Student Protesters Storm Columbia Library To Protest The Right Of Conservatives To Invite Conservatives To Campus

200px-ColumbiaNYUCoat.svgWe have been discussing the increasing practice of students interrupting classes or speeches to prevent others from hearing opposing views.  This has included protests where students have been prevented from studying as other students accuse them of privilege or racism.  Administrators at schools like Dartmouth have allowed such abusive conduct to occur without disciplinary action, even apologizing to the protesters.  Now, twenty students were allowed to storm the Columbia University library Wednesday to protest the fact that College Republicans were allowed to exercise their free speech in bringing conservative speakers to campus. It was a demonstration that not only sought to deny other students free speech but did so in a way to deny students their right to study.  Columbia has been silent on any effort to discipline the students.  The Liberation Coalition occupied the library staircase while holding signs proclaiming “Decolonize Columbia” and “Divest from White Supremacy Now.”

The Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) group has invited such speakers as Dennis Prager, Ann Coulter, and Mike Scaramucci to campus.  The protesters objected that “Columbia’s actions last October—giving a platform to white supremacists and seeking to punish students for protesting them—was not an isolated incident.”

Columbia students had to endure such other students screaming “Dear students, what is anti-Black racism?”  and “Can any student in this room right now tell me what anti-Black racism is? Ivy League! Ivy League! How does anti-Black racism play a role in what’s happening now?”

The protesters demanded “decolonization” of the curriculum since, as one protester explained,  “Almost all of the readings, are white men.”  They demanded that professors be forced to assign an “equitable amount of literature . . . from marginalized people: black people, women of color, trans people.”

I have previously written that universities have shown a striking lack of courage and commitment in defense of academic freedom and free speech.  I previously discussed the utter failure of Northwestern to support these values in a conflict over a Sociology 201 class by Professor Beth Redbird that examines “inequality in American society with an emphasis on race, class and gender.”  To that end, Redbird invited both an undocumented person and a spokesperson for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  It is the type of balance that it now considered verboten on campuses.

Members of MEChA de Northwestern, Black Lives Matter NU, the Immigrant Justice Project, the Asian Pacific American Coalition, NU Queer Trans Intersex People of Color and Rainbow Alliance organized to stop other students from hearing from the ICE representative.  However, they could not have succeeded without the help of Northwestern administrators (including  Dean of Students Todd Adams).  The protesters were screaming “F**k ICE” outside of the hall.  Adams and the other administrators then said that the protesters screaming profanities would be allowed into the class if they promised not to disrupt the class.  Really?  They were screaming profanities and seeking to stop the class but would just sit nicely as the speaker answered questions?

Of course, that did not happen. As soon as the protesters were allowed into the classroom, they prevented the ICE representative from speaking.  The ICE representatives eventually left and Redbird canceled the class to discuss the issue with the protesters that just prevented her students from hearing an opposing view.

The comments of the Northwestern students were predictable after being told by people like Schapiro that some offensive speech should be treated as a form of assault.  SESP sophomore April Navarro rejected that faculty should be allowed to invite such speakers to their classrooms for a “good, nice conversation with ICE.” She insisted such speakers needed to be silenced because they “terrorize communities” and profit from detainee labor. Here is the face of the new generation of censors being shaped by speech-intolerant academics like Schapiro:

“We’re not interested in having those types of conversations that would be like, ‘Oh, let’s listen to their side of it’ because that’s making them passive rule-followers rather than active proponents of violence. We’re not engaging in those kinds of things; it legitimizes ICE’s violence, it makes Northwestern complicit in this. There’s an unequal power balance that happens when you deal with state apparatuses.”

It is reminiscent of chilling recent editorial by students at Wellesley dismissing free speech protections for those with whom they disagree.  We have also seen physical attacks on pro-life advocates at the University of California justified on the basis that such views constitute a form of “terrorism.”   Likewise, leaders like Howard Dean have dismissed the notion of free speech protection for anything that he views as hate speech.

As for Northwestern, the official response to students shutting down a class to silence an opposing view resulted in a statement that the actions of the students were “disappointing that the speakers were not allowed to speak.”  That is a disgrace. Students interrupting classes or speakers should be suspended and, for repeated such violations, expelled.

In Berkeley, students stopped other students from taking a midterm examination as the professor virtually pleaded that they allowed other students to finish their work.  Students are being reinforced in their disruption of classes by Administrators and faculty.  For example, I recently discussed the bizarre response of CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek in such a case. When conservative law professor Josh Blackman was stopped from speaking about “the importance of free speech,”  Bilek insisted that disrupting the speech on free speech was free speech.  It reveals the twisted logic overtaking our schools on both tolerance and free speech.

Blackman, a law professor from the South Texas College of Law Houston, often writes thoughtful conservative takes on legal issues and was appearing at an event with the CUNY Federalist Society.  While Bilek says that the heckler’s caused only a “limited” interruption, Blackman says that it was prolonged and prevented him from being able to give his full speech.

The protesters reportedly chanted things like “legal objectivity is a myth” and called him “a white supremacist.”

Bilek responded in an email to Inside Higher Ed, that the interruption was acceptable because it was short: “For the first eight minutes of the 70-minute event, the protesting students voiced their disagreements. The speaker engaged with them. The protesting students then filed out of the room, and the event proceeded to its conclusion without incident.”

She added “this non-violent, limited protest was a reasonable exercise of protected free speech,” adding that “it did not violate any university policy.”  Not a single CUNY law professor is on record opposing this view, though non-law professors have courageously asked for an explanation of the policy.

recently wrote how Antifa and other college protesters are increasingly denouncing free speech and the foundations for liberal democracies. Some protesters reject classic liberalism and the belief in free speech as part of the oppression on campus.  The movement threatens both academic freedom and free speech — a threat that is growing due to the failure of administrators and faculty to remain true to core academic principles.

A clear line must be drawn between protesting and preventing speech or teaching or studying.  There is no easy way to deal with such obstruction.  Students who shutdown classes or speeches  or libraries should be disciplined and, in appropriate cases, expelled.


44 thoughts on “Student Protesters Storm Columbia Library To Protest The Right Of Conservatives To Invite Conservatives To Campus”

  1. I’ve said this before and I will say it again. The Democrat party has started a movement that it has lost complete ontrol over. If something isn’t done to stop the behavior of these extreme leftists, who knows what this could morph into.

  2. We need a federal law to guarantee free speech rights on any campus that receives federal money. This is a solvable problem, but only if the Congress and the President will act.

    1. I can’t think of any reason why a plan like this could not be enforced in the same way as FERPA.

  3. (music Four Dead In O HI O_
    This summer I hear them coming..
    They’re probably on the way…

    Gonna get down to it…
    soldiers are cutting us down.
    How can you run when you know?


  4. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Yet another example of progressive intolerance,bigotry and prejudice leading to oppression.
    Martin Niemoller is turning in his grave.

  5. Why do schools allow this disruptive behavior? Who pays the tuition for these miscreants? Why do these “students” have time to protest? If these “students” have time to protest, why don’t they use the time to get jobs and pay off their student loans? Why don’t the parents, sponsors and administrations impose discipline on the campus and student activities? Marines go to school called “Boot Camp” at the same age. I’m gonna take a wild guess that they don’t “protest” or even speak, for that matter.

  6. Once again, far Left demonstrators seek to deny free speech to conservative students, and the right to study to any student in their way.

    But they do so enjoy their own right of free speech.

    One way for thee, another for me.

    This is selfish, stupid behavior. The university should have rules against disruptions like this that all students must follow, regardless of personal politics. It was an error for universities across the nation to exempt rule breaking using political bias and content discrimination. This give credence to the accusation that extreme Leftists have infiltrated the education system from K-12, and failed to check their personal politics at the door. I don’t care how any teacher or professor votes. That’s their business. When they insert their politics into the classroom, then it’s all of our business.

    It is troubling that this even needs to be said, let alone insisted on, but universities must be unbiased bastions of higher learning that do not discriminate based on political beliefs. Politics do not belong in any classroom except Political Science.

  7. Young Democrats learning how to form a mob from their elders!

    If you want to stop this kind of crap, then stop voting for Democrats at any level from dog catcher to Senator to President. That is the only way to put an end to this. Keep it from “paying off.”

    Currently, there is no disincentive for the Democrats to form rabid mobs and promote all kinds of stupid ideas, like “borders are racissst!”. They have the Main Stream Media folks providing propaganda cover for them, and all the race baiting (aka identity politics), open bribery of voters thru welfare benefits and public union payoffs, and Russian Collusion type silliness is not hurting them at the polls. It will be worse when the illegal Hispanics vote in large numbers.

    Unless we have a catastrophe of of the natural kind (super volcano, asteroid strike, zombie apocalypse pandemic) or a complete and total prolonged collapse of the financial system, or we get our own Pinochet/Hitler type and Right Wing Death Squads(maybe 75 years or so in the future if at all), then the decline will continue, and accelerate.

    The only non-violent way is to just stop voting for Democrats, no matter how stupid the Republican is. Like Judge Moore in Alabama. Plus, stop feeding the propaganda/entertainment beast. Let the NYTimes starve on the vine. Let ESPN collapse, and CNN and MSNBC. And Disney. Stop watching pandering simps like Colbert and Kimmel. They don’t speak truth to power. They suck the weenie of power. There are alternatives.

    Used books are dirt cheap, and for that $100+ per month you spend on cable, you can buy about 27 good used books from Abebooks at $3.64 each, no shipping. That’s probably more than you can read. Good entertainment, and you will probably get smarter in the process. You can get many books for free over the internet, including most classics. Good guitars are dirt cheap right now. At Sam Ash and other places, you can get 3 to 4 year no interest financing, and buy a nice $600 guitar for less than $15 per month, Other places like ZZounds, and Musicians’s Friend run 12 month no interest financing. It is very learnable, and you can go as deep into it as you like., Gardening is fun. I planted onions and garlic yesterday, and will plant radishes today. More over the next month. You can even get more involved in church, and that will provide a network of friends, and fun things to do. Take up fishing. Or photography. Cameras are cheap on Ebay.

    The thing is, there are a lot of entertainment and time-passing options available, and very affordable. Cut the Left off at the polls, and the Democratic Propaganda Machine off at the financial knees. That is all it will take if Americans do it in large enough numbers.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. “…mob…”

      The American Founders established a restricted-vote republic which they never intended to be a one man, one vote democracy or to be governed by “mob rule.”

      They knew that the “poor” would sell their votes. They did.

      Criteria was to be applied to “entitle” citizens to vote.

      Merriam Webster


      b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote

      “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

      ― Alexander Fraser Tytler

    2. Squeeky – there is Project Gutenberg which is free books with more added every day. And there is Bookbub with books from 3.99 to free to download daily.

      1. I will look up Bookbub. I have ordered a lot for $3.64 off Abebooks, and $3.79 at Thrift Books. I just got in two today, Barbaric Vast & Wild: A Gathering of Outside & Subterranean Poetry, and Technicians of the Sacred, both by Jerome Rothenberg. I already have the other 4 books in the series.

        I have a bunch on Kindle, but there is just something about holding a book in your hand. I have started trying to read more each day when I sit outside with Snagglepuss. I am almost hoping for a Zombie Apocalypse, so I can just forget TV, the Internet, and just read, play with my cats and outside critters smoke my pipes, and drink coffee.

        One thing I told you that got erased, was that Sunday morning last week, I had 7 Indigo Buntings on my porch!

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

      2. Oh, I am about half way thru a One Act Play, which I hope they will let me post it here, because it is relevant to the blog. Plus, today the real me wrote a poem that I am going to try to get published.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter….

        1. Squeeky – if you would like my input you can track me down through LinkedIn. Would love to read both the play and the poetry.

          1. Thank you! I will send you the play. One of my friends has a LinkedIn, I think.

            The poem, I am thinking of doing in my real name, sooo that will probably stay secret.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. Squeeky – I saved the pdf and will read it tomorrow. Look forward to it. 🙂

  8. “It is reminiscent of chilling recent editorial by students at Wellesley dismissing free speech protections for those with whom they disagree. We have also seen physical attacks on pro-life advocates at the University of California justified on the basis that such views constitute a form of “terrorism.” Likewise, leaders like Howard Dean have dismissed the notion of free speech protection for anything that he views as hate speech.”

    A protester arrested at a Jordan Peterson speech was found to have a garrotte of all things in her backpack.

    These protesters have lost their minds.

  9. It is time for this crap to END!!! If these monsters don’t like who’s speaking go to their local watering hole instead…. which is where most of them spend thier time anyway. ENOUGH!!!! The administrators need to step in and END this as well…..

  10. The voice that college administrators listen to is that of alumni. When alumni wallets shut close administrators listen.

    1. Problem is, the alumni from places like Columbia and University of California are more likely to stand up and applaud the protestors than they are to close their wallets.

  11. Not a single CUNY law professor is on record opposing this view,

    Of course they didn’t. They don’t oppose brownshirt tactics against the opposition.

    though non-law professors have courageously asked for an explanation of the policy.

    Why is it ‘courageous’ for people who have lifetime employment to demand answers from the administration? They’d do it if their own prerogatives were on the line.

  12. These students are an extension of the dominant voice on the faculty and in the administration. The rest of the faculty do nothing because taking exception to this behavior is status-lowering in the rancid culture of academic institutions in our time.

    1. You sir and your ilk own this situation. Any professor who isn’t helping to cure the problem is part of the problem.

    2. The trustees could fix this tomorrow. They will do nothing.

    3. State constitutional provisions vary and some are constraining (with our without lawfare artists on the bench running interference for the worst people in our society). However, there’s usually discretion to be exercised. One is prescriptive legislation which restricts the book of state colleges and universities and compels the discharge of corrupted departments. Tell Booger State College they no longer have a franchise to offer degrees in sociology and the faculty in that department must go. A more thorough measure is to pick a corrupted campus and shut it down entirely, firing everyone. Evergreen State College is an obvious candidate for that. If you go Kenesaw Mountain Landis on a few of these places, the craven majority on faculties might just get off their asses.

    4. Without scant doubt, most of the students active in the menu of organizations you named have no business being at Columbia: admissions standards were relaxed in order to recruit them and they’re having academic trouble and responding to their dissatisfaction by recriminating contra approved bogies.

  13. Protesting may also be a form of education. It teaches the protestors that protesting is pretty much useless, except for letting off steam. Protesting is asking those who benefit from the current system, to change it, which they are unlikely to do. Those who protest are going to conclude that changing the current system requires understanding how the current system operates and where its weak points are. That’s why we read, study, and then apply that knowledge.

    1. Those who benefit from the current system are indulging the protesters. They aren’t antagonists.


  14. No wonder colleges are becoming increasingly irrelevant to success in the workplace. These neo -Marxists need a good lesson in the criminal justice with no bail. When they admit and retain anarchists what do college administrators think will happen? Like Darren implies, they are sympathetic facilitators. I say cut federal funding, pass a criminal law punishing those who prevent free speech and call student loans or pull scholarships for the human trash that will inevitably violate the new law.

  15. Libraries use to be a quiet neutral place where someone could do research, study, etc.

    Columbia can’t secure their library facility or enforce rules. Here’s NYC library list of do’s & don’t:

    General Rules and Regulations

    In order to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for reading, learning, and other Library activities, The New York Public Library requires all visitors to comply with the following General Rules and Regulations:
    The following are NOT allowed at The New York Public Library:

    • Engaging in conduct that disrupts or interferes with normal operation of the Library, or that disturbs staff or other Library visitors. Such conduct includes:

    o Harassing or threatening behavior.
    o Using obscene or abusive language or gestures.
    o Making unreasonable noise, including loud talking on a cell phone or otherwise.
    • Engaging in sexual conduct or lewd behavior.
    • Having a knife, gun, or any other weapon.
    • Smoking.
    • Eating or drinking except in designated areas.
    • Using alcohol or illegal drugs.
    • Sleeping in the Library or at the Library’s entrance.
    • Making unreasonable use of the rest rooms, including laundering clothes and bathing.
    • Soliciting, petitioning, or canvassing.
    • Selling any goods or services.
    • Using a bicycle, skates, skateboard, scooter, or anything like them.
    • Bringing in an animal, unless it is assisting a person with a disability.
    • Damaging, defacing, or misusing any Library materials or property. This includes disabling Library equipment, changing the hardware or software or settings on a Library computer, or using a Library computer for a purpose other than that designated by the Library.
    • Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, local, or other applicable law or Library policies.

  16. At what point does it become the case where the university is simply a facilitator in the violation of the speech and assembly rights of students by its omission and in many cases intent in permitting the disruptors.

    Those who disrupt a lawful assembly should be arrested for disorderly conduct and put in jail. There is no difference between these students disrupting a wedding or a scheduled meeting. It is the same element of disorderly conduct.

  17. Considering that in my day you could be kicked out of school for writing a bad check, this is insane. The would never have been allowed when I was going to school. Administrators have no control over their campuses or their faculty.

    1. second that comment from Paul. I don’t recall ever having a spare moment between full load, part time job and never ceasing study. After two years I went ahead and got my required military service out ot the way (the days before free hand outs of tuition money, and the next to free to the tax payer draft (which by the way is still legal, in place, and routinely signing up all the 18 year olds awaiting only a fve minute vote in Congress) It did hone myskills as a student for the next number of years where constant schools and training are a way of life. Honor Graduate etc. provided two early promotions. So I’ll give college that bone. But ditch classes to go set fires, riot, and scream obscenities? That was the next generation. I pity the students of today. and the tax payers. All that money and for what a social promotion?

      1. MA – (which by the way is still legal, in place, and routinely signing up all the 18 year old’s awaiting only a five minute vote in Congress) It did hone my skills.

        You are so right and I maintain that many of these individuals do not belong at university (grades). They are kept there because of financial aide the universities receive.

        1. Columbia isn’t Jersey City State College. It doesn’t need the business. Clear these juvenile blowhards out and you’ll still have a small army of competent students who want to take their place. Columbia turns down 94% of those who apply for undergraduate slots there.

          If you look at the pix on the “Liberation Coaltion” Facebook page, you see it’s largely a collection of black students. It’s a reasonable wager that about 2/3 of the black students admitted to Columbia do not meet ordinary performance standards. They are there due to status competition among those who work in higher education. Having youths who are ill-adapted to the academic pace doesn’t do these youths much good; it doesn’t do the rest of the students much good because the blacks they encounter on campus are (in the words of one rueful faculty member) ‘messed up in various ways”. The faculty and the administration are nothing if not self-centered.

        1. They are certainly co-dependent.

          Absolutely. Much like the political class, they’ve lost their original purpose.

    2. “The would never have been allowed when I was going to school.”
      Probably because during the times when you and later I were in school it never occurred to us to act like these SJWs do, hence no need to test the issue with the administration. I guess we were there mainly for an education and not making asses of ourselves like the Columbia protesters.

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