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Weyermuller: More Blowback from Jeff Sessions Speech at Northwestern University

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By Mark Weyermuller –

Last week we covered the speech by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The event was marred by protesters which entered the building and were heid in a hallway about ten feet from the lecture hall yelling obscenities the entire 60 minute speech. There were no arrests made.

Here is the Illinois Review story which has generated several thousand views. In addition, my original twitter post and photos were used in Fox News and The Blaze stories among others.

https://www.illinoisreview.com/illinoisreview/2019/11/weyermuller-northwestern-students-protest-former-ag-jeff-sessions-.html

The Northwestern College Republicans have issued a statement which the student newspaper refused to run as a letter to the editor according to their spokesman. They have published it on twitter. 

Picture President Obama giving a speech at the University of Alabama on the topic of his administration’s agenda. He is welcomed to campus by protestors, who interrupt his speech by screaming, pounding the hall’s doors, and shouting the most obscene vulgarities in an attempt to silence him. Imagine members of the audience rudely interrupting his speech and cutting into his comments. And after the event ends, President Obama has to be rushed from the building into his car, completely surrounded by police officers to ward off an angry (and potentially violent) mob.
Well, there’s really no need to imagine: with the exception of the public figure and locale, this set of events happened this very week. As chronicled by the ​Daily​ ​Northwestern​, Former Attorney General ​Jeff Sessions​ was subjected to this treatment when he spoke on campus Tuesday evening. While most of the nearly 300-person audience was attentive and respectful, some members of the audience and many protestors behaved in a way unbecoming to members of the Northwestern community.
As members of the Northwestern University College Republicans (NUCR), we decry the immature and insulting treatment that Mr. Sessions and the event’s audience were subjected to. While we understand the many objections to Mr. Sessions’ policy accomplishments and political ideology (which we have willingly ​engaged​ with in the past), we condemn the attempts to prevent him from sharing his views with the Northwestern community. We applaud the organizers of the “Night of Action” for seeking to channel animosity towards constructive political activism, but unequivocally condemn the attempt to shut down our organization’s and Mr. Sessions’ free speech rights. Regrettably, rather than merely protesting Mr. Sessions’ remarks or attempting to engage in a constructive conversation, the protestors at issue unacceptably sought to disrupt the free exchange of ideas that is essential to a democratic society and to liberal education. We believe that such behavior is, in the words of Mr. Sessions himself, “garbage.”
NUCR believes in the paramount importance of respectful political dialogue and the necessity of engaging with opposing ideas. We invited Mr. Sessions to campus because we believed that his decades of service in Congress and the executive branch and his unique brand of conservatism would provide an interesting counterpoint on President Trump’s agenda to NU’s oftentimes stifling progressive orthodoxy. We believe that those who protested the Session event peacefully bear no shame – they exercised their First Amendment right appropriately, in the same way as did Mr. Sessions. On the other hand, those who attempted to shut down or even harm Mr. Sessions reflect poorly on a university devoted to learning and engagement with ideas. Even while he was being pelted with insults and silenced by screeches and chants, Mr. Sessions was able to provide insightful comments on such topics as immigration, trade, foreign policy, and impeachment. We believe that protesters did themselves and the greater Northwestern a community a great disservice by assuming that there is nothing valuable to learn from Mr. Sessions’ decades of experience in public service. We believe that the protestors attempting to shut down Mr. Sessions under the mantle of protecting diversity ultimately harm that cause. Their behavior challenges the diversity of thought at the core of Northwestern’s mission.
We are saddened by the fact that a portion of our campus community is so vehemently opposed to the fundamental free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Their ludicrous attempts to shut down free speech threaten our liberties, inflame partisan polarization, and do nothing to address the policy issues that cause such outrage. We encourage the Northwestern community to reject the anti-liberal and un-American behavior of these trouble-makers and to reaffirm our commitment to a free exchange of ideas and by willfully and meaningfully interacting with those who disagree with them.
The Executive Board
Northwestern University College Republicans

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