On Friday, Campus Reform reported that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) invited Chelsea Manning, the Army private convicted on six counts of espionage, to speak on “ethics in public service” and “activism and protest” this week.
According to Campus Reform:
The announcement for Manning’s talk acknowledges her violation of federal law, but frames her as an advocate for “government transparency” and “transgender issues,” noting that Manning publicly identified as a transgender woman while in prison, where she “asserted her right to medical therapy.”
At UCLA, Manning is slated to speak on issues including “ethics in public service; resistance in the age of artificial intelligence; activism and protest; transgender issues; and the intersection of technology and people’s lives,” according to the announcement.
While Manning has had a tricky time gaining acceptance by academia—in September she saw her invitation to serve as a fellow at Harvard University rescinded within two days—some college campuses appear to be warming up to her.
Last week, Campus Reform said, Manning addressed a sold-out audience of nearly 800 students at Bard College, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal.
“Whether it’s me as a trans person or me as a political dissident in my concerns about surveillance and the security state, it’s this notion of the state determining who does and does not have rights,” Manning told those assembled. “And I like to view rights as not something somebody gives you but something that you have and that you are able to assert.”
— Rick Morgan (@Morgan30D) March 3, 2018
I wish this was a joke.
— VeronicaCorningstone (@Andrea737312) March 3, 2018
Kind of an oxymoron https://t.co/WypFUhM0Lk
— Sherry Berry 🇺🇸 (@flynlady) March 3, 2018
That’s putting it mildly.
“You just can’t make this stuff up,” Twitchy said.
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