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Six arrested while speaking out against racism

Students Protest Virgil Goode and Youth for Western Civilization

by Kosta Harlan |
April 26, 2009
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Students Protest Virgil Goode and Youth for Western Civilization
Students Protest Virgil Goode and Youth for Western Civilization

Chapel Hill, NC - On April 23, about 100 students gathered for the second time in two weeks to oppose white supremacists organizing on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s campus. Just one week after the racist Tom Tancredo was driven off campus by turbulent protests, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), a white supremacist organization, brought former Virginia congressman Virgil Goode to speak about affirmative action and immigration.

60 students gathered in the Pit for a speak-out against racism. A broad united front of political and cultural organizations on campus organized the event. 200 students stopped to listen and debate with demonstrators, while students gave speeches denouncing the white supremacist views of Tom Tancredo, Youth for Western Civilization and Virgil Goode.

“We called on students to boycott the Virgil Goode event. The media makes them out to be the victim, but we understand that YWC is a national organization funded by white supremacists,” said Ariana Lucido, a first-year student at UNC and a member of Students for a Democratic Society and Alianza. “Our protest served to give students a voice that had been silenced by Goode and YWC’s hate speech. We will continue to speak out anywhere white supremacists and racist bigots try to oppress people.”

Inside the event, dozens of protesters greeted Virgil Goode with booing and hisses. Six activists were arrested when they held signs denouncing white supremacy and raised their voices against racism. Students were quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy of the administration in cracking down on the protesters.

“Chancellor Thorp has publicly apologized for the supposed violation of Tancredo’s right to spew hate,” said Carlyn Cowen, a UNC undergraduate. “He has been noticeably silent on the issue of the right of UNC students to speak freely against him and protest on their own campus. He seems more eager to protect the right of politicians to promote their racist agendas here than securing the safety and well-being of his own students.”