Georgetown students, profs protest Jeff Sessions speech

Campus Reform Reporter

  • Students and professors gathered to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday as he delivered a lecture on campus free speech at Georgetown Law.
  • Despite initially complaining that the ticketed event was "actively excluding the wider student body," an entire row of seats was occupied by black-clad students who placed tape over their mouths in protest.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Protesters begin to assemble outside the venue...

    A large group of protesters has already begun to gather, roughly 30 minutes before Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to speak.

    "Freedom of thought and speech on America’s college campuses are under attack."   

    “We, the disinvited, find it extraordinarily hypocritical that AG Sessions would lecture future attorneys about the importance of free speech on campus while actively excluding the wider student body,” a student protester began the demonstration, referencing the Constitution Center’s decision to open up the talk only to a select group of students.

    Protesters called the move a tactic “designed to ensure a sympathetic audience,” saying they are “deeply disappointed in how Georgetown Law has handled this event.”

    11:45 a.m.: Protesters take a knee in protest of Sessions... 

    “I stand as part of the Georgetown University Law school community to let everyone know that this opportunity Jefferson Sessions has taken advantage of is not an opportunity to talk about free speech. This is part of the Trump administration’s agenda,” another protester declared through a megaphone, adding that “we still not stand, we will not support the racist rhetoric” of the Trump administration.

    She proceeded to invite all students and faculty gathered to take a knee in protest of Sessions, mimicking the practices of NFL players who continue to draw national attention for kneeling during the national anthem.

    11:50 a.m.: Photo shows protesters wearing all black in auditorium...

    Despite claims from protesters outside the auditorium that Georgetown Law had carefully selected attendees to ensure “a sympathetic audience,” a row of students is depicted wearing all black within the auditorium, a tactic routinely used by protest groups such as Antifa and By Any Means Necessary. 

    12:15 p.m. Attorney General Sessions begins speaking…

    Attorney General Sessions opened his remarks by referencing an incident reported on by Campus Reform in which activists at Kellogg Community College were arrested for distributing copies of the Constitution on campus.

    “Freedom of thought and speech on America’s college campuses are under attack. The American university was once the center of academic freedom, a place of robust debate; a forum for the competition of ideas. But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought; a shelter for fragile echoes,” Sessions remarked to a noticeably tense crowd.

    12:35 p.m.: Student protesters demonstrate at end of Sessions speech

    At the end of Attorney General Session’s brief remarks and before a question and answer portion, students dressed in all black and occupying a row in the auditorium stood up, placing black tape over their mouths.

    1:15 p.m. Campus Reform speaks with protesters

    While the protest outside quickly dwindled down, Campus Reform spoke with protesters of the events, most of whom were upset that while they had apparently initially been told they could attend, the law school later explained that invitations were only extended to members of the Center for the Constitution.

    “It seemed that they were going to allow people to come, and then they got concerned that there were going to be protests; that there might have been more demonstrations. It seemed like they were rescinding those invites because they didn’t want any sort of hostile environment,” one protester explained to Campus Reform.

    Follow Campus Reform on Twitter: @CampusReform





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