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Future Lawyers to be Proud of ... and Alberto Gonzales

BY BRIAN BOGART, Introduction by Sarah Meyer

February 19, 2006

Index Research

Brian Bogart founded the 2005-2006 Camp U.S. Strike for Peace Campaign. He designed a masters degree program in Peace Studies at the University of Oregon. In so doing, he has become one of Oregon’s leading researchers of the role of conflict and military in society. Telling him that I researched from 5 AM to 2 PM he replied, "I research from 1 PM to 5 AM, so we have the crisis completely covered!" Index Research will publish his articles from time to time.
'Future Lawyers’ was written on 12 February. I feel it is still topical.

Future lawyers to be proud of
... and Alberto Gonzales

On January 24, 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spoke at Georgetown University's law school and attempted to defend the Administration's position that warrantless wiretaps authorized by President Bush do not violate the Constitution or federal law

At 10:30 a.m. Gonzales entered the room and Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff introduced him. While people were applauding and Gonzales took the podium, two women in the second row got up and turned their backs on Gonzales. Both women had the words "Tap This!" on their butts, and one had a "I (heart) the Bill of Rights" sign stuck to her back. The words could be read from the stage, so Gonzales got the message.

Gonzales began speaking. As he spoke, other students stood and turned their backs. Then a group in the back row stood up with black hoods on and held the banner with "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" up to the cameras. It was beautiful.

Every few minutes more students stood and turned their backs, including some who had not known any protest would be taking place, but chose to stand in solidarity with us and to stand up against Gonzales. It was strong and beautiful resistance. Over 30 students stood and turned their backs on Gonzales as he tried to justify spying on Americans.

Several students walked out on him before the end of his speech.

During the panel discussion after the speech, Georgetown University Law Professor David Cole said, "When you're a law student, they tell you if say that if you can't argue the law, argue the facts. They also tell you if you can't argue the facts, argue the law. If you can't argue either, apparently, the solution is to go on a public relations offensive and make it a political issue... to say over and over again "it's lawful", and to think that the American people will somehow come to believe this if we say it often enough. In light of this, I'm proud of the very civil civil disobedience that was shown here today."

All in all, it was a good day for dissent.

The organizers of the event are putting together a website where they're hoping to build a grassroots coalition of law students, professors, and citizens to counter the Administration's campaign of empty legal claims.

Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK
email: sarahmeyer@freedom255.com

:: Article nr. 20805 sent on 20-feb-2006 21:02 ECT


Link: indexresearch.blogspot.com/2006/02/future-lawyers-to-be-proud-of-and.html

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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