Protest of Scalia at Princeton University

I just got home a little while ago from attending the protest at Princeton Univ. against Scalia. Scalia was there to give a lecture (part of a series) in honor of James Madison. I understand from a Princeton student to whom we spoke that there were a series of events all connected with alumni week. There were abou 75 demonstrators present. A student group had obtained a permit. We were "corralled" behind a low and flimsy wire fence across from the entrance the public used to enter the building. Scalia, of course, was brought in another way, so we never saw him. There were members of Democracy March, Voter March, the student groups and a union group from the Princeton area as well as individuals representing various organizations such as NOW. The students and the worker group had huge banners that they hung up on a line between two trees. One person had an upside-down flag. The evening wasn't as cold as it was last Sunday for the "Not My President's Day" demonstration. We were standing in an area that is a lawn in the summer. The campus workers had cleared it of snow (Princeton got about a foot on Thursday), and the ground was damp. Our spirits were not! We chanted, sang songs - some written especially for the occasion - and one group held a mock "trial" of the infamous injustices five - complete with puppets. We were told that they could hear us chanting inside. One woman came out and said that our chanting made her feel less "lonely". When a group of freeper-types tried to counter-demonstrate, they were routed with cries of "shame".

A student who was present at the lecture said that the audience was requested to keep all questions to the issues addressed in the speech. Scalia, he said, emphasized his strict, fundalmentalist interpretation of the Constitution philosophy. Someone who tried to ask why Scalia had abandoned that philosophy when it came to the infamous Court decision was suppressed.

When the last lecture attendee had left the area, we marched, chanting, with our posters and banners through the campus to the Princeton "dinky" - the shuttle to Princeton junction. We just had time to get coffee and hot chocolate to warm up with.

It was a really good and worthwhile effort. I had the impression that many of the people in the audience were on our side but attended the lecture either because they were students and needed to for a class or because they wanted to hear what Scalia had to say. We certainly made an impression of our own.