Dozens of students and professors at Georgetown University’s Law Center plan to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ talk about free speech at the campus on Tuesday.
The protest will reportedly include some professors taking a knee outside the auditorium where he will speak.
Thirty-one members of the faculty signed a letter that’s been circulated this week, a letter that condemns Sessions’ upcoming speech. BuzzFeed News reported that more professors have since joined the protest, and they’re expected to mimic the NFL’s protests by going down on one knee while Sessions is talking.
According to the letter, the law professors think a member of President Donald Trump’s administration has no business talking about free speech after the president’s criticisms of the NFL protests. The letter also cited the Department of Justice’s decision to try to prosecute a member of the Code Pink activist group who disrupted Sessions’ confirmation hearing in January.
“We acknowledge our colleague’s right to invite Attorney General Sessions to speak on campus,” the letter reads. “However, we, the undersigned, condemn the hypocrisy of Attorney General Sessions speaking about free speech.”
Georgetown law student Richard Hand told BuzzFeed organizers are hoping to have more than 100 professors and students protest Sessions’ appearance.
“While we agree that students should feel free to voice their opinions and beliefs in the classroom, the First Amendment grants this protection outside of the classroom as well,” Hand said. “To demonstrate the irony in a Trump administration official advocating for free speech on campus, some students plan to place duct tape over their mouths to represent that the administration has silenced more voices than they have emboldened. The students will then remove the duct tape to voice questions they would like to ask the attorney general over a megaphone.”
The event is scheduled for noon on Tuesday and is open to the media. Sessions was invited by Professor Randy Barnett, director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution at Georgetown Law.
A Georgetown professor planning to protest posted a photo of herself and a colleague on Twitter an hour before the speech was to begin:
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