Minuteman appearance at UCLA cancelled

The California state director of the Minutemen (or Minutemensos) Civil Defense Corp, Carl Braun, was scheduled to speak at UCLA this evening, but the event was eventually cancelled. Braun was invited by members of a student group, LOGIC (Liberty Objectivity Greed Indiviudalism Capitalism), to debate a member of the Ayn Rand Institute on the issue of immigration.

Needless to say, pro-immigration students weren’t too happy when they heard the news and saw the Facebook announcements. From their point of view, the Minutemen are vigilantes promoting a racist agenda. A flier for the protest called on students, professors and community members to “say no to hate” and featured an image of skinheads carrying Nazi and Confederate flags.

Over the weekend, Chicano and Latino student groups spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and MySpace announcements. They planned a protest objecting Braun’s appearance and what they called “hate speech.”

I’m not much of a fan of the Minutemen either, and decided to join the protest. I showed up around 6:30 to find classmates and a bunch of other students gathered outside of Moore Hall. A sign announced that the event had been cancelled and one of the student leaders mentioned that LOGIC cancelled because they could not cover security cost. They saw the cancellation as a victory, but the view from LOGIC was different.

Arthur Lechtholz-Zey of LOGIC blamed UCLA, “if UCLA truly cared about intellectual discourse, about the free expression of ideas, about scholarly debate, they would have made an effort to make the event move forward. Instead, they put up obstacle after obstacle” (LOGIC’s explanation).

Even though the immigration debate was cancelled, pro-immigration students still gathered and spoke out against their opponents. About 250 students and community members (including high school students and members of the Brown Berets attended.

10 Replies to “Minuteman appearance at UCLA cancelled”

  1. And here I thought you were making a value judgement on their acronym, but it’s really the name they give themselves! I bet even Milton Friedman would insist they pay for their own security, isn’t that part of the wonderful magic of the ‘invisible hand’?

  2. I’ve had to deal with the Minutemen before. It was not something I had looked forward to, since I am Filipino – I had this fear they were going to stone me or something else equally silly. To my surprise, the Minutemen I met were diverse – black, white, Mexican – and very passionate and educated in their viewpoints against illegal immigration, not immigration in general.

    Preventing the dialogue is not a victory, especially here in America, the land of the free.

  3. Cindy, why do you refer to “pro-immigration” students? Nobody being referred to here is anti-immigration. Anyone with half a brain cell realizes that 99% of the inhabitants of this country come from immigrants.

    The only issue in question is whether people need to follow the rules or not.

    And its really too bad you succeeded in censoring the lecture – it sounds like it would have been fascinating to have a debate between a Libertarian and a “conservative” Minuteman.

  4. Chavo,
    I love the fact that they have greed in there.

    Darleene,
    Who dialogues with para-military organizations? I don’t feel sorry that the Minutemen didn’t get to spread their message at UCLA. They have AM radio and mainstream media at their disposal. Although students were greatly opposed to the Minuteman appearance, we’re not the ones who set the security guidelines, nor was their violence planned. A debate could have been held in the lecture hall while those who opposed the Minutemen’s message spoke outside.

    Ataki,
    Maybe the LOGIC kids aren’t in their right mind.

    Sam,
    The debate was called an immigration debate by the planners and their announcement included these questions:

    “Immigration is a hotly debated issue today, entailing a number of considerations. What does a rational moral code have to say about allowing immigrants into the country versus having restrictive policies or a closed border? What is to be done about potential terrorists and criminals? What are the economic ramifications of immigration? Do immigrants displace jobs? Will open immigration cause an unjust drain on the welfare system–more so than is the case currently? Will overcrowding be a problem? What value do immigrants pose to a country? Will an influx of immigrants irrevocably alter the cultural atmosphere? Do immigrants have the right to come to America? Do Americans have the commensurate right to employ and sell housing to immigrants?”

    LOGIC wasn’t planning an event just about undocumented immigration, they were talking about immigration in general. I wrote that the students who protested the events were pro-immigration because they ARE and without many of the qualms others have.

    Finally, the students did not censor the event. The LOGIC students simply by planning a protest OUTSIDE the event. As I mentioned to Darleene above, the students who planned the event also did not recommend that LOGIC should cancel because they did not have enough security. It was campus administrators.

  5. Cindylu: Who made you arbiter of who can speak at UCLA? It’s a public university. All points of view should be presented, then debated. By demanding otherwise, then you become what you abhor.

    I was raised a liberal Democrat, but I agree with some of what the Minutemen have to say. Open, unregulated borders — like the defacto situation we have now — are wrong. A country has a right to defend its broders and soveriegnty, and to demand that those wanting in follow the rules. Period.

    I’m not anti-immigration. I love our melting pot. I’m staunchly anti-ILLEGAL immigration. It’s a drain on the social programs that were set up to serve those here LEGALLY as citizens or on visas. Anything else is theft. And don’t give me the argument that they take jobs no one else wants. It’s a straw man argument, and it’s not true.

    Forcing the Minutemen to not speak is censorship — exactly what many of are pissed off that the administration is trying to do to anyone who dissents about Iraq. You don’t have to like or agree with what the Minutemen say, but it’s not your right to demand that they not say it on public property, with an invitation.

  6. You’d think these hate groups like the Minutemen could come up with a better name for their leader than “Carl Braun” … Wasn’t a guy by the same name one of the leaders of the Gestapo? Hey! It’s a joke! Calm down! But … seriously … “Carl Braun”?!?

  7. Lee,
    Um… Bruin LOGIC was certainly not presenting all points of view on immigration, legal or not. I didn’t censor anyone. I showed up to an event presenting a point of view ommitted from the scheduled debate. I’d suggest reading the link to Bruin LOGIC’s explanation on the cancellation of the event. In there, the student blames the university for not providing enough guidance and security. I can’t take credit for the fact that the leader of an organization I find repulsive was not allowed to speak. The even was covered by student fees, and we have a right to oppose those viewpoints.

  8. You absolutely have a right to oppose them. But your post made it sound like you believe censoring them is the right thing to do. It is not.

  9. Lee,
    I believe showing my opposition to a group whose ideals and actions I find deplorable is the right thing to do… especially when they are speaking at an institution I attend and the event is supported by student fees.

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