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by told by Edie Pistoesi-fwrd from G. Shollette
Thursday, Oct. 06, 2005 at 6:39 PM
. This story below is just in from CSUN: California State University at Northridge, in the San Fernando Valley: here we find an ROTC Colonel who feels empowered to challenge art students freedom of speech in court.
here is yet another sign that the new bunker mentality is being normalized in the USA with censorious repercussions on campuses both red and blue, and in the art world.
To offer support or just to say your not alone, please contact Professor Edie Pistolesi at: firstname.lastname@example.org>
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The Edie Pistolesi story as told by her husband D. Klein:
There is a need for some help on this. Colonel Buck has filed a formal complaint against Edie with the administration. She has already started to get phone calls from administrators asking for information and justification of the project.
The project in a nutshell was for her art students to convert war toys (in this case toy army soldiers) into peaceful creatures. Some students changed the soldiers into firemen and their rifles into water hoses. Others were magical creatures, butterflies, movie characters, animals, dancers, chefs, etc. The students included dwellings for their transformed creatures to live in. The project reflects part of the mission statement of CSUN, "...to help students develop ... critical and creative abilities, and ethical values of learned persons who live in a democratic society, an interdependent world..."
Colonel Buck took great offense at the placement of the ankle-high art installations around the ROTC building. He interrogated Edie and demanded to know how she ran her course, whether students were coerced to participate in this art projects that expresses a universal human value of love of peace, rather than lust for war.
He suggested that the art installations be placed "around the Chicano Studies building, or some other department." The Colonel expressed fear that the morale of his ROTC students at CSUN might be adversely affected by artistic _expression of a culture of peaceful coexistence rather than the glamor of war.
Col. Buck was particularly worried that the art pieces would still be near his building this coming Monday and Tuesday because his ROTC students would then mostly likely see them and presumably then be discouraged from engaging in the mass murder that U.S. wars of aggression demand.
Consequencies to Edie remain unresolved, but there is an opportunity for others to show up sometime on Monday or Tuesday (e.g. to sing song have seditious peace messages, or students chanting "Hell no, we won't go," etc.).
A question I would like to ask Col. Buck, if I get to see him, is why he doesn't go to Iraq himself instead of trying to convince young men and women at CSUN to do it. If he is so gung -ho on murdering men, women, and children in Iraq, he should sign up for active duty and leave CSUN and UCLA alone. Instead, he wants to wage war against a CSUN art professor who dares to challenge a culture of war in the form of transformed children's toys.
One more thing. One of the ROTC cadets saw spoke to Edie and said he didn't want to go to Iraq. Without naming the cadet, Edie told CSUN's Colonel in residence that one of his cadets doesn't want to go to Iraq. The Colonel demanded to know which one, and Edie of course refused to snitch.
I think that we really need to step up the pressure against CSUN's ROTC. There must be a lot of creative forms of protest we could come up with. Who knows, maybe Colonel Buck, sorrounded by converted toy soldiers and protesters, will leave the campus in horror at the aggressive peace offensive. We're a long way from the Viet Nam protest days when students would have splattered blood on the ROTC building as a first step.
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