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New School Anarchists Shut Down Tom Ridge Homeland Security Talk

New School Anarchists Shut Down Tom Ridge Homeland Security Talk

The New School was founded by anti-fascist scholars and we like to think on this day we did some justice to their legacy. Today we shut down the Securing New York and the Nation: The Creation of the Department of Homeland Security event at the New School in solidarity with prisoners of the Green Scare, the victims of the War on Terror, prisoners everywhere, undocumented immigrants, and the anti-capitalists currently acting against the G20 in Pittsburgh. Tom Ridge was the first Secretary of Bush's Department of Homeland Security, formed in the jingoistic days following 9/11. As Department Secretary, Ridge was responsible for and complicit in the torture of detainees, the entrapment and harsh imprisonment of eco-activists such as Daniel Mcgowan and Eric Mcdavid, brutal raids on immigrant communities, the political manipulation of terror alerts, and countless other abuses. The youth of this nation have had the misfortune of growing up under 8 years of the Bush Administration, and we will not tolerate the presence of one of its central henchman in our community.

To be honest, this invitation was no surprise, as Kerrey and Ridge are both politicians with close ties to both the intelligence community and the military-industrial complex. Ridge and Kerrey both actively argued in favor of the war in Iraq. Ridge and Kerrey are both complicit in the harassment of fellow activists, Ridge for the Green Scare, and Kerrey for his involvement in the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board which aims to harass college activists. Early this year, Kerrey admitted to asking NYPD to follow New School activists opposed to his administration, and on April 10th Kerrey asked the NYPD to lock-up 19 of our classmates for protesting his administration. They received Misdemeanor and Felony charges that are still not settled. We will never forget or forgive the actions of either of these scumbags, and want to hold them accountable. There is no discourse that will lessen our rage.

At 9:00 AM, cellphones began to ring and continued to ring for 5 minutes. As the crowd grew frustrated, Kerrey was forced to stop his anecdote about the good old days of the Bush Administration. As tension grew, we began to announce ourselves as opponents to the event, calling out Bob and Tom as the fascists they are, reminding them of our imprisoned friends, their complicity in torture and war, and refusing to leave. After a few minutes of this Kerrey asked for civility, and in a desperate bid to regain control asked for a question from a student. The question for Ridge was: "Do you feel that your willingness to sentence to death more than 200 prisoners during your term as Pennsylvania governor bore any relation to President Bush's decision to name you secretary of Homeland Security?"

Despite the calming protesters and Ridges attempt to answer the question, it was enough for Kerrey to conclude that the talk could not continue, and so he shut it down. A large section of the audience applauded, and the neo-conservatives invaders of the New School skulked out in anger. Not a single one of Ridge's books were sold. The entire meeting lasted about 25 minutes, but if Kerrey did not pull it so early we had plenty more planned. And we still do.

-Students for Destruction of State, New School Cadre