Republican Columbia student targeted by Antifa flyer
A board member of the Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) has been targeted by Antifa flyers posted around campus after the group invited conservative commentator Mike Cernovich to speak.
Joey Siegel, the director of operations at CUCR, learned Friday that flyers bearing his name and headshot were posted outside of the Northwestern Corner Building (NoCo). The flyers, bearing an Antifa logo and the antifascist circle, tell readers that, “if you see Joey, let him know what you think.”
The flyers were discovered by Columbia student Catherine Clement, who told Campus Reform she saw four outside of NoCo at roughly 8:00 PM on Friday night. Clement only took a photo of the flyer with Seigel’s face on it because she knows him personally, but added that the three other flyers each depicted different members of the CUCR board.
It is unclear who posted the flyers. Since they were posted in a public area of campus, it is possible that non-student Antifa members are responsible. As Campus Reform reported earlier this month, at least four flag-wielding masked Antifa members protested at Columbia the night Tommy Robinson, another CUCR-invited guest, gave a lecture via Skype.
In an interview with Campus Reform, Siegel said that he was being implicated for inviting a speaker he doesn’t even agree with.
“I did not want to bring Tommy Robinson or Mike Cernovich to campus because I am more interested in other speakers,” he said, explaining that the club was motivated by other reasons.
“That said, there is some value in bringing them, these guys, whether we like them or not, are not going away once we graduate and enter the real world,” Seigel said, adding that “Columbia students [would] benefit from getting a chance to understand the methods of bad men and how to go about debating them.”
Siegel worries about how students might interpret the wording of the flyer.
“‘Let him know what you think…’ is a bit ambiguous and could reasonably be interpreted as ‘if you think this guy deserves to be beat-up, go for it,’” he told Campus Reform.
However, Siegel isn’t too concerned about the flyers from a legal perspective, noting that they “spread no private or inaccurate information” and that “it would be a stretch to construe incitement of violence from it.”
CUCR will host Mike Cernovich on October 30 for a lecture on the role that alternative media played in electing President Trump. The event will be open to Columbia students only, and Siegel hopes students will come to debate.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen