Kudos to Wesleyan Students at War Criminal Scalia Demonstration
MIDDLETOWN, CT: At Wesleyan University March 9, 2012 students and Occupy Connecticut members protested an appearance by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “Scalia and Wesleyan’s President Roth were watching banners and condoms drop from the balcony, and there was nothing they could do. Even when the guard escorted us out for wearing Guantanamo jumpsuits, we got our point across,” said Cesar A. Chavez, first-year Wesleyan student.
Before Scalia’s speech, about forty Connecticut residents calling themselves Occupy Citizens United joined with Wesleyan students, chanting “Legacy of blood and war, what’d you make Bush president for?” and “Sexist, racist, anti-gay! Justice Scalia, go away!”
At the conclusion of the speech, inside the Memorial Chapel, seven protesters took off their day clothes and stood up to reveal orange Guantanamo Bay suits and black hoods, protesting Scalia’s complicity in war and torture. These protesters, after refusing to sit down, were escorted out. Simultaneously, four students dropped hundreds of condoms from a balcony into the crowd to show opposition to Scalia’s assaults on reproductive freedom and privacy. The condoms bore the label “Practice Safe Sodomy,” referring to his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas arguing in favor of upholding homophobic anti-sodomy laws. Students also unfurled banners that read, “Scalia Represents the People Inc.” and “There Can Be No Justice in the Court of the Conqueror” to oppose his support of corporate personhood and close ties to corporate interests, as well as a national history of colonial subjugation and imperial enslavement which the Supreme Court has codified and enabled. More Wesleyan students stood up with signs supporting the protesters’ message in overflow rooms.
There are a variety of reasons that students have decided to protest. A media advisory earlier this week said, “Scalia represents highly unjust and oppressive political system, which for example appointed George W. Bush as unelected president in 2000 and increased corporate control of elections in the 2010 Citizens United ruling. In contrast, the Scalia Welcoming Committee is a truly democratic, non-hierarchical group, inspired by the Occupy movement, Arab Spring and global anti-austerity protests. We strongly reject the Wesleyan administration’s choice to invite such a bigoted, sexist, corrupt puppet of the super-rich to speak.”
“Initally I was skeptical about the protests. But as soon as Scalia started speaking, I knew that I was glad people were speaking out,” said Alma Sanchez-Eppler, a Wesleyan student who attended the talk.
By Ross Levin and Dan Fischer
The Scalia protest coalition garnered a lot of media coverage. See below.
New Haven Register
Wesleyan Argus (and 2) (and 3) (and 4) (and 5) (and 6)
Wesleying (and 2)
West Hartford News
CT Post Chronicle
After the event:
American Bar Association Journal