On January 8, 2010, University of Oregon students, activists and community members confronted and demonstrated against the Pacifica Forum, a documented extreme right wing hate group, during one of their meetings on the U of O campus.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center which monitors hate groups nationwide, the Pacifica Forum was founded nearly 17 years ago by longtime pacifist and retired U of O professor Orval Etter. The Pacifica Forum started as an informal group whose stated aim was to "provide information and points of view" on "war and peace, militarism and pacifism, violence and non-violence." The group was considered to be left wing.
However, things have since changed for the worse and the Pacifica Forum now counts among it's members active neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and others bent on spreading racial and religious hatred and intolerance.
"As near as I can tell, the past 2 years (fall 2007 to present) have been devoid of legitimate (non-bigoted) pro-Palestinian programs or criticism of Israeli policies," writes Michael Williams on the Southern Poverty Law Center's web site. Williams has been monitoring the activities of the Pacifica Forum for about the past 6 1/2 years.
"The reason [some members] left Pacifica Forum in the fall of 2007 [was] because of the proliferation of "views about 'race-mixing,' 'blood consciousness,' 'miscegenation that tears down civilization and pollutes good races,' and 'the genocidal war against our own race,'" writes Williams. "Those views then joined the anti-Semitic themes as the core of Pacifica Forum's programming," Williams added.
And it gets worse. Much worse.
"Between 2003 and 2005," according to a story on the Southern Poverty Law Center's web site, "three organizations that had sponsored Pacifica Forum dropped the group due to concerns about anti-Semitic programs. One organization, the Eugene Fellowship of Reconciliation (an interfaith peace group), cited a Pacifica Forum presentation given repeatedly on the anniversary of Kristallnacht in which Etter uncritically summarizes a book by Ingrid Weckert, a German Holocaust denier who claims that "world Jewry" perpetrated the nationwide 1938 pogrom that destroyed the property of German Jews."
For Pacifica Forum to be anti-Semitic is bad enough. But for them to repeatedly deny that the Holocaust ever happened, or to try and blame the Holocaust on the Jews, and on the anniversary of Kristallnacht no less, is hatred personified. Kristallnacht was the night in 1938 when the Nazis unleashed the full force of state controlled terror and murder against Jews and other enemies of the Nazi movement. People were beaten and killed, their property destroyed or ripped away from them to be "redistributed" to "Aryans." Thousands of others were thrown into concentration camps like Dachau for "protective custody" (harsh imprisonment) and "reeducation" (starvation, torture and murder). The night that became known as Kristallnacht ("Night of the Broken Glass") was one of the defining moments of the Nazi Holocaust. Thousands of people died that night, which is also known as the "Night of the Long Knives."
The Pacifica Forum has also hosted talks by notorious and internationally known Holocaust deniers and revisionist history peddlers David Irving and Mark Weber. These men literally make their living by perpetuating what is perhaps history's biggest and cruelest lie of them all. And those lies hurt.
To counter the Pacifica Forum and their ongoing hate, students and their supporters are mobilizing in part through a Facebook group that has attracted more than 1,200 members since it was created just last Friday. The Facebook group can be found by following this link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=287466056216.
"Since starting the Facebook group, awareness has risen exponentially," said Devon Schlotterbeck, a University of Oregon sophomore who was inspired to launch the Facebook group after listening to hateful comments from Pacifica Forum participants, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. "People's reactions are mostly of shock and of disgust and also a lot fear that this group is on our campus," Schlotterbeck added.
For the Pacifica Forum to be given a free venue on the U of O campus to spread such lies and hurt is just not right. Orval Etter and his Pacifica Forum are allowed to use space at the Student Union on campus due to a loop hole - because Etter is a retired U of O professor. Apparently Etter's status as an ex-faculty member gives him and other Pacifica Forum members a license to do whatever they please, no matter who it hurts - courtesy of the University of Oregon. So make your voices heard! Get the Pacifica Forum off campus for good! For all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
The President of the University of Oregon, Professor Richard Lariviere, is reportedly reviewing the policy that allows a group like the Pacifica Forum to use campus facilities. If you would like to let Mr Lariviere know your feelings on this, here is his contact information:
President Richard W Lariviere
University of Oregon
110 Johnson Hall
1226 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1226
Office: (541) 346-3036
Pacifica Forum information & references:
link to www.registerguard.com
link to www.splcenter.org
Pacifica Forum Web Site: