Friday, March 18, 2011

Tennessee State Senator Attacks Students; Progressive Student Alliance Responds

Universities should expel students who commit civil disobedience, according to Tennessee State Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). That's exactly what many universities did back when students demonstrated for basic civil rights alongside Martin Luther King. Decades later, the universities apologized. Senator Randy McNally wants to repeat a little history.

McNally is bothered by the willingness of students to fight for workers' rights. Seven students were arrested at a demonstration for workers' civil rights at the state capitol. The students were making a statement against the Republican plan to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights.

McNally actually argued on the Senate floor that the University of Memphis should expel the students. Thankfully we have no real problems in Tennessee so the lawmaker has plenty of on the job time to waste attacking students:

Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, a Memphis State graduate, rose on the Senate floor near the end of Thursday's session and said, "I've been down here a long time and have never seen a situation like that. ... I was also dismayed to learn that six of the individuals were members of a registered student organization at the University of Memphis -- the Progressive Student Alliance -- and I would hope the university takes action. It's up to the school, but I would hope they expel them, " he said.

The Progressive Student Alliance responds:

"If Nashville politicians spent as much time listening to the demands of workers and students as they do slandering PSA in the press, our democracy would be in better shape, and we could find more productive things to be doing on a Thursday night than writing press releases."

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