Volume 95, Issue 21

Wednesday, October 10, 2001
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New recruits rush to sign up

Western residence fears bomb threat

Terrorism up for debate, says UWO prof

BOG profile: Scott Belton

Left-wing views cause 'uprising'

Left-wing views cause 'uprising'

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

A student agenda recently distributed at Montreal's Concordia University – similar to the Westernizer – has drawn heavy criticism for its controversial left-wing, pro-Palestinian contents.

The agenda, entitled "Uprising," was put out by the Concordia Student Union and contains articles, poems and artwork dealing with anti-capitalist, anti-corporate and pro-Palestinian themes.

B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy group, heavily criticized the agenda and last week called for an investigation into the activities of the CSU.

"Everybody has the right to free expression – but this advocates the physical overthrow of the government. This is an approval of all [uses] of violence," said B'nai Brith Canada representative Steve Slimovitch.

One particular drawing in the agenda depicts six fighter planes crashing into a boardroom full of men wearing suits, with a caption stating, "Tell us, is it too late to try this 'grassroots organizing?'"

In light of the events of Sept. 11, Slimovitch said the contents of the agenda should be of interest to CSIS.

Sabrina Stea, president of the Concordia Student Union, said the agenda went to print in early August and called the accusations by the B'nai Brith linking the CSU agenda to the events of Sept. 11 "completely preposterous."

"For the past three years, [the handbook] has been about students. We put out a call and have students talk about things. Nowhere else do you get to hear about these things.

"[Concordia students] can look at it and either way and say 'I don't agree or I agree,'" she said.

Since last year's election, the CSU has become known for using their political position to advance a left-wing, pro-Palestinian platform.

The current CSU executive received 46 per cent of the vote in the last election, which Stea said had the second highest voter turnout ever – approximately 9 per cent of Concordia's 22,000 students.

"We made it clear that yes, we are activists, in our platform," Stea said. "Concordia is known for its politically strong-minded student politicians."

Stea said she was not upset by a petition calling for a new election, currently being circulated around Concordia. It would take signatures from 10 per cent of Concordia students to force a re-election.

Chris Mota, public relations officer for Concordia University, stressed the autonomy of the CSU from Concordia administration.

"We have no control over the CSU – they are completely independent. We didn't even see the agenda until other students were talking about it," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001