Columnist lambastes student behavior on Fountain

Rick Green of the Hartford Courant has some harsh words for Wesleyan students in his May 23 column, “Wesleyan Protests Dishonor Activism.”

Green uses the ol’ there-are-bigger-and-more-important-things-going-on view not only to ignore the questionable police response to the party, but also to make a claim that we’re fighting for our right to party, rather than fighting what looks like an overreaction by the police.

Green’s claim copies, word for word, the thoughts of Middletown resident and blogger Ed McKeon, who wrote—a week before Green took up the topic—an entry on his blog Caterwauled, saying:

This was a Beastie Boys protest. Do any of us really care about fighting for the right to party?

Calling student actions on that now-infamous Friday morning an “embarrassment to this school’s noble tradition of bona fide protest,” Green goes on to criticize students for relating the MPD’s tactics to similar abuses in the past:

I don’t know what’s more depressing, reading the online comments from students comparing their brave bottle-throwing on Fountain Street to the civil rights movement or pulling out the yellowed clips from the not-so-long-ago days when a Wesleyan protest meant more than “This Bud’s for You.”

Green then goes on to overlook the legitimate issues at hand, I suppose because, for him, the fact that this started as a party and not some long-planned political protest means that police overreaction isn’t anything that needs to be mentioned in a column about a party whose only reason for notoriety… was police overreaction.

You may also want to check out the Topix forum on the column, which has some interesting and occasionally on-point reader comments.

Thanks, Ashley Casale ’11, for bringing this editorial to our attention!

1:10 AM: It’s a column, not an editorial. Thanks, Shoutboxer.

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24 thoughts on “Columnist lambastes student behavior on Fountain

  1. Anonymous

    no one said it was a protest. what it was was the police looking to beat up on defenseless college students that they know aren’t going to fight back. 1 idiot threw a bottle…and they didn’t catch him. nor did they even make the effort. instead the piggies decided to vent all their anger and turned fountain into a free beating zone. that’s what everyone’s mad about.as for rick green: parts of his column rang true, i’m not going to lie. the thing is, if he’d written a week earlier, i would’ve agreed with him, but the fact that he wrote it only now means that he’s just whipping up the issue to gain popularity. privileged college students get everyones’ dander up in CT.

  2. Anonymous

    no one said it was a protest. what it was was the police looking to beat up on defenseless college students that they know aren’t going to fight back. 1 idiot threw a bottle…and they didn’t catch him. nor did they even make the effort. instead the piggies decided to vent all their anger and turned fountain into a free beating zone.

    that’s what everyone’s mad about.

    as for rick green: parts of his column rang true, i’m not going to lie. the thing is, if he’d written a week earlier, i would’ve agreed with him, but the fact that he wrote it only now means that he’s just whipping up the issue to gain popularity. privileged college students get everyones’ dander up in CT.

  3. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 2:10, neither of the posts marked “Justin” on that board were written by me. I’m sure there are more Justins in Middletown than just me. :-P

  4. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 2:10, neither of the posts marked “Justin” on that board were written by me. I’m sure there are more Justins in Middletown than just me. :-P

  5. Sheek

    Agreed 8:31. I don’t know anyone who would legitimately compare what happened on Fountain to a protest. It was an incident that got out of hand, with both students and police overreacting, and the reason students are upset now is because people were excessively tasered, attacked by dogs, and pepper-balled. Nobody was protesting anything, and I think many students here are about as embarrassed by student behavior as they are upset about the police actions. Rick Green is kind of an ass for assuming we’re all that dense.

  6. Sheek

    Agreed 8:31. I don’t know anyone who would legitimately compare what happened on Fountain to a protest. It was an incident that got out of hand, with both students and police overreacting, and the reason students are upset now is because people were excessively tasered, attacked by dogs, and pepper-balled.

    Nobody was protesting anything, and I think many students here are about as embarrassed by student behavior as they are upset about the police actions. Rick Green is kind of an ass for assuming we’re all that dense.

  7. Anonymous

    Are you not the Justin who posted 22 hours ago on the column in question?”I think you misread, it was a PEACEFUL gathering. We weren’t bothering anyone… no Middletown resident lives on the street that the party was on. Police misjudge the conduct of a crowd by a few heathens ALL the time, and more often than not the result is police brutality against innocent people.Look, the author clearly has something against institutions. He chose to ignore a lot of facts and encouraged media sensationalism. You’re clearly a victim of it.”If that’s not you, sorry.-Not 9:42

  8. Anonymous

    Are you not the Justin who posted 22 hours ago on the column in question?

    “I think you misread, it was a PEACEFUL gathering. We weren’t bothering anyone… no Middletown resident lives on the street that the party was on. Police misjudge the conduct of a crowd by a few heathens ALL the time, and more often than not the result is police brutality against innocent people.

    Look, the author clearly has something against institutions. He chose to ignore a lot of facts and encouraged media sensationalism. You’re clearly a victim of it.”

    If that’s not you, sorry.

    -Not 9:42

  9. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 9:42, I’ve never claimed that Fountain–or any other street with student housing–is inhabited exclusively by students. In fact, I’ve never even engaged the topic, because I frankly don’t find it relevant to the debate over what happened at Fountain.If you can show me otherwise, I’d be happy to offer a correction.

  10. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 9:42, I’ve never claimed that Fountain–or any other street with student housing–is inhabited exclusively by students. In fact, I’ve never even engaged the topic, because I frankly don’t find it relevant to the debate over what happened at Fountain.

    If you can show me otherwise, I’d be happy to offer a correction.

  11. Anonymous

    THERE ARE NON-STUDENTS ON FOUNTAIN AND WARREN, STOP SAYING OTHERWISE EVERYBODY (JUSTIN)

  12. Anonymous

    THERE ARE NON-STUDENTS ON FOUNTAIN AND WARREN, STOP SAYING OTHERWISE EVERYBODY (JUSTIN)

  13. Anonymous

    I think he has a serious pointpolice overreaction yesbut seriously disrespectful, obnoxious and pointless resistance to the law of Wesleyan student’s yesnow obviously no one’s “fighting for the right to party” but what the fuck was everyone doing last Thursday?this is another annoying example of how privileged college student think they are above the rulessorry to pop the bubble

  14. Anonymous

    I think he has a serious point
    police overreaction yes
    but seriously disrespectful, obnoxious and pointless resistance to the law of Wesleyan student’s yes

    now obviously no one’s “fighting for the right to party” but what the fuck was everyone doing last Thursday?

    this is another annoying example of how privileged college student think they are above the rules

    sorry to pop the bubble

  15. Anonymous

    the only idiot comparing that situation to a protest was nick benacerraf in his wespeak. we aren’t all that stupid.

  16. Anonymous

    the only idiot comparing that situation to a protest was nick benacerraf in his wespeak. we aren’t all that stupid.

  17. Ed McKeon

    Good one, anonymous 2. And touche.Ashley Casale should know that in my conversation with Rick, I mentioned her specifically as an example of all the Wesleyan students who are doing amazing things.Good luck to all you graduates.And thanks once again, Xue and Holly.

  18. Ed McKeon

    Good one, anonymous 2. And touche.

    Ashley Casale should know that in my conversation with Rick, I mentioned her specifically as an example of all the Wesleyan students who are doing amazing things.

    Good luck to all you graduates.

    And thanks once again, Xue and Holly.

  19. Anonymous

    Bush’s trillion dollar war, famine, natural disasters, and the epic upcoming election are all over the news.What is the enlightened reporter Rick Green at The Hartford Courant doing?Why, he’s writing about students ‘fighting for their right to party’.What an embarrassment to the Courant’s noble tradition of bona fine op-ed column-writing.

  20. Anonymous

    Bush’s trillion dollar war, famine, natural disasters, and the epic upcoming election are all over the news.

    What is the enlightened reporter Rick Green at The Hartford Courant doing?

    Why, he’s writing about students ‘fighting for their right to party’.

    What an embarrassment to the Courant’s noble tradition of bona fine op-ed column-writing.

  21. Anonymous

    I thought all this fountain incident drama went away when barack decided to come to wes.

  22. Anonymous

    I thought all this fountain incident drama went away when barack decided to come to wes.

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