Activist Banned from Case Campus
by Kris Waller
Thursday April 22, 2004 at 01:29 PM
Kris Waller banned from Case Western Reserve University Campus- stop the silencing of dissent.
Pastor Martin Niemoeller, commenting on how the Nazi’s in Germany were able to build an oppressive police state said, "First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.“
Well it’s hard to realize it some times, but we are not in Germany in 1933, and this time the US ruling class first came for the Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians, but now they are coming for those who disagree with this program of war on the world and a police state at home.
For four years I have spoken up and struggled to stand with the people of the world. As a member of Case Western Reserve University’s Catalyst: Students for Social Justice and other groups on campus I have fought for workers rights and a better wage for workers on campus. I have fought for women’s rights, stopping violence against women, women’s liberation and for gay and lesbian rights. I have most vocally fought against the detentions and roundup of Arab and Muslim immigrants, and the war on the world that has been unleashed thus far on the people of both Afghanistan and Iraq. I helped start Cleveland Not In Our name Youth and organize many protests against the war, and I am a member of the national Interim Steering Committee for the Not in Our Name project. And as a part of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, I have dedicated my life to making a better world, where the have-nots take the future into our hands.
As I saw all these injustices, from the occupation of Iraq, to the police murders of black youth, to the widespread rape and degradation of women, and fought against them, I have come to understand that the cause of all this is this capitalist-imperialist system. All these horrors are only in the interests of the ruling class; they are not in the interests of the vast majority of the people, including in the US. As a communist, I am determined to fight like hell to end all these injustices, and take down the empire that perpetuates them. And that we can win people away from siding with this ruling class, but not without challenging them. Not without inspiring them with a vision of a whole new world and a plan to actually get there.
For years I have dissented against the injustices committed by our country and on our campus. Now the University (CWRU) has declared me “persona non grata”; I am no longer welcome, I have been banned from campus. CWRU claims to be kicking me off campus for yelling “murderer” at a US solider at an anti-war rally. First of all over a thousand Iraqis have just been killed in Fallujah by the US military, so why wouldn’t I call someone who is proud to be part of this a “murderer?” Secondly that is not what this whole thing is all about, this is about shutting up a loud voice for the people. This is about getting rid of a figure which has strongly advocated the need for public dissent, the need to stand up for those coming under attack. This is about this whole atmosphere of intimidation and fear that they have raised in the newest thrusts of their police state. This is about keeping those who disagree silent, and locking up those who won’t keep quiet.
Yes, I have challenged people who go along with this imperialist war, and rising police state. We can’t fall in line as the face of fascism becomes clear, and as the people of the world suffer intensely at the hands of America. Yes I have been outspoken, yes I have been abrasive, but that is what the people of the world need right now; someone to challenge all the “good Germans” falling in line, and win them over to stand with the people of the world, not the US rulers.
You know the President of Case Western Reserve University, Edward Hundert, since his inauguration, which they also tried to arrest me at for handing out flyers by the way, has been talking about the need for “intellectual discourse.” What kind of intellectual discourse can we have when they have banned one of the loudest opponents of this war, one of the loudest dissenters at this university? They want intellectual discourse that does not talk about making a difference, stopping this war for empire, calling them out on their participation in the round ups of Muslims, and certainly not one that is calling for communist revolution. This is the same campus that after post 9/11 gave “way more information than was asked for” to the FBI about Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Immigrant students that go to our school. So the stakes are much higher than just me—this has everything to do with whether resistance will be allowed at CWRU and in society as a whole.
We have seen a concentration camp set up in Guantanamo Bay. We have seen Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians forced to register with the government, thrown in jail with no charges, and deported. We have seen students in Iowa get federal grand jury subpoenas for protesting the occupation of Iraq. The ruling class is dead serious about building a police state to keep the “homeland” quiet and obedient while they build their empire around the world. We must be serious about stopping this police state before all the resisters end up in Guantanamo Bay. The stakes are that high.
As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party has written, “You step out of line, you threaten them the least and you’ll see what the reality of so-called freedom and democracy in this country is- you don’t even have to be organizing politically against them. Anybody that challenges, questions, doesn’t go along with the program and especially if your among the basic masses of people on whose back this system lives- the full force of this dictatorship will come down on you.”
We must not allow a strong voice of dissent on this campus to be silenced. We must not allow them, for whatever reasons they give, to silence dissent as this rising police state rears its fascist face more on this campus. We must make it clear that we value the right to dissent, and we will not allow this police state to sweep that away.
With love for the people always,
If people want to know what they can do: take this up, call the following phone numbers, write e-mails and letters and send them to President Hundert at CWRU; tell them that this voice is valuable to our “intellectual discourse” whatever he means by that. Tell him that we will not allow an advocate of the people, a true revolutionary, to be silenced. Take a public stand and talk to your friends and professors about what is being done to dissent in this country and on this campus. Organize public protests, sign petitions, and get to the Republican National Convention because even if we stop this administration this time, we have to publicly say with a million different voices all at once, NO to this war and the repression of this police state.
Edward M. Hundert, President of CWRU
Glenn Nicholls, Vice President of Student Affairs
110 Adelbert Hall
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