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Continued: Protesters at U ribbon-cutting could face discipline

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 1, 2014 - 11:54 PM

Nestor, who has defended political protesters and activists, said he was contacted by five of the U students and is representing them for free.

“What does disruptive behavior mean?” he said. The speakers “may have been delayed. They may have been annoyed or upset that their idea of decorum wasn’t complied with.” But university officials knew that the renovation was controversial, he said, and should have expected — even welcomed — the protesters.

Nestor said that it’s not unusual for colleges and universities to use student codes of conduct to control dissent. “It’s fairly common around the country,” he said. In fact, Nestor said, in the 1980s, he was once suspended from the University of Iowa for taking part in campus protests against apartheid in South Africa and American policy in Central America. He said he, too, was accused of violating the student code of conduct.

“I do think they’re used quite frequently to target peaceful activity,” he said.

 

Maura Lerner • 612-673-7384

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  • Protesters at the March 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony at University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union held posters proclaiming their disapproval for a renovation project. Some of the participants have since received letters from the U accusing them of “disruptive behavior” and threatening disciplinary action.

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