Copies of alternative college paper stolen at Calif. university, editor says

CALIFORNIA — Staff members of an alternative studentnewspaper at the University of Southern California suspect students have beenstealing copies of their newspaper.Joshua Holland, assignments editor ofThe Trojan Horse, a left-leaning alternative newspaper, said more than2,500 copies of the paper’s Jan. 27 edition were distributed before the theftwas noticed.”It’s impossible to quantify [the number stolen]because some were legitimately taken,” Holland said.He said thenewspaper, which is published twice a month, is distributed by placing stacks ofpapers in campus buildings. Unlike any past issue of the newspaper, stacks ofthis issue, which focused on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, were gonewithin an hour, Holland said.”One of our staff writers witnessedsomebody taking a stack of papers,” Holland said. For Holland,this was confirmation that somebody was in fact stealing the newspapers. Hollandsaid the person ran away when confronted by the staff writer.Hollandsuspects pro-Israeli students were involved in the thefts because the paper”didn’t paint Israeli occupation in as positive a light as themainstream media.” He said by some, the issue was perceived asanti-Semitic.Holland said the newspaper discussed the theft with thestudent activities board and campus security, but other than the eyewitness,there is little proof of the theft. ”We did look in the garbagecans nearest the buildings, but did not search all of the garbage cans,”Holland said. He said nobody found the stolen newspapers.Holland saidthe newspaper would consider pressing charges if the thief iscaught.”We stand for a free press regardless of thecontent,” Holland said. ”We would vigorously pursue anybody whoattempts to undermine that most important of democraticinstitutions.”For now, Holland said, groups of volunteers havebeen organized to hand out the newspapers to students.

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