Future American lawyers to be proud of.
Alberto Gonzales spoke before law students at Georgetown today, justifying illegal, unauthorized surveilance of US citizens, but during the course of his speech the students in class did something pretty ballsy and brave. They got up from their seats and turned their backs to him.
To make matters worse for Gonzales, additional students came into the room, wearing black cowls and carrying a simple banner, written on a sheet.
Fortunately for him, it was a brief speech... followed by a panel discussion that basically ripped his argument a new asshole.
And, as one of the people on the panel 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."
- David Cole, Georgetown University Law Professor
It was a good day for dissent.
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Europe salutes youHere in the UK, the vast majority of us have been despairing of American domestic and foreign policy for some time, and the seeming lack of any kind of visible protest from the American people about the erosion of their civil liberties. Our UK politicians often blindly follow your precedents, so your country's continuing, and all but unhindered, stampede towards an unquestionable dictatorship is somewhat un-nerving for us.
This kind of civil disobedience against the worst kind of steamroller politics ('Say it loud enough and often enough and it becomes true') gives us hope that the tide could still turn.
They should all be VERY proud.