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The Crackdown On Dissent in the Academy: Student Activist Summit Threatened By Columbiauniversity

January 28, 2002
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Philip Jones Griffiths

photographer and author, ??Vietnam Inc. Since his first trip to SoutheastAsia three decades ago, Philip Jones Griffiths has returned numerous times. A new edition of Vietnam Inc. waspublished in September 2001 with a forward by Noam Chomsky. Chomsky was profoundly affected by the book when it wasoriginally published.

Several months ago, students around the country began planning a national activist and student mobilizationcounter-summit for this week, during the World Economic Forum in New York. Every year the WEF brings togetherhundreds of the world’s top business leaders and powerful politicians to shape the global agenda. The Forum usuallymeets in Davos, Switzerland, but this year shifted to New York, saying they wanted to show solidarity with the cityafter the September 11th attacks and boost the city’s economy. But Columbia students from the group Students forGlobal Justice were among those who say that the neo-liberal economic agenda is not the best way to heal New YorkCity. They decided to hold a counter-summit at Columbia, but only weeks before the scheduled conference, theUniversity changed its mind. While Columbia is now saying the students may hold the counter-summit, many see it as anexample of the escalating crackdown on academic freedom since September 11th.

Guest:

  • Yvonne Liu, Students for Global Justice.

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