We’re now several months into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this series, we talk with organizers, agitators and educators, not only about how to resist, but how to build a better world. Today’s interview is the 84th in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.
The battles over “free speech” on campus have loomed large in the era of Trump, with conservative provocateurs invited to campuses across the country only to claim that they are being silenced when students protest them. In one of the latest salvos in the battle to claim “freedom of speech” for the right wing, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his allies are pushing a policy that would suspend or expel students for protesting in ways the university deems infringe on the free speech of another.
Today we bring you a conversation with Thomas Gunderson, an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an organizer (both on and off campus) with Our Wisconsin Revolution. Gunderson is organizing against Gov. Walker’s policy.
Sarah Jaffe: The University of Wisconsin and Scott Walker’s appointees there made headlines again last week with some sort of “free speech” policy. Can you explain that?
Thomas Gunderson: The big issue with it is that it is complicated to explain. The moral of the story is that it essentially threatens to suspend and expel students who … violate a new set of really obscure and vague policies that the Board of Regents will be proposing.
So, you don’t know what the policies that you could potentially be already violating are?
Pretty much. That is the really scary part. They promote it as a bill that is done to protect…