Protests surround upcoming Milo Yiannopoulos event

The California Aggie, Jay Gelvezon/Courtesy

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Update 1/24/2017: This article has been updated to reflect new information obtained from the Daily Bruin and the Daily Nexus. 

A 34-year-old man was shot Friday night during a protest of Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk — part of his “Dangerous Faggot” tour, which will come to UC Berkeley on Feb. 1 — at the University of Washington.

The victim — who has been identified by Twin Cities General Defense Committee as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, an anti-racist and anti-fascist organization — was rushed to the hospital for an emergency surgery after being shot in the stomach and is currently in critical condition. The primary suspect surrendered himself to the police and was released after telling them that he had fired in self-defense and that the victim — whom he called a white supremacist — had assaulted him.

Additionally, last week, protesters chanting, “Say it loud, say it clear, racists are not welcome here,” shut down Yiannopoulos’ talk at UC Davis about 30 minutes before it was scheduled to start, according to CNN.

UCPD Captain Alex Yao said UCPD was aware of the incidents and is taking them into account in its plans for security for Yiannopoulos’ event on campus.

“Safety and security is a high priority for UCPD,” Yao said in an email. “We are aware of the incidents that occurred at UC Davis and University of Washington and are taking them into consideration in our planning for this event.”

According to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, the exact details of UCPD security measures cannot be divulged publicly to ensure safety and security during the event.

UCPD initially charged Berkeley College Republicans an estimated $10,000 security fee to host the event, which was reduced to $6,500, according to BCR Internal Vice President Pieter Sittler. Sittler said his organization has obtained funding for the fee.

“Funders want to remain anonymous, I’ll leave it at that,” Sittler said in a Facebook message when asked how the funds were raised for the security of the event.

Sittler said in the Facebook message that BCR will spell out to the campus community its reasons for inviting Yiannopoulos for a talk through an op-ed piece that will hopefully be published before the event.

Yiannopoulos’ planned events at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara have also been cancelled, as reported by the Daily Bruin and Daily Nexus, respectively.

Yiannopoulos cancelled his event at UCLA because the Bruin Republicans, the campus group sponsoring the event, could not accommodate his requests, according to the Daily Bruin. UCLA students had created a Facebook event for a protest of the speaking engagement, which attracted 1,400 people who said they were either interested in or attending.

UC Santa Barbara College Republicans cancelled their event because they were having difficulty scheduling with Yiannopoulos’ handlers, according to the Daily Nexus.  

Judith Butler, one of the 12 campus professors who sent a letter to Chancellor Nicholas Dirks requesting that he cancel the event, said in an email that legally there is a distinction between “constitutionally protected speech” and “harassment.” She added that campus administration should take into consideration Yiannopoulos’ past public appearances that have consistently risen to a level of targeting communities, which she considers harassment rather than an exercise of free speech.

“We are as a university bound to protect students, staff, and faculty, from behavior that creates a hostile climate,” Butler said in an email.  “That is why the kinds of conduct that (Milo) Yiannopoulos engages in are not permitted in the classroom, and would in fact be subject to disciplinary action, if they were.”

Parth Vohra covers student life. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ParthVohra622.

A previous version of this article may have implied that the victim of the shooting was confirmed to be a white supremacist. In fact, the shooter alleged this, though his allegations have not been verified.

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  • Jan

    WHATEVER THE POLITICAL VEIW someone in a position of power allowed this riot to happen. Allowed a fire to burn and allowed violent attacks on students take place. The question is, who has the power to allow this to happed NO POLICE, NO FIRE DEPT

  • disqus_lCik0TlIfq

    I look forward to the explanation of why this person should speak at a place of education, critical thinking, analysis, and debate based on facts. Please answer to the following:

    From Milo’s writing:

    “The really interesting members of the alt-right though, and the most numerous, are the natural conservatives. They are perhaps psychologically inclined to be unsettled by threats to western culture from mass immigration and maybe by non-straight relationships. Yet, unlike the 1488ers (outright Nazis), the presence of such doesn’t send them into fits of rage. They want to build their homogeneous communities, sure — but they don’t want to commit any pogroms along the way. Indeed, they would prefer non-violent solutions.”

    Actually, the guy he’s quoting here (Richard Spenser) talks about “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” Milo, finds these ideas of “homogenous communities” built through “non-violent solutions” so very “interesting.” What is the historical precedent for “peaceful ethnic cleansing?”

    Please find the history text that corroborates Milo’s version of slavery in US history:

    “Of the slaves brought to the new world, the vast majority went to central and south America. America and England are different than so many countries, because they realized slavery was wrong and ended it.”

    What’s wrong with this picture of Europe?

    “The situation in Europe is Grim. Rape Gangs and crime in Germany, a total takeover in Sweden, no-go zones throughout Paris, and similar problems in England. As I wrote in the fall, London is lost….”

  • helen

    Antifa and other activists have threatened violence against Berkeley people who try to attend this event, but those threats (and actual violence that has already taken place) are rarely called “harassment” or cited as a pattern that calls for any censure of those groups on campus.

    I encourage those who don’t believe the level of violence against attendees to examine footage of earlier events (including the most recent) and decide for themselves who we ought to make unwelcome here, in the home of the free speech movement. Please take a look, so you know what might be coming to our town.

  • Brad Daniels

    What did Milo say that was harassment? I remember Louis Farrakhan speaking here on campus a few years ago. You know, the guy who’s quoted as saying – “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”

  • AlanSutton6

    Parth Vohra, don’t you see how absurd it is for you to describe Industrial Workers of the World as an “anti-racist and anti-fascist organization”? Did you even look them up on Wikipedia? It sates that “The philosophy and tactics of the IWW are described as “revolutionary industrial unionism”, with ties to both socialist and anarchist labor movements.” A neutral observer would obviously call them a “far Left organization”. A critic would describe them as “Marxists with a history of violence”.

    What’s so inept or crooked in what you did is: of course you would never parrot the self-characterization of some rightwing group, would you?

    • Jan

      they are financed by Soros, interesting how the police did nothing, one arrest of a teen boy not dressed in black or violent, no emergency responders like the fire dept. Who has the power in Berkely to interfere with emergency responders

  • ShadrachSmith

    Heckler’s Veto: That’s what the Ds want. Look it up, its evil.

    • Jan

      Can you give me a little more to google. Hecklers Veto? I have never heard of it

  • ShadrachSmith

    Speaking of protests, remember the limo blm burned in DC on Inauguration Day? It was owned by a Muslim.

    Muhammad Ashraf, the owner of the company, Nationwide Chauffeured Services, is now speaking out against the protesters for what they did. The guy who burned the limo is charged with Felony riot + use of fire, 10 years max.

    • Jan

      He was released without bail by a liberal judge in DC, they did not know who owned the limo, the man who had rented the limo was Larry King, an elderly Jewish man. I think it was just random destruction. Nothing will come of it.

  • FreedomFirst

    This reporter is an opinion columnist, a political pundit and a hack to borrow from Ms. Conway. The spin is straight out of the fascist faux-liberal but PC playbook. But it won’t work.

  • Citizen Smith

    In this exciting episode Milo has decided to descend into the belly of the libtard beast, will he be allowed to the much vaunted freedom of speech or will he be shut down for the ‘common good’. Stay tuned.

  • Scuba Steve

    12 professors requested that this event should be cancelled and yet the left says that President Trump is a fascist.

    • Citizen Smith

      Have you ever seen the 80’s comedy series ‘The Young Ones’? ‘Fascist’ is the favourite insult of the lefty student radical character Rick. Talk about reality imitating art.

  • lspanker

    The Democrats demonize their political opponents in the eyes of their ignorant followers, an wonder aloud why there’s violence…

    • Citizen Smith

      Every time the libtard left riot outside one of his talks it reinforces the view that at best universities are at out of touch with the rest of America’s values or at worst they are places set on brainwashing the youth of america into identity politics and fantasy land of the big bad patriarchy.