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Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

Black Lives Matter attack, shut down ACLU free speech at William & Mary: ‘liberalism is white supremacy’

In a shocking display of intolerance, a group of Black Lives Matter protesters crashed the stage of an event titled “Students and the First Amendment” less than five minutes after the entrance of Virginia Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU’s Virginia affiliate and an alumna. Protesters shouted chants such as “liberalism is white supremacy” and “the revolution will not uphold the constitution.”

Even after the events was halted, the protesters circled around Gastañaga and those just seeking to ask questions.

“After the cancellation was announced, remaining students clustered around Gastañaga, hoping to ask questions and voice concerns. These students dispersed, however, when the protesters began circling around them, drowning out Gastañaga and chanting with increased volume,” The Flat Hat reported.

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

The ACLU drew nationwide criticism following its defense of the constitutional right of white nationalists to hold a rally against the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville.

The BLM statement said “marginalized groups” do not have the same speech rights as “wealthy, white, cis, male, straight bodies,” which justified the protesters’ takeover of the event.

The protesters returned to chanting after passing back the microphone, and 30 minutes in, the student organizers made the “collective decision” to cancel the event, Director Miguel Dayan said. They have no plans to reschedule the event, planned five months ago.

In a statement given to The Flat Hat, President Taylor Reveley said the activists’ stunt was “not acceptable in our community” and prevented students “from asking questions, often hard questions, and from engaging in debate where the strength of ideas, not the power of shouting, is the currency.”

The college’s Black Lives Matter chapter “took credit on its Facebook page through a livestream of the event” and bragged that it “shut down an event” because of its “zero tolerance for white supremacy no matter what form it decides to masquerade in.”

The college cannot consider any sanctions against the Black Lives Matter chapter because it’s not a recognized student organization, “and students who are part of the BLM group have not pursued that designation,” Brian Whitson, chief communications officer, told The College Fix.

Whitson declined to answer whether the college has opened an investigation that could lead to disciplinary action against participants, providing a disputed interpretation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“College practice, consistent with the Family Education [sic] Rights and Privacy Act, is that we don’t comment on campus disciplinary matters, including whether or not the university is considering sanctions or discipline involving students,” he wrote, reiterating Reveley’s statement that “silencing certain voices in order to advance the cause of others is not acceptable in our community.”

Facebook’s Black Lives Matter sign

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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