Campuses must be safe for everyone

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

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The trend of anti-Israel protests picked up speed last week before running into a brick wall of law enforcement and campus police in most instances. Here in Virginia, more than 100 people were arrested as police broke up illegal encampments on campuses.

What began in New York as a protest against Israel’s actions to defend itself in Gaza spread nationwide, including to college campuses in Virginia. It ended with arrests on multiple campuses, with students and professional activists being taken into custody.

Campus protests are as old as campuses themselves, but these events have taken on a disturbing antisemitic character. 

At Virginia Tech and UVA, students were warned not to set up tents for their encampments; and defied the police. After multiple warnings, police cleared the protests and arrested those who assaulted officers or refused to leave.

Freedom of Speech is a bedrock of our republic, and even the most vile and unpopular speech is protected. Free speech doesn’t include holding public spaces for ransom.

As Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares made clear, intimidation and violation of public order will not be tolerated in Virginia.

Our campuses must be safe for everyone. Those who would violate that bedrock principle will be held accountable.

Democrats, on the other hand, have largely come out in support of the protests, arguing that if they remain “peaceful”; they should be allowed to continue — regardless of legal violations.

It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to see Democrats take the side of those who threaten public order and threaten Jewish students in the process.

Antisemitism has no place in Virginia. Full stop. Despite the rhetoric from the White House and Congressional Democrats, inflation hasn’t gone anywhere.

Recent reports show prices have risen on average 20 percent since February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s a decade-worth of inflation in just over three years.

The March inflation report showed overall inflation at 3.5%, up from 3.2% in February. Groceries climbed one percent month over month, and gasoline went up 1.3 percent month over month.

Even as inflation slows, it is not deflation. Prices remain high. They’re only going up at a slower rate.

In short, anyone who buys groceries knows what a problem this is, unless they’re an elected Democrat.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.