Free Rhiannon! Campus Protests and the First Amendment

Rhi got locked up. The food was bad, the comrades were immaculate, and while the friendless centrist pundits on Twitter were wrapping themselves in knots to try to argue protests aren't speech, the kids were keeping the focus where it belongs: On Gaza.

A podcast where we dissect and analyze the Supreme Court cases that have failed our nation, like a future cop failing 9th grade English


0:00:10.3 Andrew: Hey everyone. This is Andrew from Prologue Projects. Leon is out today. And on this episode of 5-4, Peter, Rhiannon and Michael are talking about the protest movement that has ignited on college campuses in the past month. Students are asking their universities to disclose if their tuition is being invested in Israel or the defense industry, and if it is, that schools divest. It's a clear cut demand that mirrors the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980s. But bad faith pundits online are ignoring the substance of the student's message and are starting to formulate an up is down legal theory where campus protests might not actually be protected under the First Amendment. Also, Rhi got arrested. So this episode has all the tea from the tank. This is 5-4, a podcast about how the Supreme Court and this fucking war in Gaza suck.

0:01:05.8 Peter: Welcome to 5-4, where we dissect and analyze the Supreme Court cases that have failed our nation, like a future cop failing 9th grade English.

0:01:12.6 Michael: Yes.

0:01:13.2 Peter: I'm Peter.

0:01:14.7 Michael: Yes.

0:01:15.5 Peter: I'm here with Rhiannon.

0:01:16.3 Rhiannon: Hey.

0:01:17.6 Peter: And Michael.

0:01:18.4 Michael: Hey, everybody.

0:01:20.6 Peter: What a week?

0:01:21.2 Michael: Yeah.

0:01:22.8 Peter: Today's episode is a special one. No case today, we are going to be talking about the outbreak of protests at campuses across the country. We're gonna do what you might call some legal analysis of those events, talk about the First Amendment, but I think a better way to put it would be that we are going to talk about how state violence gets laundered through legal frameworks and justified by politicians, by media types, all the usual schmucks. We are going to talk a bit about strategies that students can employ and also talk about one of the greatest injustices in American history, the arrest at the University of Texas at Austin of our co-host, Rhiannon Hamam.

0:02:12.9 Rhiannon: Guys, I've been telling you for four years that the First Amendment sucked. That I don't wanna read First Amendment cases, that I don't wanna do First Amendment cases and I don't wanna talk about the First Amendment. And now you know why, because the First Amendment didn't do shit for me.

0:02:27.0 Peter: Rhiannon owned by the First Amendment.


0:02:32.6 Peter: Now, here's a paradox, folks. Rhiannon has always said she doesn't care about the First Amendment. Has she been owned because now she wishes that there were better protections for free speech? Or is she proven correct in that the First Amendment did absolutely nothing to protect her? They're sort of both true.

0:02:52.2 Michael: She did get released. She's not still in jail. So...

0:02:55.9 Peter: That's true, but they're sort of both true, right?

0:02:57.6 Rhiannon: Someone who does logic figure this one out for me.

0:03:00.4 Peter: This is a brain teaser that no one can solve.


0:03:06.5 Michael: I mean, we're joking about it, but what I think it illustrates is that your rights are very contingent, the doctrines in the heat of the moment often don't matter, and at best, what you can hope for is that they lead to your release. Not that they prevent the state from doing stuff to you, but that maybe the state will have to undo it at some point.

0:03:31.2 Peter: Yeah, to let you go.

0:03:31.9 Michael: Maybe, but maybe not.

0:03:34.1 Peter: Yeah. Well, we'll hash this out. We'll hash this out over the course of the episode.

0:03:40.8 Michael: So Rhi, this is your first arrest. Yeah?

0:03:42.9 Rhiannon: Yeah, that's right.

0:03:43.7 Michael: And I've been arrested twice. Peter, do you have any arrests?

0:03:47.4 Peter: Obviously not. No.

0:03:48.0 Rhiannon: Yeah, not our sensitive boy, Peter.

0:03:50.5 Michael: No.

0:03:50.8 Peter: No.

0:03:51.0 Michael: Not America's daintiest lawyer.

0:03:52.6 Rhiannon: That gorgeous supple skin never touched handcuffs. Never touched handcuffs. Are you kidding me?

0:03:58.2 Peter: She fucking gets arrested once and gets all cocky.


0:04:04.0 Rhiannon: You wouldn't believe what I've seen.


0:04:07.0 Rhiannon: No, it fucking sucked. But we'll get into it. [chuckle]

0:04:11.4 Peter: So, I guess before we talk about that, we should talk about the background here. This all sort of came to a head when the President of Columbia, Minouche Shafik, went before Congress to testify about the goings on on campus. And you may recall that in December, the presidents of Harvard and Penn and MIT all went before Congress and got peppered with bad faith questions about the protests of what's going on in Gaza, and ultimately it led to the resignation of two of them. Now, I assumed that that would've been a teachable moment for the other presidents of Ivy League universities across the country, but Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia thought, "You know what? No, I can do it better. I can do it right." So then a couple of months later in mid-April, Minouche Shafik got up there in front of the Republican led committee in the house and said, "I basically agree with you guys. The protest is a little bit problematic, and we here at Columbia, we are cracking down. We don't tolerate that bullshit. We are a no nonsense sort of university. We're not like those pussies at Harvard and Penn. Those liberal cowards."

0:05:30.8 Michael: Threw some of her professors under the bus by name.

0:05:34.5 Peter: Right. In fact, promised the committee to discipline a professor.

0:05:42.2 Michael: God.

0:05:43.3 Peter: Remarkable stuff. Now, back at Columbia, at the same time, students were setting up an encampment, an occupation of a quad at Columbia to protest Columbia's investment in Israel and to demand their divestment from Israeli interests. Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia returns to Columbia and is faced with a dilemma. She probably doesn't wanna drop the hammer too aggressively, but she just promised Congress that she would. So for the first time in 50 years, she allows NYPD to enter Columbia's private campus. They arrest the protesters and of course that solves the problem and everything is well at Columbia and across the nation, thanks to her brave, decisive law and order focused decision making.

0:06:38.8 Michael: That's right. Republicans in Congress, nothing but praises.

0:06:42.5 Peter: Republicans saluted her effort.

0:06:44.2 Michael: Yeah, that's right.

0:06:44.8 Peter: No, here's the thing, law and order policing doesn't work. So what actually happened was that not only did Columbia students set up another encampment at a lawn right next to the lawn that the original encampment was on, but protests emerged at campuses across the country. So what was once a single protest happening at Columbia is now a nationwide student movement. Great work, Minouche Shafik. You're a real tactical genius.


0:07:18.5 Michael: Right. Your just reward, Elise Stefanik calling for your resignation.

0:07:22.2 Peter: Right. Republicans now calling for her resignation, which is why you don't play games trying to cater to bad faith dipshits.

0:07:29.8 Michael: Yes.

0:07:30.6 Peter: Minouche.

0:07:31.2 Rhiannon: Yeah. I don't know if it's maybe something we get into a little bit later, but something that has been so shocking about university responses to these protests, these encampments, what have you, is how really on their face, how stupid administration has been about this, right?

0:07:48.4 Michael: Oh, yeah.

0:07:49.1 Peter: Well, first of all, these are difficult situations. I think we have to admit it's a hard situation to manage. And also these people got their positions by social climbing within universities and sucking up to donors and shit like that. Minouche Shafik is technically a Baroness.

0:08:07.2 Rhiannon: Yeah, she is.

0:08:07.9 Michael: And didn't she work at the World Bank or something? Not even like.

0:08:10.5 Rhiannon: Not a real job.

0:08:11.4 Michael: Social climbing in the universities.

0:08:13.5 Peter: Yeah. She's just like a professional elite, right?

0:08:16.6 Michael: Yeah.

0:08:17.1 Peter: So I guess we should sort of talk about how this leads to our co-host Rhiannon in handcuffs, and the answer is that, University of Texas at Austin, a public school, an encampment pops up there, not like it does at many schools. And due to the First Amendment, naturally, the police there are not able to quell the protest as aggressively as they can at private schools like Columbia, which is why nothing bad happened at the University of Texas and the First Amendment is a real thing. Okay?

0:08:51.5 Michael: They just explain to the cops, "Hey, this is the First amendment." And the cops were like, "Fascinating. That's interesting." They pulled out their pocket constitutions, opened up to the First Amendment and were like, "Oh, shit. I didn't even realize."

0:09:04.7 Peter: I have an image in my mind. You know how Stephen Breyer has pulled out his pocket constitution on 60 minutes? I have an image in my mind of him pulling it out when a cop is marching towards him and just getting baton.


0:09:20.8 Rhiannon: Just like the students.

0:09:22.4 Peter: I'll let you tell the story of what happened at UT and what happened to you.

0:09:26.6 Rhiannon: Just to clarify a couple of things. I think what happened at UT was so shocking on Wednesday the 24th, and then again on Monday the 29th. But let's start with Wednesday, the day that I was arrested. Palestine Solidarity Committee is a student organization on the UT campus. They had planned, basically, a day of educational programming on a big lawn at UT on the UT campus. An encampment was not planned, actually, an encampment was not announced, not prepared for. The only events were a meeting place and then educational programming until kind of the early evening. And that's what state troopers, multiple law enforcement agencies in Texas and Austin and Travis County, that's what they came down on. That was the plan. This massive, massive police response and presence was immediate. The events did not start, police were there at the beginning and just started to do what I would call aggressive violent crowd control.

0:10:40.3 Rhiannon: They were pushing people, police were in their formation, state troopers, they would be, if I had to guess, I don't know for sure, they would be in rows and they're shoulder to shoulder in a row of say eight officers, and then there would be six rows of that, like military formations. And they were marching together and they take these steps into the crowd and they go, "Move, move, move." And they were all moving together, pushing, pushing the crowd. It's multiple groups exactly like this. There are other law enforcement agencies there with their bikes lined up like bike to bike, to also control the crowd. And the state troopers especially, they're in full riot gear. They have face shields, they have massive batons, they have all of, they're fully armed, they're fully armed.

0:11:35.7 Peter: Well, you have to admit, I've heard that in some encampments, once all the students were cleared out, they have found rocks.


0:11:45.6 Peter: I'm hearing igneous.


0:11:50.0 Rhiannon: It's really, really wild. I mean, you can talk to any student across the country right now, anybody who is on one of these campuses where repression has been this immediate and this violent and aggressive. It has been very strange for me to, in moments when I finally have a quiet moment and I just think, "Wait, what the fuck happened? Some kids were standing on the grass."

0:12:19.0 Peter: And this was at the direction of Governor Abbott. This is sort of the governor's call in this case.

0:12:23.8 Rhiannon: So my understanding, actually, is it's UT President Jay Hartzell and administration who called them on. But I will say that certainly, certainly Greg Abbott and Jay Hartzell are in touch and certainly in touch about all of this. I don't know about Greg Abbott's sort of call, but Greg Abbott during the course of the afternoon on Wednesday, Greg Abbott tweeted that all of the protesters should be jailed. Again, you're talking about kids who were standing on a lawn on their college campus. And so that kettling, that crowd control, which is actually what I would say is, they're on the offensive crowd aggression, right?

0:13:03.4 Peter: Right. The idea of kettling tactics, which are when they sort of surround you and they start enclosing on the space. The entire premise of it is that it sort of mandates a reaction from the crowd and puts the crowd in a situation where any false move can be used as an excuse for what will inevitably become mass violence by the police. So they advance, they continue to advance until the crowd can't anymore, at which point there is sort of a direct confrontation, and they will inevitably utilize the smallest possible excuse to start effecting arrests, to start using their batons.

0:13:48.8 Michael: The violence is deployed.

0:13:50.3 Peter: Right. The tactics are designed to facilitate violence.

0:13:53.0 Rhiannon: That's exactly right. And I saw it happen. I saw it happen in front of me, and it happened to me too. So I saw the first arrest at UT on Wednesday, I saw it happen. I was a few yards at the most away. It was a student who turned to the crowd and said, "We need to disperse. We need to disperse. The police are telling us to disperse." Turn to the police officer, and was saying, explaining, "Okay. I just gave the message to the crowd. I don't know what you want us to do." And the police tackled that student and arrested him. The crowd obviously is terrified. These are young people who have seen police violence their entire lives. We are in Texas, the memory of Uvalde, where DPS state troopers, the same law enforcement agency that was on the University of Texas doing this to students, where state troopers absolutely failed the children of Uvalde.

0:14:45.0 Michael: Yeah. I saw that they were even doing chants about Uvalde, right?

0:14:50.2 Rhiannon: Yeah, that's right. This is really on the minds of young people in Texas, is not just troopers and not just law enforcement's role at these protests, but the way these young people feel that they have been absolutely failed by law enforcement in recent memory.

0:15:04.7 Peter: Yep. Yep.

0:15:05.9 Rhiannon: These children who have grown up with active shooter drills, all of that, are now seeing a young person taken down by multiple officers, arrested, while other officers push them and try to control their movements. And nobody, these young people, they're just like, "What is going on?" The reaction is obviously just like, it's extreme fear, it's outrage, it's confusion. And that's exactly it, it facilitates the police's further violence on the crowd. It justifies in their minds, in the police's mind, that more control, more aggression, more repression, more violence is needed on more people.

0:15:45.2 Peter: Yeah. The same people who fucking coward outside of that classroom in Uvalde, all of a sudden are very brave when it's a bunch of unarmed kids and they're in full fucking riot gear. I was posting about this a bit, but I think that there are a lot of people, and if you're a young person without experience dealing with police, especially, a lot of people know sort of rationally that the police are a violent entity. But you imagine that the people receiving that violence have made a series of bad choices that you won't make, that they've sort of put themselves in a bad position. And even if the police are doing something unjust, that the recipients of that violence perhaps have miscalculated in some way. The reality is that that's not how police violence works. It gets imposed on people very quickly, very aggressively, and you will generally speaking, not have that much time to think. It's not about making good decisions or bad decisions. These are peaceful protesters who went to stand in a place and do some chants, represent a cause and I guess learn some shit, sounds like.

0:16:54.9 Rhiannon: Yeah, yeah.

0:16:55.6 Peter: And what happened is, the police lined up across from them. And if you are someone who doesn't have a ton of experience with this, you might not be thinking, "Oh, they're about to march... "

0:17:04.5 Rhiannon: Into me.

0:17:05.6 Michael: Right.

0:17:05.9 Peter: And beat the shit out of us with batons. But that is in fact what they are preparing to do. And this is one of those things where you will see shock in the students, who I think rationally understand that the police are violent, but you don't really understand it until you see it.

0:17:19.8 Rhiannon: Yeah, absolutely. And so it just escalated from there. And when I mean escalated, I wanna be 100% clear that it is the police who escalated.

0:17:28.0 Peter: I mean, there wasn't a single assault charge or anything.

0:17:31.6 Rhiannon: That's right.

0:17:31.9 Peter: No assault charges, no battery brought against anyone. If someone had fucking hit a cop or done something to truly initiate the violence, believe me, they would've been fucking charged.

0:17:40.7 Rhiannon: Yeah, that's exactly right.

0:17:41.8 Michael: I mean, Al Jazeera has video of that first arrest Rhiannon described. You can see her in it, and it's exactly as she described. A guy, a kid telling people to disperse and then turning around to tell the cops, "Yeah, I'm trying to get everybody to disperse to do what you ask." And then getting violently arrested. It's fucked up.

0:18:00.5 Rhiannon: Yeah. And it continued from there. So more students, more young people started to be arrested. The crowd is extremely concerned, but also continuing to be pushed around. I wanna be clear too about the law enforcement presence. State troopers were also mounted, were on horses, on horses. It's not two horses, it's many of them. And they're also, these horses are also trained, the mounted officers are also trained in these "crowd control tactics". Which is to say, they are using massive horses to push young people, to push huge crowds, to make pathways, all of that kind of stuff. People are hurt by these horses often when they're used in this way. It's incredibly, incredibly scary. And I'm somebody who knows that this is the police's role, that this is actually what they're trained to do. It was incredibly, incredibly scary. So the next thing that happened is that from that first space, students moved to another space on campus, a lawn, it's a large green space. And then troopers and other law enforcement agencies followed the crowd there and used all of these same extremely brutal techniques to brutalize young people on the lawn.

0:19:22.1 Rhiannon: So this event, again, this educational event was supposed to start at 12:00 PM, I probably got there at something like 12:20. The first arrest is maybe at 12:30, something like that. And I'm with the crowd the whole time trying to see who's being arrested. Just extremely worried about people and angry at this kind of repression. So let's fast forward to later in the afternoon. It's about 5:00 PM and the troopers have sort of cleared that lawn. Remember this is the second location where students, young people, protesters have collected. It's a very large lawn on the UT campus. The campus itself also very large. And so troopers had cleared the lawn of any protesters and troopers were standing on the perimeter of the lawn, all of them facing out. So the lawn behind them...

0:20:17.6 Michael: Lawn secure. Lawn secure, Governor.

0:20:19.7 Rhiannon: Right. Exactly. Has nobody on it. Cool. So they're all facing out, they are shoulder to shoulder, again, armed to the teeth, massive batons, they have guns and there are crowds of people facing the troopers who are on the perimeter of the lawn. So I was lined up shoulder to shoulder with other young people and other people who were there. I ended up in kind of like one of these front lines where I was directly facing the troopers. So at some points there's maybe a foot between my chest and a trooper's chest. Maybe sometimes we're backed up enough that there's like a yard between us. But always, always there's a crowd behind us. I'm not free to just turn around and walk away. There are more people behind us, and where I was positioned, there's a sidewalk behind that would've been a few yards behind my back. The mounted troopers on their horses were going up and down the sidewalk, again, multiple massive horses, we're not talking about one. And so behind me, the crowd is being pushed by horses and law enforcement. And then all of a sudden the troopers in front of me started to push us.

0:21:31.3 Rhiannon: So this is both hands at their chest holding their massive batons, and then they reach out with both hands from their chest and are pushing you back. And they're saying, "Move, move. Go back, go back. Move back, move back." And again, people behind you, horses behind you, people are screaming. I was linked arms with a person to my left. The trooper in front of me came down with the baton on that young person's arm so that we weren't linked anymore, and I was grabbed from the line and thrown behind troopers. I say thrown, I was on my feet the whole time. I was not thrown to the ground or tackled or anything like that, but I was thrown behind their line. And this is what they were doing too, is they're in the perimeter on the lawn, they were pulling people out of the crowd, throwing them behind them, reforming in their shoulder to shoulder stance. But then more law enforcement was behind them, sort of like catching the people that they would throw and arresting them. So that's what happened to me. [chuckle] I got fucking snatched.

0:22:36.2 Michael: You're lucky they didn't throw you to the ground.

0:22:37.0 Rhiannon: Yeah, yeah.

0:22:38.3 Michael: Or you might have been charged with battery like that Emory Professor.

0:22:41.5 Rhiannon: So I got snatched out and, yeah, the next thing I knew, they were putting zip ties on me. So there was somewhere around 55, maybe 57, something like that, arrests on Wednesday at UT. Everybody there was booked into the jail under a criminal trespass charge. That's a low level misdemeanor in Texas, but that's what everybody across the board was arrested for officially. But let's talk about the process to maybe getting there. So as I was thrown back, a few officers surround me, they're holding my arms so tight, I have bruises all up and down my arms from them holding me in place to be arrested. And one of them goes, "What was she doing? What is she under arrest for? What was she doing?" And somebody behind me, an officer, I don't know who, but an officer goes, "I heard she was fighting."

0:23:33.0 Peter: You heard she's been fighting. She's like, "Well, someone been talking about it?"

0:23:37.9 Rhiannon: Is there gossip I'm not aware of about me. But to me, of course, knowing this, I'm like, "Oh, fuck."

0:23:43.4 Peter: Right, you're gonna get hit with an assault charge.

0:23:45.4 Rhiannon: Right. They're about to charge me with assault on an officer, which is a felony. That's much more serious. And so I was just like, fuck, whatever. In the moment, it's just all happening so fast. They put the zip ties on me with my hands behind my back and then they walk me down the lawn towards the kind of like paddy wagon, the like big police vehicle, where they can take multiple people who are arrested. They can transport multiple people.

0:24:09.5 Peter: So to be clear, their system, at least on that day for charges was someone shouts out, what's the arrest for? And someone else makes something up.

0:24:19.5 Rhiannon: Right. And so then I get to the police transport vehicle and somebody else, another officer is like, "What do we put down for why she was arrested? What do we put as her arrest charge?" And an officer behind me goes, "Illegal assembly."

0:24:35.6 Peter: Nice.

0:24:36.2 Rhiannon: So I'm like, "Okay. Cool."

0:24:37.4 Peter: So you got downgraded because the second cop made up a different lesser charge.

0:24:41.8 Rhiannon: Right. Exactly. Made up something else. And then it wasn't until I got to the jail, and pretty late after I got to the jail, that I heard that everybody's arrest ended up being documented as criminal trespass.

0:24:58.6 Peter: So by the time this comes out, we're well behind the news cycle on this, and we wanted to tell your story, Rhi, but I feel like we wanted to pull some broad lessons about the law and cops and protests from these situations. And the first thing I wanna talk about is this idea that we talk about sometimes, where we say laws aren't real. Which is to say that not only are laws just made up, but their existence and enforcement are the output of different norms and social and political structures. Which is like, I guess a fancy way of saying that laws reflect society, including all of its hierarchies and biases and prejudices more than laws create society and shape society. So these protests and the responses are a good example of what this means in practice. 'Cause a few people have reached out to us being like, "I wanna go protest. What do I say to police to protect myself or secure my constitutional rights?" We understand where this is coming from. A totally reasonable question to have, but it's important to realize that the question of whether the police brutalize you or arrest you, is not really a legal question.

0:26:18.1 Michael: No.

0:26:18.9 Peter: Yes, you have First Amendment rights to protest on a public campus, you have rights to assembly, that will not prevent cops from attempting to disperse the protest. I think a good example of how irrelevant laws can be in practice is that, there have been various private schools where political pressure has built to the point where administration has agreed to several of the requests of the protesters. One of the first schools to agree to the demands of the protesters was Brown, it's a private school. Meanwhile, at UT, a public school where the first amendment technically applies, the administration has used police aggressively and seems to be ready to continue using police aggressively. So if the politicians and the administrators have the political will to do so, it will happen. And of course the cops themselves do not understand or care about your constitutional right.

0:27:15.3 Michael: No.

0:27:15.6 Peter: Can't emphasize this enough. They are reading at a fifth grade level. They spend half their day handing out speeding tickets and the other half responding to domestic disturbances, where they show up and say that they can't do anything. They dream about the moment where they get to strap on the riot gear and beat up on some pussy liberal college students. This is on the level of a sexual fantasy for them.

0:27:39.1 Michael: This is why they became cops.

0:27:40.5 Peter: 100%. 100%. You are like the object of their ire, all day long you are floating in the recesses of their mind. All they can think about is the day where they get to exact their revenge. They aren't going to let the constitution get in their way.

0:28:00.2 Rhiannon: No. No, Absolutely not.

0:28:01.3 Peter: Even if they could read it, they wouldn't.


0:28:03.3 Rhiannon: Absolutely not. Young people, they know about free speech, they want it to protect them. Because I think you also want to think naturally that like, "Okay. If I'm exercising my right to free speech, then it's important and meaningful and can affect change." But when we say laws aren't real, it's exactly what you're saying, Peter, the First Amendment does not protect you in the moment. Even if it's not cops violently beating you for congregating peacefully on a lawn, even if it's another infringement of your first amendment right. The First Amendment having it in the moment does not protect you. There's a sort of retroactive application of the law, a retroactive application of any kind of remedy when your rights are violated, that is a real limitation of the law across the board. Free speech doesn't protect you in the moment. Cops are beating professors and students not because they don't know the law, it's because they don't care about the law, it's because cops have a completely different purpose in our society than upholding the law and knowing the law. And that is exactly what we're seeing on college campuses. That is the violent repression of mass movements. That is an integral part to why the police exist the way they exist today.

0:29:21.0 Michael: Yeah. If you even want to zoom out a little bit, their role is the maintenance of order. And I don't mean like...

0:29:29.9 Rhiannon: Peace. Goodness.

0:29:31.3 Michael: I mean, like, the social order, like hierarchy. The maintenance of the hierarchical order, which is why some communities get over-policed and brutalized and incarcerated at insane levels. And basically driven from society, whereas other communities get ignored, get second, third, fourth, and fifth chances and get very pleasant community policing and whatnot. The cops are the violence in the system that keeps the order in place. And that's what you're seeing here.

0:30:08.7 Rhiannon: I think that's exactly right. And I just wanna make a tiny finer point on top of that, which is, that the university administrations are calling for this violence on their students.

0:30:20.5 Michael: Yes.

0:30:21.2 Rhiannon: They're using the cops in exactly the purpose and the way that they're built to be used. They are on call for our society's elites, including elite university administration. They are on call to crack down and brutalize their students.

0:30:36.5 Michael: Yeah, that's right.

0:30:37.6 Peter: Now, we've had some people reach out and be like, "What are the laws around this? What are the laws around student speech?" And this is another sort of, laws aren't real sort of moment. The seminal Supreme Court case on student speech is a tinker, as a case from the '60s where a bunch of kids protesting the Vietnam War were wearing armbands in school, this is high school. And Supreme Court said, "You can't discipline them 'cause they're not causing a disturbance." And that's sort of what the test has become. Are they causing a disturbance? So technically that's the rule in public schools, at least, in private schools they just say, "Hey, you're trespassing." Call the cops in. But public schools technically can't drop the police in unless they're causing a disruption. And that's a little bit abstract, it can mean different things. Every school is gonna say, yeah, they were disrupting the functioning of the university, et cetera, et cetera. But the thing is that that's all bullshit.

0:31:33.9 Peter: The actual seminal case on free speech in these situations is Nieves v. Bartlett, which we did an episode on a couple of years ago where the court said, "Even if a cop is retaliating against you for your speech, as long as they have probable cause to say that you committed some crime or another, they're fine." Meaning, as long as they have an excuse, as long as they can find some law that they think you're violating, it doesn't matter that their actual motivation is to retaliate against you for your speech.

0:32:06.6 Michael: That's right.

0:32:07.5 Peter: That's the law. And that doesn't protect you worth a goddamn. And I think it's important to recognize that, when you're out there, that the law cannot protect you from their batons. You have to sort of be aware of that. And that doesn't mean don't protest by the way, it means be smart when you do and be aware of the difference between your rights and your safety.

0:32:30.9 Michael: The most the law can offer you is eventually the dropping of charges. And maybe if you're lucky, some damages.

0:32:39.2 Peter: You got to be hella lucky.

0:32:41.2 Michael: But, obviously, we have talked extensively about immunity doctrines on this podcast, including recently.

0:32:47.8 Rhiannon: Standing doctrines, abstention doctrine, I mean, all of the procedural legal hurdles to actually having your rights vindicated.

0:32:56.0 Peter: Even if you win, it's just your own property taxes, paying your damages.

0:33:01.4 Rhiannon: This point about safety is really important. We talk a lot on the podcast about how police do not keep us safe, but somebody does keep us safe, and that's our communities. We keep us safe. You've heard protesters saying that across the country recently, and that is true. For people who are planning on joining assembly and student movements, just know that there is, for our safety and for your safety for participating, there is infrastructure in place. There is planning that goes into this. So you wanna make sure you're informed and aware of what organizers are saying to do. And that includes that legal observers are likely present. That means that there are attorneys who are on call, like attorneys from the national lawyers guild, local chapters, who are on call, not just to give legal assessments and maybe some discreet legal advice in the moment to organizers, but also on call in case of repression, in case of criminal charges, so that there is a legal response already sort of coordinated and ready to go.

0:34:06.9 Rhiannon: And then things like knowing your rights when you are arrested, wherever you are, in whatever state you are, or county you are, attending something like a know your rights training, not just so that you know what your rights are with the police, not just so that somebody tells you again and again, do not talk to cops, which is true. There is power and empowerment that is communicated and built in know your rights trainings that is about demystifying the process of being arrested, and demystifying interactions with the police. So that you understand what that process can look like if it happens to you. That puts you in a safer position. That puts your community in a safer position. When all of us are exercising our rights, when we know our rights, that makes all of us safer. And so that's what people mean, that's what organizers, that's what protesters mean when we say, we keep us safe. The police are here to hurt us, to crack down, to repress speech, we're the ones who keep us safe.

0:35:09.8 Michael: All right.


0:35:14.4 Peter: Commercial break and we're back.


0:35:18.5 Rhiannon: And look, sometimes assembly like this is quite spontaneous. Sometimes they're planned ahead of time through a lot of organization and pre-planning. Sometimes initially an assembly, a protest, an encampment, what have you, might come together spontaneously. And then planning organization and structure is imbued into that process. Either way, when we say that the community keeps us safe and we keep us safe, that is because people are thinking really hard about every single person's role. Risk assessments are being done. There are people who can take on more risk, for example, saying, "Yes, I understand that I might be arrested and I'm going to participate anyway." There are people who take on lower amounts of risk. Right?

0:36:03.3 Peter: Yeah. You can hand out water in the back and be as much of a part of the demonstration as anyone else.

0:36:08.3 Rhiannon: Absolutely. And so it's just about knowing that when you go in, this idea, we keep us safe, you wanna make sure that you're taking cues from that organizing about what's needed and making informed decisions. Again, empowered decisions, knowing your rights and thinking with community safety in mind, about your own individual risk assessment as well, and your own individual contributions. Everybody has a role.

0:36:35.9 Michael: So switching gears a little, I wanna talk a bit about what has been the sort of moral and political justification for this crackdown and for these congressional hearings and all that. Which is the scourge of anti-Semitism, the rise of anti-Semitic violence in the US and the supposed threat of anti-Semitism that pro-Palestinian protests present. I don't really talk much about my heritage, I guess on the podcast, but I think it's sort of important for this to understand where I'm coming from. My dad's side of the family is Jewish. I went to preschool at a synagogue, Temple Beth Am. I grew up celebrating Jewish holidays. The first time I got drunk was on Manischewitz at dinner.

0:37:26.8 Rhiannon: Go off.

0:37:27.4 Michael: Got really into singing, go down Moses, 19-year-old me.

0:37:31.4 Rhiannon: Oh yeah.

0:37:32.4 Michael: I was never mitzvahed. I'm not religiously Jewish. But to the extent you think of Judaism as anything beyond a religion, an ethnicity or a culture, I qualify. And I have experienced anti-Semitism. I went to a private school in middle school and high school and we played a bunch of Christian academies. And one of the kids once called me a Kike. My school was called Pine Crest. And another time some kid bumped my shoulder and said, "Fuck you Stein Crest." 'Cause the school was sort of, notoriously had a larger Jewish population. Pretty light on the scale of anti-Semitism, but the main point is, regardless of your definition of Jew and whether I fall in it, the worst Nazis in the country, the worst, most bigoted pieces of shit in their deepest, darkest, most violent fantasies include throwing people like me in a camp. I very much fall within that category of Jew.

0:38:32.7 Peter: And is that why you tried to hide it by going to a Dartmouth?

0:38:34.9 Michael: That's right.


0:38:38.5 Michael: The riots in anti-Semitic violence, the rise in a hierarchical racist political party. A pretty explicit one, the Republican Party, is concerning to me on a very personal level. So to that point, I just wanna say, it is absolute bullshit to say that we need to crack down on these kids to fight anti-Semitism. For one thing, it's totally flattening the protests. If you go to any of these, you will find a large population of Jews among them, because Jews in general and diaspora Jews especially, have a very wide range of opinions about Israel, about Gaza, about West Bank, and about what should be done there and what America's relationship should be.

0:39:27.9 Peter: And have historically in this country been a part of every single civil rights movement since Jews arrived, emigrated to this country en masse.

0:39:36.5 Michael: Right. That's right. And I've been trying to come up with how to articulate this idea, but it's very offensive to me. It's very offensive to me that these things are being done ostensibly in my name. On the substance of what's being protested about, the war in Gaza and America's support for Israel, is often justified as something that's important for the safety of Jews. This is an idea that was born out of World War II and the idea that Jews will only be safe if they have their own state. And, no, you don't need to kill 14,000 children to make American Jews feel safe. That's fucking disgusting. Do not do that in my name. But what's more, what's threatening for American Jews is this state violence. This is the violence that will be turned on American Jews if Donald Trump were to regain power. When the violence of the state is turned on minorities, eventually it comes around to Jews as well. That's the whole fucking point of the poem. Everybody knows that poem. That's the fucking point. This doesn't make Jews safe. This makes Jews less safe. The broad bipartisan support of state violence on kids protesting, exercising their First Amendment rights, makes Jews less safe.

0:41:09.7 Michael: The unthinking support of Israel as it commits genocide and war crimes makes Jews less safe. This makes American Jews less safe. I feel less safe now than I did two years ago. And it's not because of what happened on October 7th, it's because of how America has responded to that, by seeking to crush any left wing descent. And you see it with, like, they just passed an expansion of domestic surveillance laws, the FISA 702 expansion, a bipartisan bill signed by Joe Biden that will be used against Palestinians and Jews if Donald Trump is president and maybe if Joe Biden is president. That makes me less safe. Some kids in fucking Columbia having a little sit in and doing a class on anti-Semitism and the first Nakba and shit, that doesn't make me feel unsafe. That doesn't make me less safe. State violence is.

0:42:14.2 Peter: I think you can divide a lot of this into the good faith and bad faith actors, like, Congressional Republicans, to utilize an example of the most obvious bad faith actors. People who are hanging out with Elon Musk, who himself spends his days hobnobbing on Twitter with actual Nazis, express Nazis. Those people don't need to be taken seriously in the slightest.

0:42:40.3 Michael: Marjorie, Jewish space laser, Taylor Greene, is a major power player in the Republican party. You don't need to take her...

0:42:48.5 Peter: They don't have a serious commitment to anti-Semitism. It is ridiculous idea to entertain. I will say that there are a lot of people in this country who have been raised to believe that Judaism is an execrably intertwined with Zionism. And not just Zionism, but the specific form of Zionism manifested in this Israeli government. And I do think it's important to grant those people who I think you could characterize, at least in part, as good faith actors, some grace, because that sort of belief structure can be difficult to unwind. And there are potential allies there if you approach it correctly. But the bulk of this discourse is done purely in bad faith. I mean, purely as a weapon against the protesters. I've been, for If Books Could Kill, for my other fucking podcast, I've been just absorbing enormous amounts of media. The coverage of anti-Semitism at these protests is endless, mostly references the same small number of incidents. Most of those incidents, by the way, tend to come from non-students for the record.

0:43:50.4 Michael: Of course.

0:43:50.8 Peter: But what's I think more jarring is the lack of coverage of pro-Israeli protests and the rhetoric you see at those, despite the fact that there's very heated and disgusting rhetoric coming out of individuals at those rallies. If the real concern was that like, "Ooh, this rhetoric is all getting a bit too heated," then you would see that coverage. But that's not the real concern because this is a bad faith operation to undermine these protests. I mean, it is, I think, clear as day to anyone who studies the civil rights movements of the '60s, for example. It is the exact same fucking playbook right down to the cops being deployed after the bad faith arguments are put into play.

0:44:31.8 Michael: And so I just, I wanna say one more thing, a direct plea to my Jewish friends and family and any Jewish listeners who are listening to this, who themselves feel frightened by an increase in anti-Semitism across America, which I think is fair and right. Your safety and your liberation will never, never be found allying with the political party that is the heir to the fucking Jim Crow South and the Confederacy, and is a welcome home to modern day Nazis. You just won't, that's not to say there's no anti-Semitism on the left. Anti-Semitism has no political valence and it's thousands of years old. But at least on the left, there is incentive to strongly oppose it and strongly draw boundaries around what is acceptable and unacceptable discourse. Rather than indulge it, which is what you get on the right. It's fostered, it's the heart of some of their conspiracy theories that are the animating political project for the current Republican party. You will never, ever have political gain from allying with them. And you need to wake the fuck up and really have a moment with yourself if you even for the slightest second think you could. You need to fucking get real about what's going on in this country and where the threats are coming from.

0:46:01.5 Peter: Like you are side by side with fascists.

0:46:04.7 Michael: Yeah.

0:46:05.5 Rhiannon: Right. 100%.

0:46:06.5 Peter: So we've touched on bad faith characterizations of the protest as a rallying cry for the right and the center. But there's also something else happening in moderate political circles, which is that they're starting to coalesce around the idea that protests aren't really speech. We've seen a couple of people write about this, like Steven Pinker, who I don't wanna give too much credit, he's just some fucking schmuck. But he wrote a piece about this that's basically like, they're out there just sort of chanting and they're trying to coerce the universities. That's not free speech. Speech is about dialogue and trying to convince someone using the coolest, the sexiest arguments that you can.

0:46:51.9 Michael: Oh my God.

0:46:52.8 Peter: As soon as I heard this, and I think I heard it before Pinker, but then I saw him write about it. Immediately I was like, "We are going to see more of this." The idea that students who are trying to exert political pressure are not actually engaging in speech. I mean, this is a ludicrous argument.

0:47:16.0 Michael: It is.

0:47:16.3 Peter: I don't wanna address it too.

0:47:17.9 Michael: I mean, it's very up is down sort of shit.

0:47:21.2 Peter: Right. I mean, the idea is that speech is this sort of narrow category of back and forth dialogue, and that you were trying to convince another person of something and they're trying to convince you. It's debate.

0:47:32.9 Michael: It's debate, it's structured debate.

0:47:36.0 Peter: It's a sort of moderated talk style of free speech. And that draws a line between your average fucking law school panel and what protesters are doing. Because protesters are not trying to convince the president of Columbia, for example, to divest by making the best arguments. They believe that the arguments are out there, that Columbia has their own arguments, and then it is now time to see who has the political will to get it done. The arguments are in the past, the present is about who gets to decide, and they're making the point that they think they should be the ones to decide. That is what political power is and has always been. It is the core of speech, the idea that you get to exert your political will upon the body politic. That is what the heart of the First Amendment is. It's gonna make me mad to talk about this, even though it's sort of abstract, so I'm just gonna leave it there. [chuckle] But this is where I think the centrist types are going right now.

0:48:44.5 Michael: Yeah. I think you see that, like, Nate Silver tweeted something where he was kind of like, "Oh, protesters, a lot of them don't even know much about this, and it's just kind of cool. And it's like a fad, essentially. And I think that's very much along the same lines of like, by questioning the sincerity of the speaker's held beliefs, you are denying that there's a lot of substantive speech content there, which in turn morally justifies your restrictions on that speech. Well, it's not really speech. It's just like listening to Taylor Swift or something.

0:49:23.4 Peter: We shouldn't even have to address it because they're just trying to be cool.

0:49:26.6 Michael: Right. Exactly. And I just wanna say like, if what's going on in Gaza doesn't move you, something is wrong with your heart, with your soul. If it's, moves you so little that you can't even comprehend that it moves other people, you're already dead inside, your fucking soul is gone. You are a rotted husk of a human being. If you look at these kids and are like, "Yeah, this is just a fad." something has gone very wrong in your life.

0:49:57.3 Rhiannon: I think it's right maybe in this part of the conversation to turn to what these students' demands are and what it is that they're protesting. They're protesting a genocide, they're protesting tens of thousands of people dead, bombed, executed, starved underneath the rubble. I'm not here to recite the list of war crimes. I'm not here to recite that. So I think it's really good actually in this moment to think about student power, that students have a massive amount of power right now. And what is so exciting, what is so important about the moment that we're living in, is that students are being incredibly smart, are being the moral leaders of this country and our society in figuring out how to leverage that power. And I have derived a lot of inspiration and respect for these students across the country who, yeah, the three of us for this whole episode have been talking about the First Amendment, because it is relevant, certainly legally. And that is where a lot of the debate is. And it does have a lot to do with police repression. But I have derived so much hope and so much moral clarity from the students who are saying, and we should be listening to them, who are saying clearly, "We are not making a First Amendment argument. We are not saying that the First Amendment is what protects us, and that's what justifies us being here."

0:51:28.1 Rhiannon: They are saying, "We are centering that there is a genocide happening. We are centering, actually, that we have a moral imperative to put pressure on the universities, the institutions where we take part that we make up that are actually supposed to be serving us. We have a moral imperative to use our power and leverage it to stop the genocide, to divest from a racist settler colony, a violent state that enacts its violence in the name of not just a religion, not just a group of people, but in the name of the United States interest as well, that this country pays for it. And that's in no small part because of university support and investment in Israel across the country." And so just kind of turning to some of the demands, some of the things that these students at encampments across the country have been very, very clear about, to take a peek in to see how intelligent, how coordinated and how powerful this truly is. They say themselves that they are establishing these encampments to create a climate that push universities to answer community calls for full divestment from Israel. They want to create counter spaces that refuse to allow universities to distance their reputation from the violent systems that those universities directly invest in.

0:52:55.2 Rhiannon: This is another version of what Michael was just saying, that if you are a student on a certain college campus, these investments, this support, material support and otherwise, for the state of Israel that is done in your name, that is done supposedly in your service, at an institution that is supposed to be educating you, that is supposed to be teaching you about how to be a better person, how to figure out your path, how to be a better member of society. And they're creating spaces to undermine that university legitimacy through that sort of like sustained social pressure and through purposeful disruption. They are centering Palestine and making Palestine unavoidable. They are saying, "We don't accept this anymore. And as students, we are figuring out, and we are using the power that we have to disrupt business as usual so that this university cannot continue in a "normal way" without addressing these issues right now."

0:54:00.0 Michael: That's right.

0:54:02.1 Peter: I wanna say one thing about the efficacy of these protests. We've already seen some wins. We've seen schools, who for the most part aren't making headlines, just quietly agree to divest. We've also seen signs that many administrations are wavering. I'm not an organizer, I don't want to pretend to be a master of organizing strategy, but I read organizers and I've been reading from a lot of them lately, and there are commonalities in a lot of the strategies that you've seen throughout history. You force a confrontation and then you scale that confrontation until it's unavoidable. That is exactly what has happened here. What in this instance, at least, started as a single protest at Columbia has spread across the country. There have been confrontations between administrations and students, police and students. You have the federal government weighing in at various points. A confrontation has been forced, the question has been put to them, and you might lose. You can lose in these confrontations, or you cannot win as much as you want, but you don't win without forcing the confrontation. In many ways there are tragedies here, people have been hurt, people's rights have been violated, their dignity has been violated. But it's hard not to feel optimistic when you see people willing to sacrifice for something they believe in.

0:55:25.5 Rhiannon: That's right. That's right. And young people, students who are the conscience of our society, understanding, clicking in, activating on the idea that every single one of us has a role in enacting and bringing about social justice. Every single one of us has not just a role, but a responsibility to one another in this regard. So absolutely power to the students and free Palestine.


0:55:57.2 Rhiannon: Guys, the food in jail sucks.


0:56:00.0 Peter: Not good.

0:56:00.5 Rhiannon: Not that I thought it was gonna be good, but... [chuckle]

0:56:03.2 Michael: What did you eat? Did you go up to the biggest lady in jail and punch her in the face and exert...

0:56:07.6 Peter: The toughest lady in jail was Rhi, everyone was punching her all day.


0:56:13.4 Peter: I do wanna hear about the food in jail, so just tell us what you ate.

0:56:15.5 Rhiannon: All right.

0:56:15.9 Peter: I wanna know.

0:56:17.0 Rhiannon: Yeah, it was a couple... So I was in jail for about 11 hours and that was overnight, and I had two meals. It was the same sack lunch both times. So I got two, not even brand name Kraft Singles, but you get the idea. A shittier version of a kraft Single. Two Kraft Singles, three pieces of bread, an apple, and then little tiny, mini packages of peanut butter and jelly. The most disgusting peanut butter and jelly you've ever tasted in your life. Ever in your life. This is not like a little Smuckers, is that what it's called, Smuckers?

0:56:57.5 Peter: Yeah, yeah.

0:56:58.5 Rhiannon: It's not even like a little Smuckers packet. It's something far darker and sort of slimier and worse than that. So I had that twice. Which is to say, like, I ate two pieces of bread [chuckle] for 11 hours. Yeah, 'cause I did not eat that stuff.

0:57:16.4 Peter: Well, look, I sympathize, on the way back from Buenos Aires...


0:57:21.7 Peter: Delta served us a very dry mushroom ravioli.


0:57:27.7 Peter: I have a very basic question about the tank there. Is there easy access to water or is there none?

0:57:35.9 Rhiannon: There is. There's pretty easy access to water. There is a bathroom that was close by. So, factually, it's easy access to water, but also factually, it's gross. So it's a bathroom and the water "fountain" is the sink. So the sink in the dirty jail bathroom, the faucet part throws water vertically up so that you can put your mouth down to it and drink the water.

0:58:05.9 Peter: I love that that's just designed to be like, someone's like, "Hey, people need access to water." And they were like, "What would be a comically disgusting way to do it?"

0:58:13.4 Rhiannon: That's right. That's right. If you could think of something maybe, like, a level worse than an enclosed space inside of the dirtiest New York City subway. It smells like piss and shit, is actively, visibly filthy. And you're just supposed to push the little button and that's your water fountain.

0:58:33.6 Peter: It's not just ambient piss and shit, it's nearby piss and shit that you're smelling.

0:58:38.0 Rhiannon: So, yeah, that's the water situation. It is horrific what's happening to young people. Wednesday, what I experienced was horrific to say nothing of Monday the 29th, which I also witnessed. Which was, I would say even worse on UT's campus in terms of police violence. But I just have to say, being in the tank with 20 other women who had just been arrested at UT, we were lit. It was so lit. [laughter]

0:59:11.5 Michael: Real girl bonding time?

0:59:11.6 Rhiannon: Yeah. We were Kiking. The kind of conversation topic that went around the circle was, "Hey, what are your Instagram stories right now?" Like [chuckle] what was your last post before you got arrested? Of really funny stuff. Shout out to a young woman, a truly magical person that I will remember for the rest of my life who was like, "You know what my Instagram story is right now? It's a post where I took a photo of a big bald state trooper and I put a Shrek filter on it, and I made Shrek kiss the trooper's bald head."


0:59:46.3 Rhiannon: She was like, "Minutes later I was arrested."


0:59:51.4 Peter: Oh God, that's...

0:59:52.8 Michael: Queen.

0:59:53.6 Peter: Such a hero.

0:59:54.0 Michael: A queen.

0:59:55.0 Peter: That's like quintessential Gen Z hero shit, where like, she's about to get the violence and she knows it, but she's like, "Give me a second here. I'm gonna Shrek this guy. I'm gonna Shrek this guy's head."

1:00:06.4 Rhiannon: Right, right. Yeah, I saw a video of her arrest. It's quite brutal. She was taken down by her hair. She was dragged by her hair.

1:00:12.5 Peter: Yeah. And then they carried her while she blew kisses to the camera.

1:00:16.3 Rhiannon: And still she blew kisses at the camera while she was being arrested.

1:00:19.9 Peter: Unbelievable.

1:00:21.2 Rhiannon: Just incredible.

1:00:22.2 Michael: By the way, I was telling Elena about your new friend and she was like, "Oh my God, is she the one who was blowing kisses at the camera?" And I was like, "Yeah." She was like, "Oh, yeah, I saw her. She was all over Instagram. She's so cool."

1:00:33.8 Rhiannon: Yeah, she's magical.

1:00:35.1 Michael: But it was like, the kids are all right. Like, it's inspiring. I find her legitimately inspiring.

1:00:39.9 Rhiannon: No, no. A very special person. A really magical person. It was long, it's incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe it's obvious, I didn't sleep at all. It was confusing. But I do wanna say that for me personally, it was an honor. It was an honor to be in there with all of those people. I told all of them over and over that as a Palestinian, I was grateful for their sacrifice. I'm grateful that they took seriously their role in this moment. And it was an honor for me to be there. And it was an honor to be there with all of them. And I'm so grateful to any extent that I was able to just kind of like illuminate the process and be there for people. We were really, really there for each other. And that just brings me back to community safety. We keep us safe.


1:01:30.2 Peter: All right. Next week we're gonna do a mailbag episode. We're gonna take your questions, questions about the end of the term, questions about Rhiannon's new life as a fugitive from the law.

1:01:41.6 Rhiannon: No. My charges were dropped for the record.

1:01:44.9 Peter: Greg Abbott has not returned my email for coming.


1:01:49.4 Michael: Coming to us from an undisclosed location.


1:01:53.5 Michael: If you're listening to this, we probably have already recorded the mailbag episode, so don't send any questions. We're gonna put in requests on the Slack, on the Patreon and all that good stuff.

1:02:02.9 Peter: Follow us on social media @fivefourpod, subscribe to our patreon,, all spelled out, for access to premium episodes, special events, all sorts of shit. We'll see you next week.

1:02:14.9 Michael: Bye everybody. 5-4 is presented by Prologue Projects. Rachel Ward is our producer. Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons provide editorial support, and our researcher is Jonathan DeBruin. Peter Murphy designed our website Our artwork is by Teddy Blanks at Chips NY, and our theme song is by Spatial Relations. And I am talking to you, Nate Silver, in specific.

1:02:47.0 Peter: Yeah. It's almost unfair to make this characterization of Nate Silver, who obviously.

1:02:50.3 Michael: Something has gone wrong in his life.


1:02:52.9 Peter: Right. He's making a graph of his friends that's just been at zero for his entire life, and he's like, "If I had protested... " I don't, this has always been a part of [chuckle] just to digress in a dumb way for a second, this has always been a part of the reactionary complaint, is that there's some guy in these movements who's just like getting pussy [chuckle] or something. Criticisms of hippies from the '70s or whatever were like, "That guy is just playing guitar to get girls."


1:03:25.1 Peter: This makes them so mad. The idea that these people within these movements are having sex, maybe, they're just like, "Goddammit, goddammit."