About 150 members of Irish-American groups gathered at the main entrance to Georgetown University yesteday to protest the university's presentation of an honary law degree to Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
As Thatcher's motorcade arrived on campus shortly before noon, the proesters chanted, "Brits Out, Brits Out," and carried placards that read, "Why Reward British Opression," "Irish Give Sons to Jesuits, Georgetown Gives Honor to the Brits" and "Maggie -- When You Honor Law, We Will Honor You With a degree."
The protesters said they were demonstrating against the British role in Northern Ireland.
Father Sean MeManus, national director of the IRISH national Caucus, a Washington-based Irish nationalist lobb, said he considered it ironic that Georgetown University, which recently announced it would return a gift of $600,000 to Libya because officials disapprove of the country's terrorist acts, would honor Britain, which he described as "the world expert on use of violence."
The Rev. Timothy S. Healy, university president, has said that the granting of the degree to Thatcher does not connote university agreement with all the policies of her government. A university spokesman said the board of trustees decided to give Thatcher the degree because of her fight against inflation and unemployment, and her leadership in bringing peace to Zimbabwe.