Angela Davis calls for the end of incarceration at UMass-Amherst
Communist radical and Black Panther associate Angela Davis called for an end to incarceration late last month at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
The university reportedly paid $16,000 for Davis to deliver a speech titled “Sustaining Social Justice Movements and Intersectional Struggles.”
University officials justified the speaking fee by saying her appearance "reflects the university's commitment to exploring a range of ideas, perspectives and concepts."
The speech itself focused on topics like the prison industrial complex, police using military grade equipment, and the “Afro-Colombian community of La Toma.”
“Prison abolitionists not only want to end mass incarceration - we have to end incarceration… Imprisonment only produces the problem it is designed to solve,” Davis said, according to The Daily Collegian.
In addition, Davis accused the state of Israel of racism and anti-Semitism.
“If one is truly opposed to racism and anti-Semitism, one has to challenge the state that promotes these ideologies,” Davis said, referring to Israel. “We should be able to join progressive, radical Jews in Israel who are also standing up.”
Earlier this month, news of the event was met with controversy from the university community and Massachusetts taxpayers.
“Don't get me wrong, I'm a staunch supporter of our constitutional right to free speech, but a public university sponsoring a speaker as radical and controversial as Angela Davis just doesn't sit well with me. I would wager that the taxpayers of Massachusetts who fund the UMass system would have a similar objection if they knew that their money helped this cause," Rocco Giordano, the Vice President of the UMass Republican Club, told Campus Reform.
Davis herself has a long history of violent and controversial actions. In 1972, she was tried and acquitted of any involvement in a courtroom takeover plot which led to the deaths of four individuals, including a sitting judge. The jury was unable to reach a guilty verdict, even though she owned the guns which were used in the crime. Davis has also ran on the Communist Party USA ticket as Vice President twice before.
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