To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Jeff Planchard’s viewpoint (“Fox’s O’Reilly Goes Too Far in Attacking GU,” THE HOYA, Jan. 27. 2006, A3).

My point of contention with Mr. Planchard comes with his assertion in regard to the Alberto Gonzales speech at Georgetown Law Center that, “There, several students, in an admittedly outrageous act and cloaked in hoods, disrespectfully turned their back on our top cop. Now, I wholeheartedly approve of our First Amendment right to protest, but law students, especially those admitted to our school, should know that such an action is a reprehensible reception for an invited guest of his stature, regardless of the president under whom he serves.”

If Mr. Planchard agrees with the right to protest, then why was this act so “reprehensible”? The protest was completely nonviolent, and in fact completely non-vocal. Why should students bow their heads in deference in the presence of someone of Gonzales’ stature? He is the architect and very face of undemocratic and abhorrent domestic spying initiatives.

As the Bush administration continues to erode civil liberties, protesting and exercising one’s First Amendment right becomes even more necessary. If everyone sat idly by, respecting guests due to their perceived “stature,” I think we would quickly find the notion of freedom of speech to be nonexistent.

Ryan Watson (COL ’02)

Jan. 28, 2006

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