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Video of Thursday’s Protest/March

Thanks to Phacelia Cramer ’19 for posting this excellent video of Thursday’s protest/march. This looks much closer to 200 people than to the 50 that other correspondents had estimated. Alas, I can’t figure out how to save a copy or embed it here. Damn you Facebook!

1) One chant: “I love You. I love Me. I love Us. I love We.” I have never heard this at a protest before. Have readers? Is it connected to the increasing therapeutic tenor of our culture?

2) Another chant: “What side are you on, White People, what side are you on?” Hmm.

3) Where was President Mandel? I think the single cleverest decision that former President Schapiro made was, at the height of the Stand with Us movement a decade ago, to join a protest march even though the march was clearly directed against him and the Williams Administration. Could President Mandel use the same trick? Should she?

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14 Comments To "Video of Thursday’s Protest/March"

#1 Comment By PTC On February 24, 2019 @ 9:06 am

Great turnout. Well done!

Do those who are participating understand that they are exercising the tradition of a right to speak? That without that tradition of free expression which was hard fought in both our legal and cultural civil libertarian struggles- none of this would be allowed?

The movement can do as it likes, but I would not be so fast to admonish the rights the movement is relying on, or so fast to belittle those of previous generations who helped establish those rights. Denigrating the sacrifices of the past is bad form, in my opinion.

Williams needs to be careful whether or not some of the forms of expression are punishable largely because people generally support the right of free expression. Everyone needs to remember that.

The “anti free speech” message from CARE-NOW seems to have been muted. How many of those using their freedom of expression still support viewpoint discrimination? Or has this experience combined with the threatening to punish email from President Mandel changed some minds?

#2 Comment By PTC On February 24, 2019 @ 9:26 am

https://repository.jmls.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1389&context=lawreview

Here is an interesting article on speech codes. Since DDF has cited the vagueness or broad nature of Williams’ contractual obligation to speech as designated in the college handbook, I thought he and other readers might find this work of interest- in particular in how it relates to speech at public schools. Several commenters have stated that Williams should adopt public school type policies as obligations because these policies are well vetted and limited by law.

Federal district courts have cited to the overbreadth problem when striking down campus speech codes. In Doe v. University of Michigan, the district court declared the speech code adopted by the University of Michigan to be unconstitutional. The court first drew a distinction between “pure” speech and conduct, stating that the latter was open to prohibition and punishment while speech alone generally was not. The court went on to discuss the types of speech that the university might be able to regulate, including “fighting words” and speech “which has the effect of inciting imminent lawless action.”

Regulations aimed at prohibiting such speech must be carefully targeted so it affects only the unprotected speech. If the regulation also bans a significant amount of speech protected by the First Amendment, the regulation is overbroad and cannot withstand constitutional challenge. The Michigan speech code was not so carefully targeted. Instead it prohibited both protected speech and potentially unprotected speech.” The University’s code vaguely described which types of speech were prohibited and the administration never considered whether the speech complained of might be protected by the First Amendment.”

#3 Comment By Indigo On February 24, 2019 @ 11:01 am

What is the value of free speech when the minorities are not feeling free from the fear of hatred and violence?

#4 Comment By sammy On February 24, 2019 @ 11:13 am

when speech is the tool for being free from fear of hatred and violence

#5 Comment By PTC On February 24, 2019 @ 12:37 pm

Indigo- What Sammy said. Imagine if the speech shown was prohibited, and if students faced expulsion for it?

Free speech is the most important right that protects the academies. Without it, what we see and hear in and out of class can be controlled. Without free speech, there would be no progressive study of race, or gender- or anything.

Williams College would probably not exist without free speech. The college would certainly not exist with its current curriculum. No one would have the right to express any ideas.

Free speech is the most important right for any academy- by far.

#6 Comment By Jim Jones On February 24, 2019 @ 12:52 pm

I would estimate a bit more than 200, in fact. Maybe 250.

Faculty turnout was not especially impressive. I’d guess around 10-15. Definitely under 20.

#7 Comment By JAS On February 24, 2019 @ 2:04 pm

I heard “What side are you are MY people?” Is there another chant elsewhere, or are you projecting?

#8 Comment By anonymous On February 24, 2019 @ 2:52 pm

Maybe a reference to this?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Which_Side_Are_You_On%3F

That was a beautiful demonstration. Kudos to the organizers.

#9 Comment By abl On February 24, 2019 @ 3:10 pm

“Which side are you on my people” is a fairly standard chant in these circles. I think it came from the labor movement, but you’ll hear it at a range of protests today.

#10 Comment By John Drew On February 24, 2019 @ 3:34 pm

Then, there is the always heart-warming, ‘Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon!’

Black Lives Matter Protesters Chant ‘Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon!’

#11 Comment By Future Williams Dad On February 24, 2019 @ 4:01 pm

One chant: “I love You. I love Me. I love Us. I love We.”

DDF, this chant used at the protest is very similar to a chant I was yelling outside of my wife’s boyfriend’s apartment last night.

A little over a week ago, my wife left me because I was so infuriated by the way President Mandel handled the Green/Love controversy that I couldn’t focus on her. Maybe I’ll try the “What side are you on, White People, what side are you on?” chant tonight when I go back to her new boyfriend’s apartment and see if I have better luck (they called security last night).

#12 Comment By anonymous On February 24, 2019 @ 5:25 pm

Future Williams Dad, do your wife and her boyfriend live on the Williams campus? is that why she called Security instead of the cops?

#13 Comment By White Male Vigilante On February 24, 2019 @ 5:48 pm

I’m pretty sure Future Williams Dad’s wife lives with her new boyfriend in the Cable Mills apartments, across the hall from Adam Falk’s old bachelor pad.

#14 Comment By PTC On February 25, 2019 @ 9:05 am

Proponents of free speech on campus need to be succinct about what kind of speech SPECIFICALLY has crossed the line during these events AND explain in depth as to why.

How would you make the argument in front of a disciplinary committee, looking to sanction students?

It’s not enough to say that “Prof X was defamed, and defamation is a category that is not protected at Williams. Students should be punished. This speech should be censored.”

What is the exact policy desired? That no one within the Williams community can state any negative opinion about another person?

What EXACTLY- and with metrics- constitutes unprotected speech under the two largest unprotected speech categories that govern a college setting- the categories of “defamation” and “fighting words”?

Who can bring such a claim? If the claim can be brought by anyone, especially if not by the person who was “defamed,” then there is a name for that- A kangaroo Court.

Otherwise the rules advocated for by “free speech proponents” are no less vague than the current rules that got us “here.”

It’s “clearly defamation” is only an opinion unless you can specifically cite the expression in question and make a sound argument as to why said speech IS DEFAMATION and should not be allowed.

An opinion of “what constitutes speech people should not say or hear” is how we came to this juncture. “What you think should be banned” as a metric is the exact same policy that now exists and are against.