Home>Education>Smith Comes Out Swinging Against ASU Communist Support

Austin Smith speaking with attendees at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, July 24, 2021. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network)

Smith Comes Out Swinging Against ASU Communist Support

Calls on the university to leave group’s ideology “on the ash-heap of history”

By Steve Kirwan, January 22, 2024 5:00 am

Arizona Representative Austin Smith (R29) does not mince words in his condemnation of ASU’s penchant for unholy alliances with un-American groups. And after the debacle and backlash for its support of anti-Israel protests in the days following October 7th, 2023, you’d think the university would have learned its lesson. But ASU is at it again, allowing space at Discovery Hall for “Socialist Revolution,” a group promoting themes such as “The Need for a Revolutionary Party” and supporting the notion of violent overthrow of the government.

In a press release dated Friday, January 19, 2024, Representative Austin called on ASU President Michael Crow and the Board of Regents to “immediately and fully condemn this Marxist organizing and the threat it poses to students, faculty, and staff.” He addressed his concerns in an eloquently stated appeal to American values, decrying the intention of the group and the careless actions of the university to allow it.

He wrote, “A responsible society which values freedom must protect those freedoms from abuse at the hands of enemy combatants who cry ‘liberty’ while fighting to overthrow the very system under which they seek refuge. Communist organizing is not free speech. Communist organizing is used to plan for disruption, intimidation, agitation, or violence to achieve a desired outcome. As a matter of public policy, the State of Arizona rejects communism in all its forms and we will not tolerate this type of activity on taxpayer funded Arizona universities.”

It’s unclear whether ASU President Crow and the Regents will “do the right thing” and decommission the organization’s approval. However, if history repeats, and if Austin has any say about it, the university will not hear the end of allowing the group to convene.


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