Timing of visit by Churchill riles tea party in Junction

A politically conservative Grand Junction group described Ward Churchill as demonic and decried the timing of an upcoming speech in Grand Junction by the controversial former University of Colorado professor.

Tim Fenwick, president of tea party group GJResult, labeled Churchill’s planned visit to Grand Junction on Memorial Day as “an egregious act towards our valley.”

“Memorial Day is not a day for politics,” Fenwick said. “His condemnation of Israelites, Palestinians, calling people little Eichmanns, wishing ill to people, getting in fights over a silly Columbus Day parade ... demonic may fit him pretty well.”

Fenwick said his phone had been ringing all day Tuesday from fellow conservatives after news circulated that Churchill will speak in Grand Junction. Fenwick said others want to protest the event, but Fenwick said he hadn’t decided yet whether to organize a protest.

“This Tea Party is for free speech, no matter the hatred, no matter the volatility, no matter the subject,” Fenwick wrote in an email. “Churchill has every right to speak his hatred for our country to whoever will listen. However, we oppose his appearance here in Grand Junction on a day that is set aside for remembering people who died at the hands of our enemies, the same ones Churchill extols.

“To allow him a pulpit to preach from, on such a solemn day, is a slap in the face of the people in this Valley. We also stand in opposition of his beliefs, his rhetoric and his arrogance.”

Members of Confluence Media Collective, which publishes The Red Pill, said they secured a speaking engagement for Churchill at 7 p.m. May 30 at the Unitarian Universalists Congregation, 1022 Grand Ave.

Churchill has been vilified for calling victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who helped organize the killing of Jews in the Holocaust.

Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies, was fired from the University of Colorado after it investigated him for plagiarism, but Churchill later won a lawsuit against the school.

Churchill, a political activist, also writes about the government’s mistreatment of American Indians and political dissenters.

Rose Pugliese, president of tea party group Western Slope Conservative Alliance, said members of the group may decide whether to protest during a scheduled board meeting today.

Pugliese said a protest by the group is “probably unlikely,” but group members will make the final decision.

“My personal feeling is I don’t agree with him. I was in New York on Sept. 11,” she said. “We are for the Constitution and constitutional rights of free speech, but I don’t know why anybody would bring him in. People may not agree with our speakers, and they don’t protest us. People are asking us to protest (Churchill’s speech), but I’m not sure what that would accomplish.”


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