Tonight! Open Forum on Columbia’s Expansion (Panel & Q&A)
8 pm in 203 Mathematics Hall, Columbia campus
Columbia students join West Harlem community members and the Coalition to Preserve Community to occupy a building seized under the university’s fraudulent use of eminent domain. From the CPC’s new blog:
“On March 22, 2012, members of the Coalition to Preserve Community, St. Mary’s Congregations for Justice and Peace, Harlem community members, and students of Columbia University, joined forces to march against Columbia University’s expansion plans and project of displacement. This march culminated in an occupation and opening up of the Tuck-it-Away storage building lobby, 655 West 125th St, as a center for mobilizing, organizing, and channeling resistance to Columbia’s racist, untransparent, and exploitative plans and actions.”
The occupation will culminate in an open forum on the expansion project this Monday, March 26. The forum will take place from 8-11 pm in 203 Math building on the Morningside campus. See http://www.facebook.com/events/304607396270424/
See this video for a brief history of Columbia’s role in racist, classist gentrification in Harlem.
Upon a recent Google search, I discovered that Michael Jackson once posed enthusiastically with Bal Thackeray, the founder and leader of the Shiv Sena, upon a visit to India in 1996. Apparently the occasion for Michael Jackson’s trip was a fundraiser for the urban poor coordinated by Thackeray. The Shiv Sena is a chauvinistic Hindu nationalist organization based in Bombay, which has fueled xenophobic anti-Muslim hatred and violence throughout Maharashtra and elsewhere in India for decades now. (To put this in perspective, Thackeray has repeatedly expressed admiration for Hitler.) The Shiv Sena was also the principal group responsible for the city’s name change, from “Bombay” to “Mumbai,” when they held power in Maharashtra in the late 1990s.
Ah, blissful ignorance…