PAW’s phenomenal article “What Really Happened When Protesters Occupied Clio Hall?” sent shivers down my spine. Peter Barzilai’s photograph of protesters gathered on the steps of Clio Hall, coupled with the fact that occupiers told the staff of the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School that they had 60 seconds to leave and later screamed “shame” at staff as they were escorted out of the building to safety, brought to mind the horrifying events at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Of course, I recognize the differences, both in scale and intent, between the two incidents, and I do not liken the campus protesters to the violent insurrectionists who sought to overthrow our democracy. I do believe, however, that the protesters who occupied Clio Hall, and any who would undertake similar strategies in the future, would do well to consider the explosive danger of mob mentality. That these protesters believe that the reckless tactics of April 29, 2024, would make any headway in bringing an end to the violence in the Middle East, one of the most complex problems this world has ever faced, is astonishing.

Thankful Vanderstar ’88
Silver Spring, Md.