hundreds of thousands of highered workers in this country have a have a message for

10:02Congressman Fox and congressman stepanic and all the propaganda pedlers that aim to smear our campuses in higher

10:09education and that message is this hands off our students that’s right hands off

10:15our faculty and our workers hands off our campuses and you

10:20better fully fund higher education thank you and now I get to

10:27invite up oh congresswoman Bush please oh no actually

10:34please yeah goe I’m so sorry good afternoon everybody my name

10:40is Mia mcgyver I’m a contingent faculty member at UCLA what that means is that I’m risking my job by being here today

10:47to speak along with my other um contingent uh and precarious um uh

10:53co-workers nevertheless this matter is so important that I will take that risk

10:58before I begin my prepared remarks I just want to respond directly to the the way that this um Committee hearing

11:04opened today I teach writing I teach English chairwoman of Virginia FOX also has an undergraduate degree in English

11:11therefore it is inexcusable that she opened today’s hearing with a quote from Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also

11:17Rises a book that contains one of the most notorious anti-semitic caricatures in American

11:23literature thank you if the Republican leaders of this committee truly cared about stopping anti-semitism

11:29there was no way they would have accepted the chairwoman citation of this text I teach English and I give them an

11:41F but that was only the beginning the hearings today were

11:46shameful farce they are fruit of a decades long attack on American higher education the attack has shifted college

11:53and universities away from being a common public good State funding Cuts

11:58tuition hikes and program closures profoundly diminished the ability of higher education institutions to serve

12:04the needs of students and to be places of just and Fair Employment instead of higher ed for all we have battles over

12:11who owns the curriculum the buildings the governance in reality they belong to us all but the privatization of our

12:18public goods has led directly to this moment in which higher education is kicked around as a political football

12:24administrators are more responsive to the whims and threats of donors than to the educational needs of students the

12:30decimation of the faculty through the exploitation of contingent labor has been a strategy for decades already to

12:37exert total administrative control and suppress and repress the voices of Educators and Scholars Republican

12:44politicians are now seizing the opportunity that this crisis presents but we too are seizing this opportunity

12:50to stand up and fight [Applause] back as you’ve already heard from Todd

12:56the committee’s efforts today were clearly aimed at delegitimizing higher education as a common project that is

13:02essential to our democracy and to our allaround flourishing instead of focusing on learning teaching inquiry

13:10understanding analysis and argumentation which are the primary functions of higher ed the committee’s perverse

13:16obsession with harsh discipline and bizarre thirst for punishment revealed that the real goal is to shut down

13:22repress suppress and criminalize constitutionally protected speech and action that’s right for those of us with

13:28you iions our rights to speak and act on matters of importance on and off campus are also protected not only by our

13:35constitution but by our collective bargaining agreements the committee’s attacks are

13:42attacks on working people they’re aimed at chilling and intimidating faculty and staff who might dare to exercise our

13:48rights as a central campus stakeholders so we reject these threats we will not

13:54be intimidated that’s right we stand up today for higher education we refuse to

14:00let this committee corrode our work we have confidence in our colleges and our universities we demand that faculty

14:06staff and students be able to lead our colleges and universities without partisan interference we will continue

14:12to protect and defend higher education as a public [Applause]

14:19good and it’s one of the greatest honors of my life and career to introduce congresswoman Corey bush


14:34wow thank you thank you so much for that and um uh you know you were up here preaching

14:41right preaching and teaching um uh good afternoon everyone and thank you all so

14:47much for being here again again um thank you to all of our union leaders and

14:53Advocates who organized uh this press conference and to all the members who are here um

14:59you know we have uh representative Bowman um I know rep imar um should be should be coming and a special shout out

15:06to my sister and service congresswoman uh Rashida tii for all the ways that you continue to show up for our

15:15community um we also thank uh uh re Bowman and R Omar for being on the

15:23committee and being the voices on the committee I I understand um

15:30um I I’m honored to stand alongside all of you today um in support of our faculty in support of our students and

15:37their rights to speech and descent on college campuses as an activist an organizer and the proud daughter of a

15:43former Union me cutter I know that the foundational message of every Union is to stand with people to fight for their

15:51dignity and to advocate for those most

15:57marginalized that’s what we’re standing for today as I said after protest at

16:02Washington University and St Louis were violently suppressed and as I said again when the encampment at George Washington

16:09University in DC was violently cleared behind every attempt to silence a protester is an idea that those in power

16:16don’t want people to hear that’s right that’s right it was true during the women’s rights movement where young

16:21women were arrested jailed and force fed which led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment it was true during the

16:27movements for labor right which gave us the rights like sick leave and the 40-hour work week it was true during the

16:34Civil Rights Movement when students LED Freedom rids lunch counter stins and boycotts which culminated in the Civil

16:41Rights Act of 64 and the Voting Rights Act of 65 it was true during the student

16:47Le movement against the Vietnam War when organizing at universities the movement

16:52to resist the draft and the youth Le Nationwide protest led to the end of the war and campaigns to divest from South

16:59Africa by students led to the end of

17:07aarth these movements have all been successful these movements every single

17:12one has been successful in advancing the cause of Justice the cause of equal rights for every single person and this

17:20movement is no different these movements are how Justice is won and it’s true

17:26today our pro peace Pro human anti-war movement seeks to end the Israeli

17:31government’s genocide in Gaza and to ensure a just and Lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike our

17:39students our faculty our staff all from different faiths all from different

17:44backgrounds have been on the front lines of this movement over the past month and they have been met with appalling vient

17:53unlawful responses they have been assaulted some severely like my friend Steve tamari they have been suspended

18:01including Jewish faculty members their careers are in Jeopardy because they

18:06have dared to speak out against genocide for years members of Congress and

18:11prominent right-wing commentators have whined and and wh about cancel culture

18:17and the suppression of dissent on college campuses many of those same people have

18:23rushed to VI to justify violent assaults and the blatant suppression of speech and why because they never cared about

18:31Free Speech never at all and because they are invested in supporting the Israeli government’s genocidal policies

18:38so St Louis and I will always stand on the side of Justice on the side of

18:44Peace St Louis and I will always stand with our faculty with our students and with our staff who are advocating for

18:51human rights and the Dignity of all people St Louis and I will always stand with our unions we will not stand

19:00we will not only stand against the genocide but together our movement the movement that we’ve built the movement

19:06where we’ve all stood together we’ve put our hearts and Minds together for the people to save lives because we say no

19:12dropping bombs on babies and not with our taxpayer of money we say divest our movement will put an end to all of this

19:20so to the people that’s listening to our folks our Advocates and those that are wondering how do I get involved we are

19:27the pressure so keep up the pressure every single one of you demand an end to this complicity and an end to the

19:33genocide now we need you and thank you all for being here for standing

19:40up all right not sure what okay John all right

19:45we’re going to call up John Brader great thank you so much

19:50wow so yeah no pressure it’s hard to follow that up that was amazing thank you so much um look I came here from

19:58California because I feel like compelled to help set the narrative straight on

20:04what happened at UCLA so I’m a contingent faculty member so it means I don’t have tenure I don’t have the

20:10protections that a lot of my colleagues get I don’t know what impact this is going to have on my career but I can

20:15tell you after today’s hearing I’m terrified I heard committee members calling out faculty by name demanding

20:22their firing I heard them calling for students to be expelled and what drives

20:27me crazy is that these people have never been to our campuses they never saw the encampments they never saw the events

20:33that that they claim to know so much about and and I can’t just stand here and be quiet when they’re going to try

20:38to get me fired for something they don’t understand I can tell you what I saw in the encampments I can tell you what

20:45actually happened at UCLA the only violence that occurred was instigated by

20:50people from off campus not members of the UCLA Community the encampment itself

20:56was incredibly peaceful uh I saw students protesting the policies of the Netanyahu government not Jewish people

21:04themselves it hurts me deeply to think that a university is becoming a place where you can’t speak freely about

21:10what’s happening in the world I’m terrified that you aren’t going to be able to criticize governments in foreign

21:15countries and and who knows even our own I think this sets such a terrifying precedent that uh you know I don’t know

21:22what to do except for to tell you all what I’ve seen what I’ve witnessed um I was arrested on the night of May 1st and

21:30in the days since I don’t think I’ve had a single good night’s sleep after seeing students shot with rubber bullets um you

21:38know I’ve seen uh Riot police swinging three-foot batons knocking you know

21:43little rubber Shields out of students hands I can’t believe that someone like Jean block who claims to want to protect

21:49students all he can think to do is to turn Riot police against his own students where was he when the mob came

21:56to beat up my students why aren’t the police keeping those agitators off campus he’s in there right

22:04now testifying that he wishes he’d closed the encampment sooner how would that have kept anybody safe we called

22:11the police on the night of the 30th when these outside agitators arrived we called and we called and we called and

22:18nobody did anything the police sat idly by because of bureaucratic red tape and Gan blocks incompetence that’s right

22:24that’s right and now I know he only has a couple months left but if he has any any shred of dignity he’ll resign and

22:31take responsibility for the failure of administration that that that happened at UCLA and look I’ll conclude I just

22:38want to say that he had other options I mean the UC system like for for decades has been this like amazing institution

22:45where students have been free to protests what’s happened at Berkeley and at Riverside and and many of the other campuses was completely peaceful and

22:52there was no need to invite police violence yet that’s what happened

22:57despite all the other Alternatives so I just want to encourage all the students out there I mean you guys are doing what

23:04we as Educators like hope you’re going to do you’re being engaged citizens you’re thinking critically and and

23:10you’re speaking your mind in in such such brilliant ways and I couldn’t be prouder of all of you I’m here and all

23:16these educators are here to stand with you and say we support your right to free speech we support each other’s

23:22right to academic freedom and we hope everybody will just take this message

23:27and and make it the dominant one because what’s happening in that that chamber right now is is is completely missing

23:33the point of what’s unfolding on our campuses so I’ll stop there um so it’s my pleasure to invite

23:41uh Brian sax

23:46to hi everyone it’s really an honor to be here with so many other unionists and

23:52concerned citizens about the hearings that um we just all experienced and have

23:57been experienced for seven months and I realized that what I wanted to do today was try and explain why I think we are

24:05all here really like what’s underneath the re what’s underneath the surface of

24:12these hearings and why we’re here and I realize that uh I have a different point of view than ruer president Holloway

24:18about why we’re all here we’re not here primarily because of the attacks of October 7th we’re here because the

24:26current wave of Palestine solidarity protests that are sweeping us campuses

24:31have both caused and reflect a major shift in the way that Israel is perceived in this country whereas Israel

24:39was once cast as a Perpetual victim of unrelenting anti-semitic aggression a

24:46new generation of activists and Scholars rightly view the violence in Palestine

24:52through the lens of 75 years of systematic Israeli racism

24:59dispossession dehumanization and brutality I think at you know at basis

25:05that’s why we’re all here and I appreciate people uh bearing with me as my technology wants to give out and so a

25:12consequence of this growing awareness I think is that supporters of Israel like

25:17me are being smeared even Jewish supporters even

25:23Jewish supporters of paltin are being smeared as anti-semites in Hope of silencing us this turn to name calling

25:29slander and intimidation is happening because Israel’s defenders in my view

25:35cannot refute the relevant historical facts or Justify Israel’s crimes and so today’s hearing is part of that

25:42mccarthyite campaign that’s right to silence and intimidate that committee’s

25:48work as Todd said is part of a broader right-wing effort to weaken academic freedom and undermine higher education

25:54in this case by distorting the definition of anti-semitism to include legitimate and even urgent criticism of

26:02Israel these criticisms include as you’ve heard its cruel occupation in the West Bank its treatment of Palestinians

26:08as in Israel as third class citizens uh its decades long denial of uh

26:14Palestinian refugee right of return its crippling blockade of Gaza for nearly 20 years and now most horribly its campaign

26:21of ethnic cleansing and genocide there these truths are the reasons anti-i ism

26:28is being weaponized against those who dare to speak them and particularly

26:35Muslim and Arab faculty members this is a very dangerous Gambit as the Israeli

26:40scholar RZ seagull has recently commented the islamophobia and racism

26:46inherent in the weaponization of anti-Semitism risks making anti-Semitism

26:51a meaningless charge and therefore much harder to combat at a time when genuine

26:57examples of it are rising the fact is as I think anyone can

27:04see who was in there the committee’s work evinces no concern about such dangers therefore I think we all have to

27:12reject the premises of this inquiry that’s right the moment they conclude

27:17these hearings are sure to find their rightful place in history alongside the

27:23ignominious huak investigations of the 1950s one hopes we can all recover

27:28quickly from the damage they’re doing to the principles of free speech academic freedom and advocacy for justice it

27:35falls on all of us to keep fighting Power that would silence us because if

27:42we don’t we know where that road leads thank you

27:48all it is my sincere and great honor to introduce representative ilhan Omar

27:54[Applause] [Music] [Applause]

28:05um thank you all for for having me thank you to UAW for Gathering uh University

28:13faculty and union members to be here with us thank you for your bravery and your

28:18testimony um the hearing we just witnessed was done under the guise of protecting Jewish students on college

28:26campuses these hearing ings are T tinly veiled attacks on higher education in

28:33itself and one of the most fundamental Democratic rights free speech Let’s be

28:40clear Jewish students like every other student deserves to be protected and to

28:46feel safe on campus however purposefully labeling legitimate peaceful anti-war

28:54protests as anti-Semitism is not only misguided but it is

29:00dangerous it muddies the waters and prevents us from identifying and

29:06fighting real acts of hate and bigotry we have to be

29:11unequivocal uh that it is not antiemetic to critique the policies and the

29:17military actions or the government of Israel it is also not anti-semitic to

29:24voice support for Palestinian people we ha who have faced Decades of Oppression

29:32displacement and the violation of their human rights under the Israeli

29:37occupation apartheid and the genocide that’s currently being carried out yet

29:43campus protests expressing these views have been inaccurately portrayed by

29:48University administrators and even some of my colleagues in Congress as causing

29:53chaos and spreading hatred these protests these protests have been that

30:00we have seen on campus across this nation overwhelmingly Express solidarity with

30:07the Palestinian people and are in opposition to the genocide we have

30:12witnessed for months the truth is the ability to freely explore ideas and

30:21express viewpoints even controversial ones is what allows universities to

30:27fulfill their role as a higher place for learning

30:34undermining this freedom is an attack on higher education in itself faculty

30:39members teachers researchers academic staff have a right to academic freedom

30:46and cannot live in fear of punishment retaliation for voicing dissent taking

30:53away these rights prevents intellectual growth from happening when we create a

30:59climate of fear over writings teachings research that some people might not

31:05agree with We Begin walking down an anti-democratic path to

31:13uh prevent societal progress so let’s be clear about the real underlying motives

31:20at play behind this Congressional hearing this is not about protecting

31:26minority communities that in itself has historically been prosecuted it is an

31:31attempt to silence everyone that expresses dissent with Descent of Israel

31:37and the genocide they are currently carrying in Gaza we have to be truly

31:43honest about what we are witnessing and we have we have to tell the real stories

31:50it was my honor just now uh before getting here to participate in that

31:55committee which I’m a member of and to hold Chancellor BL

32:01[Applause] accountable because because no matter no

32:06matter the stories that he tells about protecting students there is no way to

32:12get rid of the images that we’ve all seen right the people who were punished

32:17were the ones who were violently attacked and beaten the ones who have not been punished are the agitators who

32:25beat up the students and faculty and the staff that were holding down a peaceful

32:30encampment you cannot Square those two truths right the reality of what is

32:36happening in these college campuses as these

32:42administrators fake their outrage about the need to protect the

32:47students is disgusting and as a parent of one of

32:53these students that has been punished for standing up for their truth

32:58and have not seen pun a single punishment for people that have

33:04utilized anti-muslim speech anti- Palestinian

33:10speech people who have called Jews who are standing with Palestinians fake

33:18Jews but we have punished people who are standing up against this genocide tells

33:25you everything you need to know on what these administ readers care about and with

33:32that uh I invite I invite my brother in service

33:39representative Jamal

33:46Bowman good afternoon everyone it’s good to be with you today uh thank you to the

33:52UAW aft and Au AA for organizing here and being here uh

33:59with us today thank you for allowing me to say a few words um this issue is

34:05super personal for me uh I am a lifelong educator uh and I dedicated I have

34:11dedicated my entire life to the service of children and to the service of Education uh prior to coming to Congress

34:18I worked in education for 20 years I was an elementary school teacher in the

34:23South Bronx a high school guidance counselor and DEA students and a middle

34:28school principal in the Northeast Bronx for 10 and a half years

34:34now the role of Middle School principal probably prepared me most to be a member

34:40of Congress because to sit in committee and listen to Republicans spew hate and

34:48ignorance on a consistent basis blows me away but I have spent oh let me also say

34:55this I have a doctorate in education leadership so I’m actually Congressman

35:01Dr Jamal bonees and I have spent 20 years every

35:09single day in public schools keeping kids safe so I know what the safety of

35:17our children looks like feels like and sounds like because I did it every day

35:22that’s right that’s right and the Educators and faculty who are here with us today thank you thank you thank you

35:30because they are doing the work of keeping our kids

35:35safe we have to be really honest about how racist this magga Republican party

35:42is right and you know anti-Semitism is just the new entry point of their

35:49feigned rage towards to use towards destroying liberal education in America

35:56that’s right they’ve been attacking Dei since I’ve gotten here they were

36:02attacking critical race Theory and they have no idea what it is since I’ve gotten here they are

36:10Banning B books of the lgbtq community black community and again things that

36:17they don’t even understand they continue to ban books that’s right in places like Texas you have the Texas Department of

36:24Education taking over the entire Houston school district and turning libraries

36:31into detention centers this is about racism yes it is

36:37this is an attack on our so-called liberal and Progressive values that’s right this is about repression and

36:44suppression and oppression that’s right they do not want us to speak up for the most vulnerable here they definitely

36:51don’t want us to speak up for the children and babies and innocent people of Gaza that’s right they don’t want us

36:58to speak up about that so they are coming after us with all they got and so

37:04we have to do everything in our power to tell the truth and push back that’s

37:09right and remind our country that our young people have always been the

37:15voice to build and design and create movements throughout American history

37:21that have led us to this point today from the Abolitionist Movement to the Civil Rights Movement to the LG gptq

37:28movement to the women’s rights movement to the anti-war movement their voices

37:33today is all about our Collective humanity and our Collective Liberation

37:39and they do not want us to use taxpayer dollars to kill babies and children and

37:46innocent people in Gaza or anywhere else in the world enough is

37:53enough enough is enough so forgive me if I seem uh

37:59exasperated and exhausted all right but these Republicans man I tell you it’s

38:05unbelievable and what’s even worse is when Democrats fall into these

38:12traps and acques and concede these talking points to

38:18Republicans that’s the worst part of it and me and Rashid and ilhan and all of

38:23us we got to fight our own party sometimes because they are governing based on fear and political pandering

38:32not based on Justice not based on Humanity not based on freedom the fact that we have members of

38:39our own party who can’t even say the word Palestine or Palestinians for being

38:45afraid of being called Pro Hamas it’s out of it’s it’s it’s it’s where is the

38:51where is the critical thinking in Congress where is the critical thinking

38:58from the Republican party I expect it not to exist from them but we are a big

39:0310 we are supposed to be the party of critical thinking and creative problem solving and

39:09collaboration and love for the American people that’s right but we are not we

39:16are not at this moment because of our fear and because of the bullying and intimidation that comes from

39:23organizations like APAC and many others we should not let them bully us away

39:29from our own ability to critically think and to love on all people regardless of

39:35background Muslim Christian Jewish Buddhist everyone deserves our care and

39:40our compassion and our love because we stand up for the lives of all people no

39:46matter what this is who we are and this is who we have to be and I’ll leave just quickly with two very good pedagogical

39:56techniques that can be used in higher education to help our kids first of all

40:03here’s here’s what I want to say to the administrators and to the leaders of the Republican Party listen to our teachers

40:10listen to our Educators listen to our students right here listen to them right

40:16here they know what to do let teachers and professors teach let them teach they

40:23know what to do but I’m going give you two very technical pedagogical

40:29techniques one is called restorative justice let me tell you about

40:34restorative justice it’s not just about suspending expelling arresting or giving

40:41students detention it’s about understanding the harm that may have been caused having a discussion around

40:48that harm and figuring out collectively how to move forward in the way so that harm is not caused again that’s right

40:54that is restorative justice I’m going to give you another another technique is called Socratic seminar let me tell you

41:01about Socratic seminar okay Socratic seminar is about reading a complex text

41:09or watching a complex video or having a complex disagreement on multiple issues

41:15and having a discussion about it and the goal of that discussion is to create a

41:21new text or a new understanding or a new vision or A New Path forward of away

41:27from hate and racism and sexism and homophobia and islamophobia and

41:33anti-Semitism and all of the ills that continue to plague Us in

41:39society that is what we’re supposed to be doing in our

41:44schools what the hell man what the hell Socratic seminar use

41:51it Republicans use it Democrats use it and then we could build a better world

41:58thank you so much is now my H I’m afraid I’m afraid

42:07we won really long so I’m afraid we’re going to have to um we’re going to have to cut things off we have another uh

42:14Union coming in to have a press conference so we have speakers who are very uh have a lot to say I’m afraid

42:24not so I have of people who are

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