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Weyermuller: Northwestern students protest former AG Jeff Sessions



Sessions leaving Northwestern University with armed security – Mark Weyermuller photo

By Mark Weyermuller –

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was met with angry protesters Tuesday night at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The event, sponsored the Northwestern College Republicans and the Young Americans Foundation (YAF), was held at the university's Lutkin Hall with about 250 people in attendance, mostly students.

Check out FoxNews.com story on the protest, including Weyermuller's tweet

The title of Sessions' speech was, “The Real Meaning of the Trump Agenda.” The speech was sold out as a ticketed event with attendees going through bag checks and scanning of their tickets.

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 3.09.03 PM      Unknown-1

Young America's Foundation video of protests

Outside of the hall, about 150 protesters assembled as part of an organized event called “A Night of Action."

As soon as Sessions started speaking, protesters reportedly came in side doors and open windows to the hallway outside the lecture hall. They held signs despite publicized rules banning signs, and apparently were not screened by security. They were held in the building's halls by Northwestern Campus Police and not allowed to enter the lecture room. During Sessions' 60 minute speech, protesters chanted, yelled, screamed, and pounded on walls and doors to disrupt.

The Evanston Police were called by an attendee but the caller says he was told the protest fell under the jurisdiction of Northwestern Campus Police Department. It’s unclear if the Evanston Police ever responded to the scene. Attendees said it was common for a heavy Evanston Police presence on campus during special events as seen in last two weeks for Northwestern home football games.

In addition there were roughly 25 Northwestern administrators and staff on site, including several who identified as the university's “media affairs.”  It is possible the campus police might have had a “stand down order” against any arrests or forcible removal of unauthorized or non-ticketed people in the building. It appeared no arrests were made. 


After the speech, Sessions was escorted to a side room to the left of the stage, while security evaluated how to do his exit. After most of the attendees left, he came out to interact with members of the College Republicans. I was able to get a quick photo which was interrupted in a minor scuffle as a protester attempted to get close to Sessions. Again, Sessions was escorted back to the room left of the stage as police and private security stood by the door. After about five minutes Sessions was escorted under heavy security,  maybe a dozen police and administrators to a door on the right of the stage to a waiting car.


The issues of free speech and 1st amendments rights are under discussion and scrutiny here. One question is if Northwestern will allow all speakers in the future on any topic and provide adequate security?  On another note, Jeff Sessions might be running for U.S. Senate in Alabama in 2020.  With President Donald J. Trump on the ballot, there surely will be more fireworks ahead.

Mark Weyermuller is a small business person, real estate professional, and conservative activist in Chicago. He is a citizen journalist and regular contributor to Illinois Review. 



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  1. It’s disgracefully that these punks and thugs are permitted to disrupt this type of activity while the school administration does nothing to punish these students if they are students?
    If students expulsion would be the proper course of action! If outsiders then arrest and prosecution for trespassing.

  2. Listened to the rant of one of the protesters in the corridor who claimed that everyone inside of the room was “guilty” of criminality.
    So if someone simply went to listen to the speech or report on the speech as a member of the media, they would be guilty too?
    Absolutely insane — no trial, no jury, no presumption of innocence. If you disagree with the mob, you are condemned. It is something like the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution.

  3. College and University administrators are so afraid that calling in police will “hurt the school’s reputation” that they generally rule against it. Administrators have an easy life for little real responsibility They are moral cowards.
    My experience with this comes from my own college days 47 years ago. I was a student on campus security detail when I witnessed what appeared to be an illegal drug transaction. I called the Dean, who ordered me not to call the cops for fear of “bad publicity for the school.”

  4. More fall out and follow up:
    The university made a official response praising itself for the handling of the mayhem at the Sessions speech. If you follow me, you know Ive been hundreds of political events including protests and speeches at universities.
    I have never been to a speech where disrupters stood ten feet outside in a hall for a whole 60 minute speech yelling obscenities, chanting, banging doors, screaming, and being stopped by a police line.
    In my opinion, the university administrators should be embarrassed. They should apologize to Mr Sessions, the College Republicans, and people like me who attended. They should invite Sessions back and provide adequate security this time.
    This link is more of a fluff or public relations piece from the administration.
    I suggest the administration reevaluate and apologize. They are welcomed to call me fur some advice…

  5. https://dailynorthwestern.com/2019/11/10/lateststories/addressing-the-dailys-coverage-of-sessions-protests/
    The Northwestern student newspaper now is apologizing for covering the story. Read the link above and see all the comments that question the credulity iof Northwestern and their administrators. It was embarrassing to invite Mr Sessions and not provide a safe environment for him to speak. It was very embarrassing for the school, they should invite Mr Sessions back.

  6. More fall out from the reporting by the student newspaper and their apology for reporting.,now the newspaper has lost credibility., The biggest issue Is that invited speakers might risk injury if they speak at this university. It appears freedom of speech and exchange of ideas is a dangerous subject here.,
    Question now, Will Northwestern Defuse this with an apology to mr Sessions.,
    Read this story with 57 comments critical