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Van Jones speaks at Siena College

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Albany/HV: Van Jones speaks at Siena College
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Siena College hosted the 24th Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture series. Thursday night's featured speaker was a bit controversial: Van Jones. Our Solomon Syed joined us from the campus with more.

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. -- As part of Siena College's 24th Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture series, former White House green jobs advisor Van Jones spoke.

The speech however, wasn't without controversy, as a number of protesters rallied on Route 9, they expressed concern over what they call Jones' extreme views.

Jones resigned as a presidential advisor back in 2009 because of past statements on communism and 9/11.

For the speech, Jones told students about his own college experience and shared his views on improving race relations and improving the economy by spurring green job growth.

We spoke with Jones before the event and he says coming to speak at Siena is all about free speech.

"I might make a joke here or there, but if you hear the whole context of what I'm saying, you'll see I'm fighting for the American dream, that poor people can work their way out of poverty," Jones said.

"My daughter donates every year. Disappointed in what Siena has here tonight," protester Kathy Kotoaba said.

The school paid Jones for his appearance, but they won't say how much, nor would he. They did say all his travel and accommodations were also paid for. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP