Last week charges were filed against two students who disrupted a speech by Bill Clinton at New York’s Pace University.
The students reportedly shouted “War criminal!” and handed out flyers to protest Clinton’s visit.
I don’t agree with these students, as Clinton is a personal hero, and a real war criminal is the current occupant of the White House. Their energies would be better spent heckling someone who still holds a dangerous amount of power, rather than a former president on the public speaking circuit.
However, I do support their right to express their misguided views.
Maybe they shouldn’t have made a scene, but they also shouldn’t face ongoing harassment and possible expulsion for “protesting without a permit.”
What kind of bullshit is that? Isn’t it a violation of their right to expression and a contradiction in terms? Get permission and/or pay a permit fee for “free” speech?
If the university is embarrassed by the behavior of a few of their students in front of a guest, they ought to issue a warning against disrupting events, not go all fascist on them.
In closing, if Bush does some public speaking after he’s out of office (and I don’t recommend it), I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to heckle him. But I was raised not to poke fun at the “special” people among us.