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Georgetown Law Protests Attorney General Jeff Sessions Speech
Georgetown University law students joined Tuesday at McDonough Hall to protest a speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who criticized schools for violating students’ free-speech rights.
The Washington Post reports that dozens of student and faculty, who were barred from the event, joined to protest Sessions’ speech.
“We, the disinvited, find it extraordinarily hypocritical that AG Sessions would lecture future attorneys about free speech on campus while excluding the wider student body,” third-year law student Ambur Smith said.
Protestors duct taped their mouths and held signs that read “DEPORT HATE” and “FREE SPEECH IS NOT HATE SPEECH.”
According to a Slate report, over 30 Georgetown Law faculty members also signed a letter that “condemn[ed] the hypocrisy of Attorney General Sessions speaking about free speech.”
“These are just three examples of governmental action antithetical to freedom of speech and association for which Attorney General Sessions is either closely affiliated or directly responsible,” the letter read. “A man who fails to recognize paradigmatic violations of the First Amendment is a poor choice to speak about free speech on campuses.”
Greyson Wallis is a Georgetown law student who protested the event. Wallis tells the Washington Post that Sessions wasn’t the main reason behind the protest. According to Wallis, Georgetown Lawstudents had officially signed up for the event, but were told via email that their invitations were declined.
“It seemed like they were rescinding those invites because they didn’t want any sort of hostile environment, and I can understand not wanting to have a violent environment, but that’s not at all what we were trying to do,” Wallis said. “We’re law students. We all just wanted to hear what he had to say and let him know where we differ from his opinions.”
The Georgetown protests came just days after Berkeley protestors rallied against Milo Yiannopoulos’s appearance at the University of California, Berkeley, where an estimated $800,000 was spent on security.
Sources: The Washington Post, Slate, The Los Angeles Times