The 2014 '30 Under 30'

Congrats to this year's 30 -- check out the full list here!

Protesters at Middlebury College rip flags commemorating 9/11 victims out of the ground

Middlebury College ProtestAn annual tribute to the 2,977 lives lost on Sept. 11 ended prematurely after five students from Middlebury College ripped American flags from the ground in protest, stuffing them into black trash bags before a fellow student stopped them.

The students — four females and one male —  were caught tearing the more than 2,000 American flags placed near the campus chapel from the ground and stuffing them into black trash bags. Set up as a bipartisan tribute to the victims of 9/11 by the Vermont school’s College Republicans and Democrats, the protesters claimed the flags were placed on top of a “sacred Abenaki burial site,” the school’s newspaper, The Middlebury Campus, reported.

“Today, while walking up the hill to Mead Chapel, I witnessed five individuals ripping the flags out of the ground and un-ceremonially throwing them into black garbage bags,” College Republican President Ben Kinney wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “I immediately confronted them and asked them what they were doing, and they angrily replied that Middlebury College sits on Abenaki burial ground and that it is ‘extremely offensive to stick anything in the ground, especially American flags, which are symbolic of their death and oppression.’”

Kinney, who set the flags up himself Tuesday night, continued, writing the students told him both the College Republicans and Democrats were ”commemorating the wrong deaths,” and justified their protest, calling it a “protest against American imperialism.”

The young President took one of the bags from the protesters before the group ran from the site. Kinney has since filed a police report.

According to the Middlebury Campus, the two student groups have been placing American flags in the grass between Mead Chapel and the Davis Family Library for approximately 10 years. Campuses nationwide take part in similar tributes as part of the Young America’s Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project.

“Since 2003, Young America’s Foundation has worked with students from across the country to ensure that the 2,977 victims who were murdered in the 9/11 terror attacks be remembered by participating in the 9/11: Never Forget Project,” Hillary Cherry, YAF’s program officer for public relations, told Red Alert Politics in an email. ”By ripping the American flags from the ground the five protestors not only disrespected their fellow students who worked hard setting up the display, but they also took away the chance for other students to remember the victims of the horrific attacks.

“Twelve years ago 2,977 people were murdered simply because they were Americans. Each of the protestors should apologize for dismantling a beautiful display honoring American heroes and interfering with their fellow students’ freedom of speech.”

Two of the protesters — Anna Shireman-Grabowski and Amanda Lickers — issued statements via the website Climate Connections, which calls the protest an “act of solidarity.”

“My heart swelled and I knew in my core that thousands of American flags should not penetrate the earth where my abenaki brothers and sisters sleep,” Lickers wrote. “We have all survived so much – and as a visitor on their territories I took action to respect them and began pulling up all of the flags. … Yesterday I said no to settler occupation. I took those flags. It is a small reclamation and modest act of resistance.”

Shireman-Grabowski, a student at Middlebury, echoed her sentiments.

“While the American flags on the Middlebury hillside symbolize to some the loss of innocent lives in New York, to others they represent centuries of bloody conquest and mass murder,” she wrote. “As a settler on stolen land, I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power. Three thousand flags is a lot, but the campus is not big enough to hold a marker for every life sacrificed in the history of American conquest and colonialism.”

Despite the protest, the College Republicans will not be deterred, as Kinney wrote yesterday.

“I just wanted to let you guys know that I fully intend to carry on this tradition, and believe it to be extremely vital in making sure that this day is remembered among younger college students who may have been too young to watch that day’s events on television back in 2001,” he wrote.

This piece has been updated to include new information.

 

Comments

Polititainment

Actor: Obama needs to 'grow some'

Actor David Boreanaz tweeted Wednesday evening that Obama needs to "grow some" and more effectively and authoritatively deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country's recent interference in Ukraine.

Gyllenhaal no longer believes in Obama
President Barack Obama has always been popular with the Hollywood crowd, but at least one of his most vocal champions and heavy donors has changed her mind about the president. Academy Award-nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal told Time Magazine that she has grown disillusioned with Obama. “I really believed in him, and I’m not sure what he […]
Jay Carney: Obama can make friends

Former White House press secretary Jay Carney appeared on "The Late Show" Wednesday to discuss his departure from President Obama's White House.

Obama channels Chris Rock

Discussing a tax loophole that businesses exploit in order to avoid paying United States taxes, the president made a distinction between that which isn't right and that which just "ain't right."

Colbert mocks Palin for Internet channel

In an attempt to mock Sarah Palin for her recently launched Internet television channel, Stephen Colbert on Tuesday's episode of "The Colbert Report" introduced his own competing web show called "Stephen Colbert's Angry Echo Chamber."

White House

CIA: Yeah, we totally spied on the Senate, after all

An internal CIA investigation confirmed charges that the agency wrongfully hacked into a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee, it was reported Thursday.

New emails reveal Lois Lerner talked way too much smack about right wing on official phone

An email exchange between Lois Lerner and an unnamed individual made public Wednesday reveals that the former IRS official doesn't care too much for talk radio.

Fact check needed on Obama’s Kansas City speech, states with minimum wage increases didn’t see higher job growth
It’s time for a fact check on the president’s latest proclamation about the need for an increase to the minimum wage. President Barack Obama continued his tour across America Wednesday with a speech on the economy in Kansas City, Miss. and meals with more letter writers. Per usual, Obama brought up his attempts to bring […]
Golfer finds Obama’s golf ball in the woods, says president’s game is ‘off line’
President Barack Obama is “off line again.” Or at least his golf game appears to be. Instagram user larrydoh posted a picture of a Titleist 44 golf ball labeled “POTUS” on Saturday. He found the golf ball at the Congressional Country Club, one day after POTUS played the same course himself. “Obama played at Congressional […]
Polls: Obama White House incompetent at managing, worse than Darth Vader

The job of the administrative branch is to, well, administer the laws. According to a new Fox News poll released on Wednesday, most Americans think that the Obama administration is failing dismally at the task.

Congress

Rubio and Cruz break rank on border bills
Two likely candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination have broke with their party on immigration issues in the last week, earning the approval of Democrats, but drawing criticism from the right. Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Texas) irked many in the GOP when he met with House Republicans, urging them to vote against a proposed […]
Dem. Rep. forgot she cosponsored Bush impeachment
Impeachment talk has gotten some Democrats so riled up they’ve forgotten their history. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D – Texas) argued on Wednesday that Republican efforts to sue President Barack Obama were only a “veiled attempt at impeachment.” She tried to claim the moral high ground, saying that Democrats never attempted to impeach President George […]
Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority.

DWS admits Obama is not doing his job
We never thought we would say this, but Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz just said something we actually agree with. Moments before the House vote on a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, Schultz appeared on MSNBC and admitted that Obama hasn’t been doing his job. “I’m going to go to the House floor and actually debate why […]
Cruz provides motivation to youth in speech

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) provided motivation to an audience of students from across the country Tuesday, saying that young people have been behind almost “every significant change” in human history.