Splitsville--Tent State Severs Ties With Recreate '68 Over "Violent Imagery" And "Heated Rhetoric"
**Update 2--this is getting personal:
Glen Spagnuola, an organizer with Re-create 68, described the split as a mutual one. Spagnuola said that his group had concerns over the images that the name Tent State seemed to convey, because it suggested Kent State, the university where four students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest in 1970.First, it's Glenn Spagnuolo. Second, who knew the bad blood between the groups would devolve into attacks--Spagnuolo calling Tent State "hypocritical," and Tent State firing back with charges of "immaturity."
"There's been so much confusion over the last couple of months. People keep insinuating that we're going to be violent when we've been organizing for a nonviolent protest," he said. "We don't want the image of dead students on a lawn being associated with the positive message that we're putting forward."
Pease countered that Tent City's name has nothing to do with Kent State. It's so named because students taking part in the protest sleep in tents.
She called that fact that tent rhymes with Kent an "immature argument" and said it was not an issue that had come up between the two groups.
Geez, can't we all just, you know, get along?
**Update--two weeks ago, Adam Jung of Tent State offered this defense of Recreate '68 and Glenn Spagnuolo, over charges from a Truther group about potential violence:
We work with Recreate 68, and we've attended most of the meetings, and I know for a fact nothing of this sort is being discussed. For one thing, our organization has a strict non-violence commitment.Scroll for more . . .
"Tent State University, a national group represented locally by Adam Jung, says it is having trouble organizing support and bands to perform because of the violent imagery associated with R-68's name, and with recent heated rhetoric from R-68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo, who has been the face of the local effort to date"--Denver Post
Recreate '68 doesn't play well with others on the left, and now a schism has formed:
A close ally with the local war protest group Re-create 68, which is organizing for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, is severing its ties, the group told R-68 today.Geez, Glenn. Couldn't hold it together until the convention?
Tent State University, a national group represented locally by Adam Jung, says it is having trouble organizing support and bands to perform because of the violent imagery associated with R-68's name, and with recent heated rhetoric from R-68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo, who has been the face of the local effort to date.
From the outset, Spagnuolo's group has attracted criticism because of its name, which suggests for many the violence outside the convention hall in Chicago in 1968.
"We don't feel that Re-create-68 is working well with the anti-war left," Jung said.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the national group CodePink, seconded concerns over R-68's message and image, saying she wanted to portray the anti-war message as positively as possible. But Benjamin didn't rule out working with R-68, as long as the group's message conformed with CodePink's.
Good lord, making Medea Benjamin sound like the sane one in the room is quite a feat.
It was, however, the fault of the darn conservatives--conservative liberals that is:
Spagnuolo, in anger weeks ago, said the city was creating "a very dangerous situation" because it had given a permit - in a blind lottery - to the committee hosting the convention for use of Civic Center park on the Sunday before the convention. He has since vowed the group would be peaceful.So is Tent State "hypocritical" or is it a "mutual split?" Hmmm.
"We feel like a more positive message would be more attractive to people and we prefer it to be a more positive message," Benjamin said. "We fully intend to work with all the groups, but we want our message to be more positive."
Spagnuolo said Jung's call today was "disappointing."
"This is typically what happens when you have these conservative liberal groups who come in and pressure the smaller groups with their resources," Spagnuolo said. "It's a shame. It's not going to stop us from what we're doing. We have upwards of 40 groups working with us."
When asked to elaborate about what he meant concerning the "conservative liberal groups" Spagnuolo said he would rather refrain from further comment and work to resolve any issues internally.
After reading a press release that Tent State issued Monday afternoon, Spagnuolo said he thought Jung's decision was "hypocritical," because the name "Tent State" conjures up images of college students who died at Kent State during protests of the Vietnam War.
"They really need to look in the mirror," Spaguolo said. "This is something we talked about for quite a while. ... We look at this as a mutual split."
Not even two weeks ago, on this very blog, Jung publicly defended Spagnuolo and Recreate '68 from accusations of violence by Truther groups:
After reading the smear piece written by jonathan, I was of courseThoughts: either the move is strategic--overtly "severing" ties to better diffuse the scrutiny associated with the groups ahead of the convention (although this places Recreate '68 and its head honcho Spagnuolo on the hook should anything go down at the convention), or actually represents a conscious attempt to distance peaceful moonbat groups--the ridiculous but relatively harmless Code Pinkos--from the increasingly suspicious and potentially agitating groups like Recreate '68. Despite protestations of non-violence, it appears Spagnuolo's well-broadcast
concerned. But upon reading the full text of the article, not only the parts some bloggers are using to create this picture, I saw this as the best example of fabled Cointelpro tactics I've personally seen.
We work with Recreate 68, and we've attended most of the meetings, and I know for a fact nothing of this sort is being discussed. For one thing, our organization has a strict non-violence commitment.
Other things that stood out: "Code Pink was not radical enough for them." What? Code Pink is part of Recreate 68. I also noticed the racist disdain the author held for immigrants and the anger over not having his conspiracy march allowed to displace the peaceful plans already organized.
Tent State University will continue to work with Recreate 68 and others and will rightfully ignore this obvious smear piece. I'd encourage others to do a little research themselves before jumping in with the likes of "jonathan."
Tent State University
Exit question--any other possibilities? Conflict of egos amongst the chief moonbats? Not enough exposure for non-Recreate '68 groups? Something in the patchouli?
Bonus video--Spagnuolo sat down with Politics West (Denver Post) and reiterated the group's "non-violent" intentions just this past weekend (May 2, 2008):