Monday, September 17, 2007

Minuteman Founder May Return to Columbia

September 17, 2007

Minuteman Founder May Return to Columbia

Columbia security, get that riot gear ready! Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, the pseudo-militia that patrols the border, tells the Columbia Spectator that, yes, he's up for a repeat appearance.

Last year, Gilchrist spoke at Columbia University, at the request of the Columbia College Republicans, only for a crazy, violent clash to occur when protesters stormed the stage. Students and Minutemen tussled (see video here), politicians and school officials frowned, and punishments were handed down to some students (essentially slaps on the wrist).

The Spectator reports that lecturer David Eisenbach invited Gilchrist for this year's "Friendly Fire" lecture series in January, and Gilchrist said he planned on attending, though "Nothing is completely solid at this point." Naturally, the students involved in the protest groups who originally protested Gilchrist aren't happy, but there was an interesting reaction from College Republican director of operation Lauren Steinberg (class of 2009): "Personally, I really hope he's not coming. I mean, it was a fun time last year, but I don't need it to happen again."

In the meantime, Gilchrist has become interested in NYC real estate development. He wrote on his blog that he "giggled" when he watched a video of Columbia president Lee Bollinger get raked over the coals by Manhattanville expansion opponents: "It’s hard to feel bad for the man when he refuses to do anything to halt much worse behavior on his own campus."

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