The Jefferson Educational Society wrapped up its Global Summit on Friday night. The guest speaker was Erie native Robert Pape who is a world renowned expert on terrorism studies.
Dr. Pape headlined “Political Violence in America and the Implications for Democracy.” He spoke to the full crowd on big social issues including domestic terror on the left and right, such as the January 6th insurrection.
A packed crowd was on hand at the Yehl Ballroom at Gannon University as they listened to Dr. Robert Pape discuss the current most dangerous threats to national security. He says its not coming from overseas but here in America. Starting in 2020, we have seen the rise of collective political violence.
“With some of the George Floyd protests where collective political violence from the left, we have not seen that since the 1960s,” said Dr. Robert Pape, University of Chicago Political Scientist.
Dr. Pape adds that on January 6th, there was collective political violence from the right.
“We have not seen that kind of collective political violence from the right since the 1920s, so these are extremely different types of problems and these really are threats to our democracy,” Dr. Pape said.
His goal is not to make people scared but to understand that we should be concerned.
“So, I believe that once we understand that we have a problem, that will make us better able to have a solution to that problem.” Dr. Pape said.
Erie resident Brian Graff was there and he says its great to hear from such a well-known political scientist.
“Given everything that has been happening in the country over the past few years, I think we really need to get a handle on this and see what implication it does have for our democracy,” said Brian Graff, Erie resident.
“These are two different aspects and sides that we come from and each of these speakers has presented is really showing the common ground and how we can use these to better our community.” said Chelsea Oliver, Corry resident.
Dr. Pape was honored by the Hagen History Center with an award during the event. He was also given the key to the city by Erie mayor Joe Schember.
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