There is a key First Amendment distinction between protest and disruption...Downs ought to get answers to these questions, but I tend to doubt that he will.
Disruption is a problem for at least two reasons. First, it violates the rights of speakers and listeners. Second, it sends a message that the topic under discussion is taboo, and, therefore, not a proper subject for public discussion...
What do University of Wisconsin leaders have to say about what happened at the press conference? Are they prepared to support and espouse the rules that make free speech possible? Did some administrators play a role in encouraging protests? If so, were they acting consistently with their professional responsibilities?
Only by seriously addressing these and related questions can we proceed together as a community bound by a common commitment to legal speech, counter-speech and protest.
I'm creating a new tag, "Doubletree protest," so click there if you want to go back to those old posts to get up to speed. That protest is a sub-issue to 2 major issues — with very specific Wisconsin content — which I am covering, long term, on this blog: 1. protests and 2. affirmative action. I'm trying to control tag proliferation, but I'm glad I made a "Wisconsin protests" tag last winter instead of relying solely on my old "protest" tag. But to make a sub-category out of one Wisconsin protest... that seemed ridiculous... until it didn't.