Phi Beta Cons

Point of Clarification

There seems to be some confusion regarding Columbia’s policy regarding protests.  Bollinger has said that taking the stage during a speaking event is unacceptable, which of course it is.  It is an act of aggression, even if no one lays a finger on the speakers, even if it isn’t accompanied by turning over chairs and furniture, as it was in this case.  But, as John McCormack notes below, one protest-spokesman said that they have done this often, that they take the stage, unfurl their banners, and are escorted out, whereupon the speaking event continues.  So which is it?  Is taking the stage prohibited by Columbia, or have these protesters been permitted to take the stage at other events?  And for that matter, did the protesters intend to disrupt the event only momentarily or to stop it completely?  The latter seems to have been the intent, given the chanting of victory slogans in Spanish after the speakers were escorted out.  Either way, the protesters’ actions were reprehensible, but for the sake of completeness, further explanations are in order.       


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