Norwich prepared for any protests of Condoleezza Rice visit

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will take the podium at Norwich University on Thursday, as part of the university’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

The event is hosted by the Todd Lecture Series, as part of the online graduate program’s required week-long residency.

This week, 549 CGCS students come to Norwich for conferences, research presentations and commencement. Rice’s speech, which will take place at 10 a.m. in the Shapiro Field House, will serve as the keynote address for the event.

Norwich is expecting 3,000 attendees, Daphne Larkin, assistant director of communications, said. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Norwich professor Rowland Brucken, among others, has publicly opposed the invitation, raising objections to Rice’s and the Bush administration’s role in the war on terror.

Larkin said Norwich will have a designated protest area and campus security has met with a planner not affiliated with the university. Larkin said she did not anticipate problems.

“We have no problem with it,” she said. “We invite prominent people to campus to discuss these important issues.”

Another prominent female politician, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, comes to Vermont on Friday to speak at the Vermont Democratic Party’s annual Curtis awards. The event, a fundraiser for the party, will be held at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. Doors open at 5 p.m. Attendees must purchase tickets in advance.

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  • Michael Colby

    “Designated protest area”? Please. No self-respecting activist uses a designated protest area.

    • Joelen Mulvaney

      There was no designated area…unless you consider the public right of way designated

    • Joelen Mulvaney

      and ps…none of you bozos showed up!

  • Eddie Garcia

    You and Boots gonna show up and get arrested again? Lemme know; I’ll bring a video camera.

    • rosemarie jackowski

      Can I come, too? Sounds like fun.

  • Carl Marcinkowski

    Great. Go and listen to GWB’s talking lap dog. She put herself in that doghouse and she’ll live with that relationship hereon in.

  • Barry Kade

    If people admitted to the speech have the right to applaud in agreement, they also have the right to publicly disagree. I wonder if there will be a Q & A?
    Colby is right, designated protest zones are for sheep.

  • Michael Colby

    I’ve got a better idea, Eddie: How about if Boots and I film you and everyone else getting arrested? That would be much more effective.

  • Alex Prolman

    Daphne Larkin’s quote (regarding prominent figures being invited to “discuss” the issues) is an absolute sham. Barry’s right–there’s absolutely no discussion at a commencement speech, and to imply otherwise is disrespectful to the audience.

    I don’t mean to make this about Red vs Blue politics–Obama and his State Department are equally guilty of war crimes as Bush & Co. I just find it extremely condescending when college PR departments say what Daphne Larkin has said here. I’m sorry the Norwich graduates have to put up with this on a day whose purpose is to celebrate their achievements–this mess will definitely overshadow the rest of it.

    • Joelen Mulvaney

      fyi – this was not a commencement speech, she was invited as a key note speaker to Norwich’s graduate program

  • Paul Richards

    Why are the libs so afraid of intelligent, successful, conservative women? Their viscous attacks are relentless. Hillary couldn’t even manage to lift one finger to respond to an 8 hour attack on our consulate and then covered it up yet she is protected by the media?
    Elizabeth Warren? Is she the Democrat that put herself through school under the auspices of being an Native American Indian? Wonder if they will have a “designated protest area” for her? Probably not since she will be among “friends” from the dems and the media. Ever heard the phrase; thicker than thieves?

    • Amanda Higgenbotham

      Ms. Rice’s speech is free and open to the public. To listen to Senator Fauxcahontas, however, you’ll have to donate to the VT Democratic party. Even ticket information with Eventbrite is password protected.

    • Joelen Mulvaney

      We’re not afraid, we just want her prosecuted for her war crimes and maybe for shoe shopping in NYC during the Katrina disaster

      • Paul Richards

        Wow, I guess she had a lot more power than I knew, to have pulled off whatever purported war crimes you are talking about.
        An example of a real war crime is the one committed by hillary and her leader against the American people when they allowed our people to die in Benghazi without lifting a finger or making any attempt whatsoever to help them. Oh, and was our leader shoe shopping? Actually nobody knows, he may have been. Then they lied about it to make themselves look good. Kind of like lois lerner telling us the dog ate her hard drive and everyone else’s hard drive that she was associated with after she took the 5th.
        Get over it; whether it was a good or a bad decision, there was strong bipartisan approval for the war.

        • Paul Lutz

          Nice reponse Paul!!! Way to go. Most on the left don’t know how much they don’t know.

          The IRS scandal should be the biggest news story in the last 40 years. This goes against the very essence of what this country is about. Where is the coverage??????

          Can you imagine if a Republican tried this??

      • Ethan Rogers

        Nice to see your mug being escorted out of the event in the BFP.

  • rosemarie jackowski

    I support Rice’s right to speak. Actually I don’t see much difference in foreign policy between her and Hillary.

    The First Amendment is so important that everyone’s voice should be allowed…but that is the problem. Too often, other voices are silenced. Candidates are invisible unless they are D/R. Imagine what would happen if a local school board member suggested a class on USA War Crimes. (No offence intended, I realize that the US never committed any war crimes, does not have a Black Budget, never used drones to kill innocent kids walking to school…).

  • J. Scott Cameron

    Whether you supported the administration and decisions of George Bush and Condolezza Rice or not is no reason to interfere with or stop her from speaking. We can’t be afraid of ideas or opinions. If you disagree and don’t want to hear her don’t attend, but don’t interfere with the rights of others to hear her.

    It is sad but true: extremists on the left and the right all share a propensity to believe that their opinions (being correct and all that) are the only ones that matter or deserve to be discussed publicly. What are we afraid of? All of us have the right to be heard and the right to receive information. Suppression of free speech – even speech you disagree with – is facism whether you label yourself a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal or Progressive.

    • Peter Liston

      Has anyone said that they want to stop her from speaking?

      I have not heard anyone say that.

  • Deb Tyson

    Glad to see the GOP trolls out with the nonsense again. Sad. If nothing else your lack of knowledge is insightful and entertaining .

  • Carl Marcinkowski

    I agree, Deb. The RW trolls here are annoying to me because that is all they have. Annoy and pester their political adversaries. Thus throw out bs rhetoric and watch people’s reaction. This news story is clear. A public figure associated with a poor presidential administration spoke at a school and protestors spoke out. End of story.

  • Paul Lorenzini

    What could people be trying to accomplish if they have enough time to poke Condy? general discontent is their agenda, it would be like protesting the dairy for making butter, even the organic sort.

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