Protesters remain silent at free speech demonstration

Silent protest for free speech

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - More than 200 protesters held a demonstration demanding charges be dropped against three students who disrupted an on campus presentation by the U.S. Border Patrol in the Modern Languages Building on March 19.

The charges were filed following an investigation by University of Arizona Police.

They were charged with a class one misdemeanor for interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution.

University officials say while the campus is a free speech zone, the same rules do no apply in classrooms or the administration building. They say the students, who shouted at the Border Patrol officers, violated that policy.

The protesters are demanding the charges be dropped, and the students charged will be in court in late April.

Wednesday’s protesters, many of whom wore yellow tape over their mouths, marched in silence in single file, from the Main Gate to the office of Dr. Robert Robbins, the University of Arizona President.

There they delivered 200 letters calling for him to drop the charges.

The President was not in the office at the time.

One organizer said the office has received more than 1,000 letters so far.

The protesters said Dr. Robbins is criminalizing free speech and should be more attentive to the death threats received by the three students.

The University would not comment on the protest.

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