Controversy Hunting on the Campus Frontier

Pipes is scheduled to go on at 7:30 p.m., and as the time approaches the crowd is alarmingly civil. Though the group features a strong contingent of women in hijabs, many or most of the Pipes opponents appear to be affiliated with A Jewish Voice for Peace, and their reasonable and good-natured behavior isn’t going to make any news. I approach Lisa Stampnitzki to see if maybe the reports of extremist offenses at these kinds of gatherings are invented. “There tends to be an over-exaggeration in the way they describe these events,” she allows.

No sooner have we spoken, however, than a gangly man in an Uncle Sam costume, so tall that with his top hat he appears for a moment to be on stilts, enters the crowd bearing a sign that reads “I Want You To Die For Israel.” The “s” in Israel has been replaced with a clockwise swastika. “Now this is what I’m talking about,” I egg on my new friend Lisa. “You’ve got this gentleman with the swastikas on his sign. This is what gets attention at these things.”

Reason goes in search of ruckus at Daniel Pipe’s recent appearance at Berkley.

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