September 2, 2007

NEWS: College Punishes Protester

Anti-war Activism Unfurls on Campus
JCCC fires employee and former student for protesting Iraq war.
by Miguel M. Morales

Kaedden Timi admitted unfurling a 20-foot square anti-war protest banner during a political debate at Johnson County Community College Aug. 13.

"I did it," Timi told the student newspaper, The Campus Ledger, Aug 30.

Days later the college fired him.

Timi, a employee in the college's theatre department and a former student senator, released the banner during a political debate between Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan). The two policticians participated in an event dubbed "Reaching Across the Aisle: Bipartisanship in Washington, D.C."

Near the end of the debate Timi released the banner that read:

"Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity: bush/Cheney & Their Administration
Pat Robers & the Senate
Dennis Moore & The House
End The War In Iraq Now!"

Timi posted a letter Aug. 26 on describing his actions.
"To fall on ones own sword has never been so gratifying!" Timi wrote. "Hopefully it was Moore and Roberts who felt the sword of justice at their throats' [sic] for if they do not start listening to their onstituents and put an end to the profiteers' war then surely they too will 'fall on their own swords.'"

According to the website, Timi knew the college might fire him for his actions. College policy 422.02 Political Activities states that employees are free to engage in any activity afforded "any free citizen." However, the policy also states that employees may not use college property, school equipment or materials.
The Kansas City Star reported Aug 31 that JCCC fired Timi not for protesting but for possibly placing the audience in danger.