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You are here News Human Rights The students protesting in Dublin are on the right side of history – and they know it

The students protesting in Dublin are on the right side of history – and they know it

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Trinity CollegeWho tends to get the big foreign policy calls right: student protesters, or their detractors? Answering this question, it turns out, is useful if you don’t want to end up judged poorly by history.

Student protesters were vilified when they stood against the Vietnam war, yet now, who would have wanted to be on the side that denigrated them variously as naive, dupes and extremists? How should we look back at the students suspended after walking out of lessons in protest at the impending war in Iraq in 2003? Today we might say they come off looking pretty good, having had far more foresight than the seasoned politicians and ageing media commentators who cheered that particular cataclysm on back then.

That legacy loomed large on Wednesday in a courtyard at Trinity College Dublin, filled with students waving Palestinian flags alongside the Irish tricolour, as the triumphant student union president, László Molnárfi, told them their protests would succeed in Ireland, the US and across the world “because our cause is right”. The students were jubilant, because they had won.

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