protest, byu-style


I wouldn’t be a good social movement scholar if I failed to mention that today BYU students and faculty protested the visit of Vice-President Dick Cheney, who is speaking at BYU’s commencement ceremony this afternoon. BYU got a lot of press with this speaking invitation. Some of the coverage was embarassing to our university (but that’s what you’d expect for inviting such a controversial figure to speak), but today’s protestors, who are having an alternative commencement later this evening, are doing a good job of keeping the public debate and dialogue alive.

I was at the protest this afternoon. In fact, I was standing right next to to the left of the guy with the “Honk for Peace” sign in the photo of this MSNBC article. (I tried to get him to write Honk to Impeach Cheney, but he decided to stay positive. He was probably afraid he wouldn’t get many honks.) Jeremy posted a picture of another anti-Cheney protest that occurred a few weeks ago. Some people have criticized the student protestors for being too nice, which they probably are, but given the context I think nice was called for. BYU is a university without a history of activism of any kind. Protest is seen by many in this community as radical and counterproductive. Students here don’t like to rock the boat. For those reasons, having a protest on campus was a pretty big deal. Sounds silly, I know, but it’s true. I’m glad that there was a protest and that it received the support of so many students who don’t even think of themselves as Democrats or as political. By protesting, they made protest a little more legitimate in this community. Not a bad outcome.

Written by brayden king

April 26, 2007 at 10:11 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Brayden, you were standing next to a protester … were you protesting? Or taking your photo with your cell phone?


    Gordon Smith

    April 27, 2007 at 1:08 am

  2. Oh, whoops, that was confusing. I’m not actually pictured in the photo. I’m to the left of the guy with the sign holding a sign of my own.



    April 27, 2007 at 4:58 am

  3. Good for you and the protesting students. I’m jealous of the opportunity to participate. Wish I had a comparable BYU experience to call my own.


    Chino Blanco

    April 27, 2007 at 9:46 am

  4. Brayden, this cements my opinion of you as a radical peacenik hippie. Sure, you look all professional at the sociology conferences, but once you get out of your suit and tie, it’s tie dye and hemp pants for you, isn’t it?



    April 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

  5. Tina, that’s right. And to cultivate my hippie identity, I didn’t even shave the morning of the protest.



    April 27, 2007 at 2:22 pm

  6. You’ve changed, man.



    April 27, 2007 at 3:45 pm

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