Video showing: The Battle for Berkeley -- Why It's Right and Righteous to Drive Fascists Off Campus, Out of Berkeley & Out of Office - 5-14-17

Come and view the talk by Sunsara Taylor
6pm Sunday May 14 at Revolution Books

On May 4th, Sunsara Taylor began her speech at the University of California Campus by quoting Ann Coulter's insistence that Black children be publicly whipped, along with other shocking quotes. While many have heard Coulter's name, in recent weeks as two sides battled over whether Coulter would be allowed to speak at Berkeley's campus, few had read and taken seriously the content and impact of Coulter's words, so this set an important context for the speech and discussion that Sunsara Taylor led that night. About 150 people turned out to hear Taylor give a talk called, “The Battle for Berkeley: Why It Is Right, and Righteous, to Drive Fascists Off Campus, Out of Berkeley, and Out of Power!”

In recent months, a series of “intellectual” hitmen—including Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, and Milo Yiannopoulos—have targeted the UC Berkeley campus and on two occasions ready-to-brawl fascist militia types have amassed in downtown Berkeley by the hundreds. Taylor insisted that this cannot be ignored, that it will not “go away” on its own, and is closely linked to the imposition of fascism across the country by the Trump/Pence Regime. Berkeley has become a flash point with high stakes in this larger battle precisely because of its radical history and because if the fascists succeed in making inroads in Berkeley, it will greatly strengthen their hand in consolidating fascism and suppressing opposition nationwide.

At the core of Taylor's presentation and the contentious question and answer that followed was her insistence that the issue was not “free speech”—as most in the media and on campus are claiming—but the right and responsibility of the people to resist and drive fascists out of power in this country before it is too late.
Taylor exposed the concrete harm done by Coulter, Yiannopoulos, Horowitz and other fascists who have targeted Berkeley, as well as the ways that these people—and their ideas—are being implemented and given backing from the U.S. government, the most powerful state in human history. Taylor showed how the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the people to speak and assemble free from government suppression, not the right of those backed by and tied to the government to be “protected” from vigorous protest. She also showed how even the principle that ideas should be heard by their most ardent advocates, while a very important principle, is also not—and should not be treated as—“absolute.” In a world divided into antagonistic classes as well as profound relations of oppression and exploitation, it is “not an even playing field.” Flowing from this, she argued that the ideas and speech that need protection are those that go up against and challenge the entrenched power of the state and the ideas promoted by the state. In contrast, ideas that have backing from that state and from hundreds of years of oppressive traditions do not need that protection or additional platforms.

(from the article A Wild Night at UC Berkeley: Sunsara Taylor Speaks on the “Battle for Berkeley at revcom.us

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