Not long into his speech on national security, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was met with an unexpected interruption. As Ashcroft spoke about the impact of September 11, 2001 on the American government, some 50 people suddenly rose from their seats with their backs towards him and black hoods over their heads. Several held pieces of paper with the word “roundup” written on them.
Surveying the sudden development, Ashcroft said with a chuckle, “I didn’t know you had a seminary here.”
The beginning of John Ashcroft’s day at Cornell was hardly an indicator of the strong tension that would be prevalent during his main speech last night in Statler Auditorium.