The full text of the protesters' prepared statement:
"Mr. President, over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested while bankers continue to destroy the American economy.You must stop the assault on our 1st Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out."Although it wasn't clear whether the hecklers were an Occupy group from outside the school, or if the protesters were part of the student body itself, or a mix, their chanting began when the president gave a shout-out to the senior class. He seemed to take the interruption with equaminity, and even addressed the protesters during prepared remarks:
"A lot of the folks who've been down in New York and all across the country in the 'Occupy' movement, there is a profound sense of frustration, there's a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is that if you work hard, if you stick to it that you can make it, feels like that's slipping away. And that's not the way things are supposed to be, not here, not in America. This is a place where your hard work and your responsibility's supposed to pay off, it's supposed to be a big, compassionate country where everybody who works hard should have a chance to get ahead, not just the person who owns the factory, but then men and women who work on the factory floor."At least he didn't admonish them as Newt Gingrich did, to take a bath and get a job.... or as Karl Rove did, to shut up and stop occupying his American space. It was a pretty typical "I feel your pain" political campaign speech, and it contained so many usages of the word "folks" I lost count of them all.
"When a politician uses the word 'folks' " writes Noam Chomsky in Hopes and Prospects, "we should brace ourselves for the deceit or worse that is coming."
All braced up and ready to go.