[Marxism] Human Connections

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jun 29 15:53:00 MDT 2008


It is easy to become inured to the steady diet of sensationalist 
crime stories in the New York news media, but the torture and rape of 
a Columbia University journalism student over a 19 hour period in 
April 2007 spoke to me in a way that others didn't. I felt more 
connected since she was a Columbia student (I have been employed by 
the university since 1990) and because the incident took place in her 
Hamilton Heights apartment, a Harlem neighborhood that is rapidly 
being gentrified just like the rest of Harlem.

Hamilton Heights begins just 4 blocks from my office in the 
Manhattanville neighborhood that Columbia will be expanding into over 
the objections of some community groups. It is clear that the 
intention of the university and its allies in the real estate 
industry is to "improve" the neighborhood. Such a desire led to the 
famous campus rebellion of 1968 when students resisted the war in 
Vietnam and Columbia's plans to build a new gymnasium in Morningside 
Park over the objections of the Black community.

The Columbia student, whose name was not released to the press as is 
customary in rape cases, was victimized by Robert A. Williams, a 
homeless man who had followed her into her building. He was found 
guilty of attempted murder, rape and arson last Tuesday. The arson 
charge stemmed from a fire he lit beneath the futon he had tied her 
to and from which she managed to escape.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/human-connections/





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