“She’s a … Professor!”: Albany Professor Arrested After Obstructing Pro-Life Display and Resisting Arrest

“She’s a [expletive] professor!” Those four words screamed by pro-choice protesters could well sum up the issue for the State University of New York at Albany after the arrest of sociology professor Renee Overdyke. At a recent pro-life demonstration, Overdyke unplugged an electric display to prevent students from expressing their opposition to abortion. She then resisted arrest. The question, which we have previously discussed, is where the university should draw the line in the conduct of faculty in preventing free speech.

The pro-life display at the university attracted a loud counter-demonstration, which is of course fine and good.  Universities are supposed to be a place for debate and both sides were exercising their free speech rights.

As students chanted “my body, my choice” and other messages, Created Equal continued their own demonstration against abortion with the help of a large electronic display. The display showed aborted fetuses to bring home what they called the “reality of abortion” and “what abortion does to preborn babies.”

That is when Professor Overdyke, 57, allegedly unplugged Created Equal’s electronic display.

Overdyke took this action despite the university distributing a pamphlet to students at the event repeating the rules for free speech behavior, including a prohibition on actions to prevent or obstruct someone else’s free speech. This message was all the more important because a conservative speaker had been shouted down two weeks earlier.

As a posted video shows, Overdyke then proceeded to resist arrest:

One student screams “she’s a [expletive] professor.” That is precisely the point. As the university was telling students that they could not obstruct the event, Overdyke is accused of doing precisely that. She sought to prevent others from being able to speak on campus.

Years ago, many of us were shocked by the conduct of University of Missouri communications professor Melissa Click who directed a mob against a student journalist covering a Black Lives Matter event. Yet, Click was hired by Gonzaga University. Since that time, we have seen a steady stream of professors joining students in shouting down, committing property damage, participating in riots, verbally attacking students, or even taking violent action in protests.

Blocking others from speaking is not the exercise of free speech. It is the very antithesis of free speech. Nevertheless, faculty have supported such claims. CUNY Law Dean Mary Lu Bilek showed how far this trend has gone. 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. (Bilek later cancelled herself and resigned). Even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech.  At University of California- Santa Barbara, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.

As more schools have expressly declared that they will not permit such shout downs, many academics still insist that preventing others from speaking is free speech. It is an absurd and dangerous claim. It will convert our institutions into little more than shout fests where the loudest prevails. Given the dwindling number of conservative or libertarian faculty, it is a way to effectively bar opposing views from being heard on campuses. It is as easy as unplugging a display at the University of Albany.

The question is what is to be done with Professor Overdyke. In taking this action, she not only sought to silence students but directly violated the policies of the university. Free speech and free inquiry are the very touchstones of higher education. She has taken a stand against the right of others to be heard and the university has an obligation to take action to sanction this conduct.

Of course, such action has been relatively rare even when universities object to anti-free speech conduct. We recently discussed the cancellation of federal appellate Judge Kyle Duncan by Stanford Law School students, a disgraceful attack on free speech that led to an apology from both the law school dean and the university president. However, as I discussed earlier, many faculty support such anti-free speech measures. Stanford notably refused to take action against the students, though a dean did take a leave of absence.

In the meantime, Overdyke is now facing criminal charges for disturbing a lawful assembly, resisting arrest, and obstruction of governmental administration.

The criminal charges may not prove as much of a professional barrier as one might think. Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young pleaded guilty to criminally assaulting pro-life advocates on campus and was supported by faculty and honored by other schools.

Professor Overdyke has now presented Albany with a clear choice. It can confirm that faculty members are accountable to free speech rules or it can confirm that these rules are a mere pretense of principle.

167 thoughts on ““She’s a … Professor!”: Albany Professor Arrested After Obstructing Pro-Life Display and Resisting Arrest”

  1. Well, she’s a “sociology” professor. Have you looked lately at what that now encompasses, or the quality of the “research”?

    As for shouting people down. It used to be taught in schools that the “heckler’s veto” was not free speech. Nowadays I don’t even the phrase used.

    1. Aren’t most of the people employed by the CIA intellectual types. They kind of live in their own world, but not ours.

  2. “As more schools have expressly declared that they will not permit such shout downs, many academics still insist that preventing others from speaking is free speech. It is an absurd and dangerous claim.”

    So which academic do you believe? Lacking the depth of knowledge professors are presumed to have, what’s the laity to do? Increasingly, the solution will be “They’re all liars with their snouts in the trough, don’t believe any of them. This robust disbelief has its own set of dangers.

  3. Jonathan: Distraction after distraction. Now it’s a professor at the University of Albany who gets arrested for interfering with a lawful anti-abortion demonstration. Really? That’s the important news of the day? Permit me to interject more important news this week.

    After Murdock settled the Dominion defamation lawsuit other big defamation cases are moving forward. The sexual assault/ defamation case by E. Jean Carroll against Trump entered its second week with other witnesses confirming Carroll’s account and claiming they were also sexually assaulted by the Trumpster. Trump’s attorney told Judge Kaplan his client would not testify. He’s too busy breaking ground on his new golf course in Scotland. That will not sit well with the jury. It appears Trump’s attorneys will offer no defense witness testimony. Closing arguments will be on Friday or next Monday.

    Elon Musk had better sense. He just settled a defamation lawsuit against him for $10,000. Chump change for Musk. The suit was brought by Randeep Hothi, a graduate student and vocal critic of Tesla, who Musk falsely claimed had harassed and tried to kill Tesla employees. Hothi proved Musk’s claims about the Model 3 were untrue. Last year Musk declared: “We will never surrender/settle an unjust case against us, even if we will probably lose”. Apparently, Musk’s attorneys told him he would probably lose and he better settle. Trump thought otherwise. He hired third-rate lawyers to take his case to trial.

    For the second richest man in the world you would think that if he can pay $10,000 to settle a defamation suit he could pay his other bills that are piling up. Musk’s landlord in SF is suing for unpaid rent on the Twitter headquarters. Other vendors are suing Musk for unpaid bills. Musk won’t even pay the cleaning company that cleaned the bathrooms at the Twitter HQ. Makes you scratch your head. Is Musk really the second richest man in the world or is it just a “Potemkin village”?

    Poor Elon. He is having a lot of other legal problems. His “Starship” blew up shortly after launch scattering debris over the countryside. Conservation groups are suing the FAA for approving SpaceX’s rocket operation without conducting a deeper review of the environmental impact on the sensitive land surrounding the Boca Chica, Texas launch site. The lawsuit could cause massive delays in Musk’s plans for the next “Starship” launch. No wonder you haven’t talked about Musk lately–you know, the guy you said was going to bring “free speech” back to Twitter.

      1. Thersites: Why should I get my own website when I can use professor Turley’s blog to explore all the important news he doesn’t want to discuss. And I can get under the skin of all the MAGA supporters on this blog. It makes my day!

        1. Thersites, Dennis is a parasite. He cannot produce anything. Therefore he takes what he can from others. He is a typical leftist.

        2. Why should you get your own website when you can interlope on someone else’s?

          I dunno…self-respect?

    1. How do you ignore these news articles:

      Latest evidence in Hunter Biden probe turns attention to Joe Biden, informant claim of bribery

      FBI has document alleging pay-to-play scheme involving Joe Biden, lawmakers allege

      1. @Upstate Farmer…

        I don’t think he’s ignoring them… but waiting for more information.
        We have an allegation, but no corroboration or denial.

        Lets see what they actually turn up.

    2. Border Patrol Union Pres. warns cartels will have complete control over border after Title 42 ends

      Democrats try to shift blame for classified documents away from Biden and say GOP claims are racist

    3. Dennis – Politics explains your continuing attacks on Trump, for which I assume you are paid. But I take issue your claim that “other witnesses are confirming Carrolls account[.]” It is my understanding that there are no witnesses to the alleged rape. So, it is impossible for the additional witnessses to corroborate her account of the attack. If they are presenting claims of assaults against themselves by Trump, those would be separate crimes. Given the prejudicial nature of such testimony, it would not normally be allowed to prove the propensity of the defendant to commit the crime involved in the lawsuit, i.e., his character. See, e.g., Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b). Traditionally, such evidence is permitted only when there is some unique or rare aspect to the earlier crimes that resonate in the subject crime, e.g., taking a piece of clothing as a souvenir. I doubt that there are any such unique elements in this testimony. It appears that the judge is allowing such testimoy solely to prejudice the jury.

    4. Maybe you can describe how a 50 year old man would manage to
      a) get his penis erect while having “witty banter”, sneaking into a dressing room, wrestling with an unwilling victim. Maybe it was the kiss he forced on her or the yanking down her tights that got him aroused?
      b) get his magically erect penis into the vagina of an unwilling victim, whose tights are still around her ankles, while they stand facing each other, and with no lube to boot.

      I will grant you this, Trump’s incompetent lawyer was lambasted in the media for his “aggressive” cross examination. I don’t see where he ever explored the details of her implausible account. If he didn’t, Trump wasted good money on another moron. If he did, the media naturally failed to report it.

  4. The most sure way of stopping this kind of misconduct (the Professor’s) is by a very hard solid fist applied to her Snot Locker by a Victim.

    I know for a fact miscreants like the Professor in this case is not prepared for that kind of defense of one’s civil rights.

    As a former Law Enforcement Officer I take great exception to the Police failure to maintain the peace and security of BOTH sides.

    They are supposed to protect the Rights of all of us…without prejudice or favor.

    They failed in their duty.

    Upon the Professor resisting arrest they should have demonstrated the wrongness of that act in a manner that she could not misunderstand in the slightest why that was a very stupid thing to do.

    The proper administration of some simple “Come Along Techniques” and she would have figured that out very quickly and without any physical harm or provocative video being seen.

    Until the government protects our Rights it is going to fall to the People themselves to do that….start breaking noses folks but only do that when it is right, proper, justly deserved….and legal.

    1. “As a former Law Enforcement Officer I take great exception to the Police failure to maintain the peace and security of BOTH sides.”

      Tell us how many claims your former employers had to settle from your “Illl show YOU!” style of policing.

  5. Human rites. That said, she’s a professor!… the fine line between respect and worship.

  6. Where should the state university draw the line in the conduct of faculty preventing free speech? The answer to that question of the day is provided by the state university itself in its stated commitment to free speech.

    With that commitment, the University at Albany leaves to its discretion what it may do about the embarrassment caused by the impetuous and boorish professor. While Renee Overdyke is likely not among the best and the brightest of the university’s faculty (which leaves her expendable under most circumstances), it ought to be assumed that a university not wishing to part with its liberal majorities and yet hold to its free speech commitment will opt for the least of sanctions. That would be a reprimand that further such actions counter to the university’s commitment will no longer be tolerated. That is of course assuming the university actually cares about its commitment.

  7. One thing happened here: The police failed to do their duty.

    Those police are not dissimilar to the Supreme Court, which has failed to do its duty since 1860.


      The legitimacy of judicial review and the judge’s approach to judicial review are discussed.

      The doctrine of judicial review holds that the courts are vested with the authority to determine the legitimacy of the acts of the executive and the legislative branches of government.

      – Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

  8. The lady had every right to be there as a counter protester. However, she took one toke over the line when she unplugged the pro life display. There is a common phrase that applies. Your free speech ends at the point of my nose. Some here say that her actions are not important because they will only result in a misdemeanor conviction. Since when have even misdemeanors been okay. It sounds like something a shoplifter in San Francisco would say. Keep it under $950.00 and you’ll be okay bro.

  9. Perhaps there should be no protests of any kind allowed at Universities. None. Zero. Sit in your chair and learn. This is nothing more than a legacy of the 60’s, where colleges are now presumed to be an appropriate site for any sort of free-for-all whatsoever. Is this why scholarships are awarded, or, for that matter, diplomas? Shouldn’t they be in their rooms studying? What kind of course loads do they have that allow for these sorts of foolishness? Are they even students at all? We forget that college students are children with unformed minds, immature, naive, and ignorant. College is supposed to cure those conditions, not ingrain them. In place of spirited discussions or arguments, we now have screaming and bullying, organized tantrums. They are not being prepared to succeed in the outside world. The professors themselves never actually enter the outside world, so their immaturity and insulation from reality is a natural, though inexcusable, consequence.

    1. Never mind not being prepared to succeed in the outside world, they are not being prepared to exist and get along in the outside world. If they don’t like something someone said, did or they were asked to do in the morning, they might not return after lunch or break.

    2. Coinnath, I know you mean well but suppressing speech to stop protests is antithetical to freedom. In your enthusiasm please don’t call for the use of the same tactics that this professor employed. We have to stand for the idea that I may not like your speech but I will fight to the death to protect it. The students should continue to be allowed to speak but if they turn to violence their protests should be brought to an abrupt end. We can not become them.

      1. Easy there, my friend. Is the type of behaviour being discussed here allowed in places of primary education?
        We need students to learn how to do the jobs necessary for the future of our society. Anything that disrupts that should be banned. I agree, f*** this use of publicly funded universities to advance stupid ass social agendas, and moreover, to indoctrinate the populus.

    3. “They are not being prepared to succeed in the outside world. The professors themselves never actually enter the outside world, so their immaturity and insulation from reality is a natural, though inexcusable, consequence.”
      I was a high school teacher, not a professor, for 43 years and I agree in part with what you say. Teachers who are aware of their insulation–probably the only profession where you walk into a building in the morning and walk out in the afternoon having no interaction with outside world–make an effort to keep up with what is going on “outside.” I picked the brains of my friends outside the education field to get at least of sense of what was going on that would be useful for my students. HR friend was particularly useful. On the flip side, I was able to tell her what to expect from future applicants as school regulations and discipline evolved.

    4. No, no, no. They’ll just get a diploma in bull Shyt. And just enter the political arena. That way they can save us all.

  10. This is just another example of the lefts conceit. The incident highlights’ two examples; first the arrogance of beyond reproach, second; the total disregard of the employers stated codes. The left has lost all ethics, regard for others, and above all civility. They are blindfolded quack’s running about spewing hog wash with cotton in their ears. They have redefined the meaning of FREEDOM to only what they approve, all else is unworthy and must be banned through force if necessary. TYRANNTS INDEED!

  11. That’s right up there with, ‘Because I have a master’s degree! Ree!’ (woo hoo! Between my wife and I we have six of those. We disagree with idiocy wholeheartedly. And your point is?). Word to the wise: we give out Phds in cereal boxes in the 21st century. Pfft. These kids are so nowhere near being adults it’s a miracle they’ve let go of their Pampers. I am far more concerned with their absolutely infantile mentalities and behavior when they should by all rights be well beyond such things than how much money they spent on their education receipt; bear in mind that the oldest millennials are now in their early 40s – they are the ‘professors’ in question, for the most part. And to the alma maters of these institutions – open your dang eyes, you are quite literally funding this boosheet.

    ‘Professor’ used to mean a person who teaches, with rigor, knowledge they have expertise and training in, with a desire to impart that to their students for their future benefit, fully expecting them to forge their own paths. It is now tantamount to a zombie bite, and more kids are turned every year. I give it another five years before we start to see children that are *actually* feral, hungry for blood, and doing uspeakable things to each other on the playground. The Congress disruptors of late are very close, with AOC as the idiot archetype. If she is the end result of modern economics education, we need to light that **** on fire and start over.

    1. James,
      “I give it another five years before we start to see children that are *actually* feral, hungry for blood, and doing uspeakable things to each other on the playground.”
      Which playground? Elementary school? Or college campuses?
      While right now those on college campuses are mostly non-violent, in their rage, they are getting closer and closer to committing real actual violence on anyone that disagrees with them.
      In a civil, decent, respectful, and open minded society, one would quietly listen to a given point of view. Then offer a countering point of view. Both sides would have to use things like facts, logic, and common sense to win an argument or change another mind perhaps in the audience.
      That what college was supposed to be for.
      Looking at the actions taken by this professor and other professors, that is not what is happening. Our society is degrading into a emotion driven, rage fill mob hell bent on silencing any opposing views.
      Mao would be proud.

      1. @Upstate

        I was thinking actual playgrounds. Children. This is bound to start playing itself out if we keep going this way, though point taken.

  12. Hmmm. You know what would have been funny–if the student against whom Professor Click was trying to incite violence had defended himself by punching her lights out.

    The professor here should see some jail time.

  13. It is time for all to live and let live. If one believes in free speech and a person living with the consequences of one’s actions, why not allow abortions and give the moral choice to the woman. What her decision will be is hers alone. While I personally find abortion not a choice I would make (knowing how important birth control is to the decision-making process), have laws that allow abortion but limit the time to use abortion as an option.

    This is a large country with many people not sharing the same religious beliefs and that is why the decision should be an individual one. The lawmakers should represent all the people and then let personal choice dictate the final decision.

    A PS to my comment: There are so many important issues that face this nation, but abortion will knock them out of consideration if lawmakers don’t stop this one issue from dominating the future of our country. Finding a solution to the time frame of abortion would be an important step to moving past the abortion issue and saving our country! Plus, free speech and respect of all would be enhanced.


      The only thing of necessity and import that humans can accomplish is the perpetuation of the species – the natural, God-given duty of women. Oh, my! The American and Western fertility rate is in a “death spiral,” more Americans and Westerners die than are born. Please do the math.

      “It is time for all to live and let live. If one believes in free speech and a person living with the consequences of one’s actions, why not allow abortions and give the moral choice to the woman.”

      – Karen

      Oh, the sweet irony. “Why not allow abortions? Answer: Homi-cide (i.e. man – kill). You “get it,” right? Thou Shalt Not Kill…that sort of thing. The embryo, fetus, baby is a human being who will continue to develop for about 78 years. Abortion is the deliberate murder and homicide of a very young human being. A mother has the means, motive and opportunity to commit murder. The preposterous and invalid motive of a felonious mother to murder her young child is “convenience.” Does you neighbor or other denizen of your environs like you invariably or would your absence please him or be otherwise “convenient” for him? Be careful what you wish for, eh?

  14. Shouting down a speaker is “a legitimate form of free speech.”

    That’s nonsense.

    Using loud noise — whether it’s voices, banging pots, electronic devices — to drown out a speaker is a form of *physical* action. Such *action* is a violation of the speaker’s right to free speech.

    1. Sam, “Such *action* is a violation of the speaker’s right to free speech.”

      It’s impossible for a protester to violate a speaker’s right to free speech. The right to free speech is a right not to be silenced by government. Not protesters or individuals. Protesting a speaker loud enough to where he cannot be heard is not a violation of the speaker’s 1st amendment right.

      Marjorie Taylor Greene was shouted down by protesters in New York. Turley was dead silent on that, why? Because they did not violate her free speech rights by shouting her down. The protesters were exercising their free speech, using it to shout her down successfully. Turley didn’t complain about this as an egregious violation of her right to free speech. It was rude, but not a violation of her rights.

      1. “It’s impossible for a protester to violate a speaker’s right to free speech.”

        You are grossly mistaken.

        Just as a *private* criminal violates my right to property when he steals my car, so a *private* criminal violates my right to free speech via loud noise that bars me from acting on that right.

        The only legitimate function of government is to protect individuals from those who violate rights — whether those violators are government agents or private criminals.

    2. The heckler’s veto, by itself, when private person to private person, does not violate the First Amendment (although it may amount to the crime of disturbing the peace).

      1. There is a difference between violating the first amendment – which primarily restricts government restrictions of speech, and violating contracts – most colleges have speech codes and academic freedom stndards that are part of their contract with students and teachers.

        And finally violating peoples rights.

        No where in the constitution does it say that your neighbor can not steal your proprty.
        But we all understand that is a violation of your rights.

      2. “The heckler’s veto, by itself, when private person to private person, does not violate . . .”

        Where did you get the bizarre view that only government can violate individual rights (e.g., free speech), but a private criminal cannot?

        The whole purpose of the concept of individual rights is to protect the innocent from those who initiate physical force — whether those individuals are public bureaucrats or private citizens.

    3. Tennessee’s assault law https://www.altshulerlaw.com/blog/can-you-be-charged-with-a-crime-for-yelling-at-someone/

      In Tennessee, T.C.A. 39-13-101(a)(2) provides:

      “(a) A person commits assault who:

      (1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;

      (2) Intentionally or knowingly causes another to reasonably fear imminent bodily injury; or

      (3) Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another and a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.”

  15. And this is a professor?
    If you are going to do something incredibly stupid, have the dignity and grace to own up to it, rather than play the victim and throw a temper tantrum like a 3 year old.
    The students in support of her also sound like children.

    1. If it was only this professor, maybe we can give it a pass. But we have hundreds of them just like her, and even law school professors, who behave the same way. And these people are influencing the next generation of leaders. But hey, check out our new military trans recruiting campaign. I’m gonna learn Mandarin.

      1. Manuel Lopez,
        Good point and well said.
        Yeah, saw the Navy’s new digital ambassador. They must be getting desperate to fill slots.
        Air Force changed the weight requirements for recruits too and I might add, again.
        Army is on track to miss 2023 recruiting quotas too.

    2. @UpstateFarmer: they very much are children. Neuroscience has demonstrated that their brains will not fully mature until at least their mid-20s.

        1. @UpstateFarmer: A point well made. However, IMHO, there’s everything about her appearance and her behaviors, pathognomonic of the 60s protest generation, which she is obviously sadly the detritus of, and mentally as well. So many of that lot, not having the gifts to excel anywhere else found their niches in academia incubating, and waiting for their time once again. Society and culture, now having created the favorable climate and environment for that event to come to pass.

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