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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 02/24/2011

AIDS activists, AmeriCorps supporters plan protest of Cantor speech Thursday at Harvard

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 4:30 p.m.

When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) visits Harvard University this evening to deliver an economic address, he may have some company.

Student AIDS activists and AmeriCorps supporters are among those planning to protest Cantor's address at the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics, slated for 6 p.m. Thursday.

One of the groups of protesters will include undergraduate and graduate students from Harvard, Tufts, Lesley and Northeastern Universities who are protesting some of the $61 billion in cuts included in the federal spending resolution that passed the House last week.

According to the organizers, the protest will include a "Rally for AmeriCorps" led by students who have participated in the Teach For America, City Year, and Citizen Schools service programs; students will also be protesting cuts to community health centers, job training, family planning and renewable energy programs.

Students from Harvard involved with AmeriCorps plan to deliver a petition to Cantor with nearly 100,000 signatures backing the program, organizers said.

A separate group of protesters will include students from Harvard, Wellesley, Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia and the New School who are members of the national Student Global AIDS Campaign, as well as representatives from community groups and people living with AIDS from around the northeast.

According to Alyssa Yamamoto, 20, a Harvard junior from Westchester, N.Y., who is helping to organize the SGAC protest, the students are protesting $1.5 billion in global health program funding that would be cut if the House-passed government-funding resolution becomes law.

SGAC is the same group that heckled President Obama during several of his speeches last year in cities including Philadelphia, New York and New Haven.

When Obama visited Boston last October to headline a rally for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), protesters from SGAC yelled at him and held signs reading "Keep the Promise" and "Fight Global AIDS." Yamamoto said that students are planning a similar indoor protest at Thursday's speech.

Cantor Deputy Chief of Staff John Murray said that House Republican leaders "respect and understand that people want to have their grievances heard around spending cuts, and that's perfectly okay, but doing nothing is not an option for the long-term fiscal growth of this country."

"Every dollar spent in Washington has a constituency, and the point is that we have been servicing all of those constituencies for too long, and we've got to start making tough choices," Murray said. "People have a right to advocate for what they think money should be spent on. People have a right to bring their ideas into the process and have them debated and looked at. But just like we're dealing with with the spending cut issue in the Senate, the status quo is not acceptable."

The planned Cambridge protests come as House officials are warning members and staff across the country to be prepared for budget-related protests at their district offices this weekend.

"The U.S. Capitol Police have been made aware of the possibility of demonstration activities at Congressional district offices... continuing through the end of the week," House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood wrote Thursday in an e-mail to members and their staff, according to Roll Call. "It is believed that the intention of these demonstrations is to raise awareness of budget issues."

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 24, 2011; 11:20 AM ET
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Why do Leftists fear opposing views so? Will they run like the Wisconsin democrats?

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 24, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

wewintheylose1: Pot meet kettle.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 24, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Left Wing Brownshirts will shout him down; it's one of their tried and true tactics.

Posted by: JustJoe3 | February 24, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Leftists aren't afraid of opposing views-that's the realm of republican intellectualism. What I oppose is giving the richest people in this country a tax break while cutting benefits to the poor and elderly. I also oppose this being done by people who claim they are more religious than I am. I oppose cutting anything that furthers the benefits of the working class while the elite Republican class gains more power and wealth.

Posted by: mg11231 | February 24, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Calling the left gracious of you, We the left will be there to demonstate the ignorance of the OTHER side, Independents...the time has come for you to show your colors...Either it is WE THE PEOPLE or THEM the Corporations and Tea Partier's.

Posted by: janetmramos | February 24, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

As the poor idiot has nothing intelligent to say, as all right-wingers, he should stick with False News and the Three Murdoch Stooges.
After all, False News accepts every garbage coming form the right: Sarah B.S., Dick-Head Cheney, F.uckabee, Annus Coultergheist, Wrong Angle, Witchie O'Donnell, Dumbsfeld, etc.

Posted by: analyst72 | February 24, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Rep. Smirkface will find something condesending to say about the protestors while being cheered on by fascists.

Posted by: lyndee1 | February 24, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: DrainYou | February 24, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

The left expect the Republicans to produce jobs in one month but what were they doing for 2 years since 2008 except passing programs to discourage any job growth.

The left always expects their views to be heard but protest when other than their views are stated and try to shout down whomever it presenting different views than theirs.

Posted by: sales7 | February 24, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Jolson's old man want him to become a Cantor , or is it Canter ? Either way, Hahvahd has had it's share of Singers and Left Wing Marxist Muslims along the way . And let's not forget the influx of most of a clan called Kennedy who added a few leaves to those Ivy Covered Walls . Not since they tore down Alcatraz ( as a Prison , that is ) will America be able to celebrate the razing of a building, until the last brick falls from the Hallowed Halls of Hahvahd. After all, when you consider who poses as the foremost Constitutional Scholar in the Land , I'd be out hiring a contractor if I was running Hahvahd . It's evident that this is one Ivy League fortress that isn't that strict on the way they mark all the test papers.

Posted by: puck-101 | February 24, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well. Eric Cantor finds out his twisted views - the ones News Corp allows him to have - don't go well with the think-for-yourself crowd.

Enough to make a liberal's heart start beating again.

Eric, take the message back to Rupert Murdock. We want our country back.

Posted by: PoliticalPrisoner2012 | February 24, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope they eat the little toady's arse out. Is he bringing John the Boner with him, since he is always holding onto John's coattail. Cantor is such an emasculated male, and he smirks because he is so uncertain of what he speaks. His only conviction is holding on to his job and no one has certainly ever heard him espouse any solutions to our nation's many problems. He should be selling men's clothing for a living.

Posted by: papafritz571 | February 24, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

HIV/AIDS is not actually a death sentence. It is a disease that can be managed and be controlled by the individual who acquired it allowing him to live a long normal and productive life like anyone else. the largest dating site for HIV singles claim that they have 200,000 HIV members, Most of them are here to find understanding, support and love. It is really a good thing that encourage each other, Leading a healthy life.

Posted by: juliarix | February 25, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

There are 33,300,000 of AIDS as well as HIV positive single people worldwide. If you are one of them and you are prepared to become a little brave then You may find that is just for you. For you will come across new individuals who will certainly become life long friends or Love of life and achieve a degree of self-belief you never would have believed possible.

Posted by: chloe1chen2 | February 25, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

There are 33,300,000 of AIDS as well as HIV positive single people worldwide. If you are one of them and you are prepared to become a little brave then You may find that PozSpaces.c om is just for you. For you will come across new individuals who will certainly become life long friends or Love of life and achieve a degree of self-belief you never would have believed possible.

Posted by: chloe1chen2 | February 25, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm a student at Harvard College and attended the event with Rep. Cantor last night. I am also a proud Democrat and, needless to say, I had a few issues with what Cantor said. I live-blogged my responses to Cantor's speech for the Harvard Political Review, check it out here:

Posted by: smthompson | February 25, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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