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UNF SDS stands up against Madeleine Albright and administration

By MJ Joy |
February 15, 2020
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SDS banner drop calls out war criminal Madeleine Albright.
SDS banner drop calls out war criminal Madeleine Albright. (Fight Back! News/Staff)\

Jacksonville, FL - On February 5, the University of North Florida hosted an event called “A Conversation with Madeleine Albright” where UNF President David Szymanski joined her on stage celebrating her life as a woman in politics and discussing her new book.

Albright was a former secretary of state under the Clinton administration and championed the destruction of Iraq, earning her the nickname “Iraq’s Grim Reaper.” Albright has attempted to wash over her imperialist and racist values with ‘feminist’ remarks such as stating there is “a special place in hell” for women who do not vote Hillary.

Several members of UNF’s Students for a Democratic Society attended Albright’s event to conduct two banner drops shedding light on war crimes she committed during the Clinton administration. The first banner stated “M. Albright not welcome here” and the second listed a fraction of her war crimes such as the 78-day bombing on Yugoslavia and setting the stage for destructive sanctions on Iraq and the Middle East, and deeming the lives of half a million Iraqi children killed was “worth the price.”

UNF SDS condemns the presence and so-called legacy of Albright, as well as the university’s decision to take the involved members into the student conduct system over a peaceful, silent and cooperative banner drop. Each group held their banners for no more than a single minute, standing without blocking any audience member’s view of the main event, until UPD approached and confiscated the banners and escorted the students outside to file an incident report. UNF Students for a Democratic Society Vice President Katelyn Scott says, “We peacefully exercised our First Amendment right. The university should not be more focused on us than preachers who target students on their way to class.”

Since the university’s decision to charge the students protesting a war criminal - instead of the vehemently anti-choice groups and preachers who routinely occupy crowded areas of campus to harass students in the middle of school days - SDS has launched a call-In campaign to demand that the administration drops the charges against these students.

More about the call-in campaign can be found on the UNF SDS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UNFSDS/