Monday, May 2, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Breitbart's Provocateurs Trespass at UMSL To Harass and Intimidate Students(AUDIO)

Early last week, Dana Loesch and Andrew Breitbart's websites started pushing a story claiming that professors at UMKC and UMSL were encouraging their students to use violence and industrial sabotage to further political ends. The videos immediately looked sketchy, with strangely edited clips cobbled together. Though the bureaucracies of the universities and the unions slowed down a response to the attacks from well-known con artist Andrew Breitbart, UMKC professor Judy Ancel released a statement documenting that the videos were maliciously edited to put words into the mouths of the professors. On Friday, Crooks and Liars and Media Matters both released video that clearly demonstrated that the story being pushed by Loesch and Breitbart was completely fabricated via creative chop-shop editing.

In order to distract people from the fact that they were busted lying, St. Louis tea party provocateur Adam Sharp, who's blogged on Breitbart's sites before, apparently trespassed on the UMSL campus on Saturday to harass students and instructor Don Giljim. Sharp attempted to film students in their classroom, pestered them as they walked out of class with questions like "do you condone violence," and was arrested and charged with trespassing. Don Gilgim was also taken to the police station because there was an altercation, and as students waited outside of the police station, another tea partier approached them and began taunting them and daring them to "take a swing" at him. This is after a week where the tea party violated students' privacy by putting videos on YouTube showing comments made for the purpose of classroom discussion.

Needless to say, the students felt victimized by this assault on their ability to learn in a safe environment without being harassed by extremists. We were able to get two exclusive interviews with students from the UMSL class who witnessed Adam Sharp's attempts to barge into their classroom. I think both of them do an excellent job laying out just how disturbing it is that the tea party is now trying to harass students and professors on college campuses and interfere with people's ability to learn and speak freely. Though the students chose to remain anonymous for this interview, one (Kevin) will be available for media requests, as well as other students from that class. The first student we interviewed is studying for finals and trying to recover from the major disruption in her life caused by the tea party invasion of her classroom, and she prefers to remain off-the-radar for the next several days.

Please check out these interviews which (1) further debunk the lie that the course taught students to use violence as a tactic or engage in industrial sabotage, (2) detail Sharp's incredibly creepy behavior of trespassing and trying to barge into a college classroom, and (3) document the tea party blatantly trying to provoke attacks from college students who were just trying to learn:

First Interview

Second Interview (Kevin)

I should note that I heard that instructor Don Giljim was charged with damaging Sharp's camera. I certainly do not condone violence, even against people who are doing everything in their power to provoke it. Sharp invaded the sanctity of their classroom in order to create a story that distracts from the fact that Breitbart and Loesch were caught lying, and he just might be successful.


  1. This is an absolute disgrace. I hope that students who can corroborate these accounts will support their instructors. This absurd Tea Party/Breitbart attack on Gilgam and Ancel is a shameless fabrication created by known provocateurs. They have adopted completely unethical and arguably dangerous tactics and, in my opinion, need to be exposed and disgraced for this approach. Under the guise of citizen "journalism" this dishonest band of fringe instigators will only go on to bigger prey if not stopped shortly. Stay safe but please take a stand against this bully squad of anti-intellectual propagandists.

  2. The sad thing is that it doesn't have to be true to accomplish what people like Loesch and Breitbart intend vicious lies to do. They cater to an audience that has an amazing propensity to take pundits at their word. The audience believes things like "education is for elite liberals" and "unions are evil", so something like this is incredibly believable to the Loesch audience. Once the rumor is out there, it's passed from right winger to right winger until it becomes gospel and even politicians are repeating the lie. Mission accomplished.

  3. Umm... not that I condone any of this nonsense, but we only have the right to privacy while in private. When someone is in or visible from a public space they have no right to privacy. This is a first amendment right and I would hate to see our ability to photograph/film people freely in public abridged or curtailed.

    Now, given that the university is private property, they do have every right to declare (and it usually has to be a sign, but a verbal notice works as well) that photography, video, and audio recording is not permitted with out consent.

  4. Let's get back to basics: 1) Adam Sharp was an intruder; 2) Don Giljim was an instructor; 3) The incident at UMSL occurred during a regularly scheduled class.

    Since when does a university administration make the safety of students and faculty a higher priority than the content of a course syllabus!?

    Giljim error was in not immediately calling Security to remove an intruder who was disrupting a regularly scheduled class. After all, would it have made a difference to the UMSL administration if instead of "merely" a Tea Party extremist Sharp had been an al-Qaeda extremist intruding to put out EVERYONE'S lights?