The controversial lecture that put the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College at the center of a stormy debate over academic freedom went off calmly on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The lecture featured speakers from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which supports sanctions against Israel, and was co-sponsored by the college’s political-science department and a student group. The department’s role was the source of much of the ire against the college, but college officials rejected accusations that the institution was taking sides in a political debate and stood firm in defending the speakers’ right to present their views.
The audience of about 200 people had to pass through tight security to enter the student center where the event was held. For the most part, they listened quietly, and many applauded when the event ended, according to the AP. One slight disruption occurred when a group of four students holding material from a group opposing the BDS movement were asked to leave, Melanie Goldberg, one of the students, told the news service. Dozens more protesters stood behind barricades outside the student center carrying anti-BDS signs.Return to Top