Political past of Mifflin Street Block Party hard to see on 50th anniversary

Mifflin Street Block Party
Mifflin Street Block Party
Jake Andreae, left, and Raymond Mcconnell drink beer out of their shoes during the Mifflin Street Block Party.

It started off as a ‘60s-era protest against the Vietnam War, but over the past five decades, the Mifflin Street Block Party has evolved into something radically different — trading politics for drunken camaraderie.

This year marks 50 years since the initial protest, which in 1969 brought hundreds of UW-Madison students to the 400 and 500 blocks of West Mifflin Street and resulted in a three-day riot during which police used tear gas and night sticks to try to break up the crowd and protesters hurled bottles and rocks at police.

Now, the city and UW-Madison have largely given up on efforts such as alternative, sponsored events to divert students from the raucous party. Instead the Madison Police and Fire departments closely monitor apartments and the thousands of partiers on the block to curtail the booze fest that’s become a tradition.

Mifflin Street Block Party
About 7,000 partiers…

‘Conservative’ student said she became hate crime victim due to her political views

Surveillance video shows a self-described “conservative student” trying to escape a fellow student she said is trying to run her down with his car. The woman said the two got into a heated discussion about her politically conservative views.

The driver showed up to classes Monday but was immediately barred from the South Seattle College campus while he is being investigated.

The alleged victim and her dad are upset that he hasn’t already been arrested after what she says happened last week in this parking lot.

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The surveillance video shows Katie Daviscourt walking through the parking lot at South Seattle College last Thursday as a black SUV comes into view.

“All of a sudden this car comes flying behind me at maximum speed,” she said.

Katie Daviscourt is still shaken four days later.

“Mind you, he is not looking at the road once,” she says. “He’s staring me down. And that is when…

Betsy DeVos Suggests That Bribing Colleges Helps Students Learn Math

Photograph by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / Getty

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Offering an upbeat assessment of the headline-grabbing college-admissions scandal, Betsy DeVos said on Thursday that bribing colleges gave students “a really neat opportunity” to learn math.

The Secretary of Education suggested that, rather than keeping children in the dark about the bribes that enable their college acceptances, “Parents should sit around the kitchen table with their kids and work…

Parkland victim’s father: Traumatized students shouldn’t have been flung into politics

After the Parkland shooting, there was a maniacal emphasis on hashtags and photo-ops. My community never got the help it needed to actually heal.

More than a year has elapsed since 17 students and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, including my 14-year-old daughter, Alaina. But even now, our community is still experiencing the aftershocks of the attack.

Over the course of just one week in March, two more MSD students died, this time by suicide, adding to the horror of this senseless and preventable tragedy. Shortly after the Parkland suicides, the father of one of the 20 first-graders killed in the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, took his own life as well.

In the days immediately following the Parkland shooting, before the families of the victims had processed the magnitude of their loss, a cadre of vocal students, fueled by the news media frenzy, focused on political action. They marched, peddling a bromidic elixir of political prescriptions.

Read more commentary:

Flashback: Here’s what it was like to watch my friends die in Room 1216

I moved my kids from Florida to New Zealand, only to need to explain mass shootings anyway

While the sense of political urgency from students was understandable and in some ways admirable, it came at the cost of a focus on the health and healing — for the families of the victims, students, teachers and the community at large.

Mismanaged media frenzy

The lack of focus was recently highlighted by MSD teacher Kimberly Krawczyk, who bravely spoke out about the failure of the school district to address the trauma experienced by students and teachers. She cited a lack of trauma training for counselors, a lack of privacy for grieving students seeking help, and an almost maniacal emphasis on hashtags, photo-ops and political protests. All of this left many students, teachers and staff to question whether or not they were being #MSDStrong.

The politicization and media-frenzied response to the murders overwhelmed and eclipsed the real, personal needs of the survivors and their loved ones. To be blunt, the cacophony of voices on gun control drowned out and suppressed a needed conversation on the mental health needs at the school and in the community. For that failure, our community is paying a heavy price.

The causes of mass casualty incidents, and therefore the solutions, are far more complex than they first appear. In fact, it took the commission tasked with investigating the MSD tragedy almost one year to detail its findings in a more than 400-page report.

Warning signs leading up…

Columbia students join global climate strike’s call for urgent political action

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A number of guest speakers also attended the demonstrations and shared stories on climate change activism, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

Nearly 200 students, community members, and political activists flocked to Low Steps Friday morning as part of a global movement to call for urgent political action on climate change.

Friday’s “Global Climate Strike” comes as part of an international student response to climate change inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began skipping school to rally in front of the Swedish parliament in August of last year.

The Sunrise Movement at Columbia—a student organization dedicated to political action and climate change—co-sponsored the event with Green Owls CU, Student-Worker Solidarity, the Columbia University Democrats, and WBAR. A number of guest speakers, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee, attended the demonstrations and shared stories on climate change activism..

Naomi Hollard, CC ’19 and founder and coordinator of Sunrise Columbia, said she hopes that the climate strike will have an impact beyond the University, but emphasized the need to bring greater awareness on climate change to the campus.

“We want our leaders to be taking action: leaders within a college setting, within a governmental setting, within a national setting. We want all of our leaders to have the power to enact this change,” Hollard said at the event. “By default, we also are asking that leaders…

Why Some Politicians Think Russia Is Behind Today’s Student Strikes

Students take part in a protest against climate change in Hong Kong on March 15, 2019, as part of a global movement called #FridaysForFuture. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)

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This morning, thousands of schoolchildren in Australia and New Zealand began a national day of climate demonstrations that will see students ditching class in the largest #FridaysForFuture demonstration yet.

For three months, students have been ditching class every Friday to protest. It’s part of a movement started by the 16-year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this week. Demonstrations are expected today in at least 1,500 cities in 100 countries.

The protests, which started in December, have thus far been relegated mostly to Europe. And while some European politicians have welcomed the students’ enthusiasm, others have been suspicious about what forces are causing this sudden mass mobilisation.

Last month at the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of European and American leaders to discuss defence and geopolitics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned the protests in the context of Russia’s hybrid warfare – efforts to manipulate public opinion using cyberwarfare and disinformation in order to destabilize enemy governments.

“In Germany now, children are protesting for climate protection – that is a really important issue,” she said. “But you can’t imagine that all German children, after years, and without any outside influence, suddenly hit on the idea that they have to take part in this process.”

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“Hybrid warfare from Russia can be felt every day in every European country,” she added. “This hybrid warfare in the internet is hard to detect, because you suddenly have movements that you wouldn’t have thought would appear.”

Merkel faced an immediate backlash against her comments, and her spokesperson quickly backtracked on her behalf, saying on Twitter that she had used the climate protests merely as an example of how campaigns can be mobilized on the internet.

“The pupils’ commitment to climate policy is something she expressly approves of,” he said.

But Merkel’s comment hit a nerve because the exact same accusation had been made by Belgian climate minister Joke Schauvliege in January. Schauvliege was subsequently forced to resign because of what she said.

“I know who is behind this movement, both of the Sunday demonstrations and the truants,” she told an audience of farmers. “I have also been told that from state security. I can guarantee that I do not see ghosts alone and that climate demonstrations are more than spontaneous actions of solidarity with our climate.”

But after the comments were picked up by the media, the Belgian state security services issued a statement denying they had reported anything of the kind to Schauvliege, “neither verbally nor in writing.” The climate minister then held a tearful press conference where she said she could no longer serve because of the controversy. She said she had misspoke because of exhaustion.

But why would both Angela Merkel…

Students learn political process at state Capitol

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) – Students from all over Arkansas were at the Arkansas State Capitol to learn about the political process.

Vice President of Speech Language from Jonesboro Shelly Keller said they were at the State Capitol Tuesday for the Arkansas Speech Language Association Student Advocacy Day with students from Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, and Harding University to introduce them to advocacy groups.

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Students, parents say Parkland survivor speech too political for school

HOLLISTON, Mass. – Students and parents in Holliston say a speech given Friday by school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg was too political for a school setting.

Hogg, who survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., last year, spoke to students at Holliston High School Friday morning. The speech entitled, “Engage in the Change: Our Generation Must Own Democracy,” was expected to be an apolitical discussion, focusing on youth engagement.

“Thank you all for being here to listen to this important message that in reality is not a partisan issue,” Hogg said before the students in a video filmed by Holliston Cable Access Television. “Because what we advocate for – what our generation advocates for – is simply to stop dying. And if we think that’s a partisan issue, we’ve got a bigger issue in America.”

But 16-year-old sophomore Daniel Biundo, who was sitting with his classmates in the auditorium, told Boston 25 News Monday the second half of the speech took a turn.

“It was billed as kind of a speech on civic engagement and trying to get the youth active,” Biundo said. “This wasn’t a discussion. This was a one-sided political speech, and that’s where the problem for me lies.”

Biundo, who said he admires Hogg and agrees with what he advocates for, said the speech became inappropriate for school. He said Hogg strayed from youth engagement, bashed the National Rifle Association, pushed a political agenda not only involving gun control, but also immigration and made references to a connection between the opioid crisis and white privilege.

Hartwick students get taste of politics on Senate staffs

Hartwick students get taste of politics on Senate staffs
Contributed Hartwick student Joe Nolan, front, attends orientation for the state Senate/s Undergraduate Session Assistant Program. He will intern with state Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale, of the 42nd Senate District, until April. Behind Nolan are interns Jeremy Southwick, right, and Gunther Burke.

Two Hartwick College students are exploring the New York political arena through internships for state senators.

Political science students Joe Nolan, a senior, and Theo Malone, a junior, were among 30 students selected across the state for for the Undergraduate Session Assistant Program.

Nolan is working with state Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale, of the 42nd Senate District, and Malone will intern for Sen. Robert Antonacci, R-Syracuse, of the 50th Senate District, until the middle of April.

The interns were assigned to senators with consideration of the policy areas they were most interested in; Nolan chose agriculture for its economic importance upstate and said he was pleased to be working with Metzger, who was named chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee in December.

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Liberia: Political Science Lecturer Warns Weah-led Gov’t of Dangers Attached to Banning Student Political Activities

MONROVIA – Professor Alaric Tokpa, a prominent former student leader has condemned the suspension of student political activities on the campuses of the University of Liberia.

Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, alaskai.johnson@frontpageafricaonline.com

Responding to request by journalists to comment on the recent ban on student political activities at the university, Prof. Tokpa, who is also former head of the Political Science Department at the University of Liberia, said that the interference of University authorities with the legitimate and constitutional rights of students to associate, speak freely, and take actions in their own interest and the interest of the larger Liberian society, is a trait of dangerous dictatorship.

“Dictatorships atomize society and reduce it to very small units by removing organizations and institutions from between individuals and government. In that way, the government is able to brutalize and destroy individuals without hindrance or any difficulty,” he stated.

According to him, this is exactly what the dictatorship did to the Liberian student community in the 1980s.

He lamented that the same scary scenario is now again showing up under this regime and it is counterproductive.

“And the same thing is what the cheer leaders in the George Weah Government are seeking to do to the student community today. However, that is an old strategy that is usually counterproductive.”

According to the Political Scientist, silencing the student community is a strategy that never works; it only provokes disobedience and chaos in society.

He asserted that no student leadership or community is able to successfully lead negative campaign against a government that is doing the right thing; adding: “The present challenge therefore before the George Weah government is to stop searching for imaginary enemies everywhere and focus on doing the right thing.”

Prof. Tokpa, who in the 1980s when former Samuel K. Doe ruled by military degree had him and others thrown in prison at the famous Belleh Yallah, deep in the Lofa Forest, therefore called on all well-meaning Liberians in and out of government as well as at home and abroad to advise the government to halt the interference with the legitimate and constitutional rights of the student community; as the suppression of legal forms of struggle usually provokes illegal forms of struggle.

He insinuated that when students’ political activities are banned openly,…