The complications of free speech

October 18, 2006

After students stormed the stage and blocked a talk by an anti-illegal immigration activist, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar, quickly criticized the protestors’ actions.

“This is not complicated,” Bollinger said in an October 6 statement, released two days after student protestors disrupted a talk by the founder of the Minuteman Project, Jim Gilchrist. “Students and faculty have rights to invite speakers to the campus. Others have rights to hear them. Those who wish to protest have rights to do so. No one, however, shall have the right or the power to use the cover of protest to silence speakers. This is a sacrosanct and inviolable principle...

Schools: Columbia University