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The ex-professor and professor whose separate appearances on the college lecture circuit regularly cause controversies appeared together Thursday night -- to still more controversy. William Ayers -- the University of Illinois at Chicago professor who is regularly attacked for his past in the Weather Underground -- traveled to the University of Colorado at Boulder to speak with and on behalf of Ward Churchill, who lost his job teaching there when the university determined that he had engaged in repeated incidents of scholarly misconduct. Churchill maintains that he was fired for his political views, and the joint appearance came just days before a court will consider Churchill's suit against the university charging that he was wrongfully dismissed. Churchill and others have also criticized the university for charging the student group that organized the effort $3,000 for extra security for the event. While the university said that the security enhancements were necessary, students and Churchill said that the fees were an attempt to discourage the event. The Denver Post reported that Ayers, in his remarks, said that the Churchill dismissal could have an impact well beyond his case. "I don't worry about Ward Churchill as much as I worry about the teacher in Denver who teaches social studies and can't bring herself to raise questions because of what she saw happen to Ward Churchill," Ayers said. "The real victims are across the country and across the world and the people we don't know. That is the chilling effect that we should all worry about, those of us who care about democracy."
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