LP Stands with Students and Condemns the Violent Suppression of Free Speech

As a network of local elected officials, we stand in solidarity with students calling for peace and denounce the use of law enforcement or carceral threats to quell discourse and dissent. 

Protests, encampments, and calls for a ceasefire have been met with violent suppression on college campuses. Columbia University. Washington University. University of Colorado. And dozens of others. The events of the past few days and weeks are part of a troubling trend, with academic institutions suppressing free speech via local law enforcement and endangering the safety of students they should be protecting. These suppression tactics also empower further violence – especially when institutions deliberately fail to protect students, as seen at UCLA. 

Institutions – both public and private – should be creating spaces for hard discussions, constructive debates, and peaceful demonstrations with the recognition that civil disobedience is both non-violent and disruptive. We applaud the example that St. Louis University and University of Minnesota have set so far. 

We remain steadfast in our defense of the right to free speech and non-violent protest – and that includes local leaders who are standing with their communities. We continue to stand with all those calling for peace and justice. 


Featured image via The New Republic (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)