UCLA student claims 'civil discourse' promotes fascism

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • A UCLA student with a history of disrupting campus lectures recently defended her actions by arguing that shouting down speakers is a form of “nonviolent protest.”
  • Tala Deloria, an organizer of the group Refuse Fascism, argues that "civil discourse" only serves to "fan the flames of fascism" and will do nothing to end the "fascist regime" currently occupying the White House.
  • Antifa members hold a "smash fascism" banner while marching in Berkeley, CA.

    A UCLA student with a history of disrupting campus lectures recently defended her actions by arguing that shouting down speakers is a form of “nonviolent protest.”

    Tala Deloria, a University of California, Los Angeles student who is also an organizer for the group Refuse Fascism, contends in an op-ed for The Daily Bruin that since one “cannot have civil discourse with fascists,” that “nonviolent protests” are paramount.

    "To advocate for civil discourse...serves to fan the flames of fascism."   

    Whereas most people think of “nonviolent protests” as rallies or holding signs up, Deloria takes a different approach. To her, shouting down speakers, disrupting events, and blocking highways are her form of “nonviolent protests.”

    [RELATED: Rutgers students ‘don’t need no facts’ to heckle speaker]

    Citing groups like Young Americans for Freedom and the Family Research Council, Deloria asserts that attempting to engage in civil discourse with conservatives merely “serves to fan the flames of fascism.”

    Deloria has a history of shouting down speakers. Just last week, Deloria played a prominent role in shutting down a panel on free speech, stealing the microphone during the Q&A and refusing to give it back, according to The Jewish Journal.

    “This panel is bull—-,” she said. “There is a fascist in the White House, and you’re normalizing it by talking about [hate speech] in the abstract. People are dying in the streets.”

    When Deloria refused to stop talking, event organizers had to cut off the microphone, and campus security guards intervened, urging her to leave. Instead, she sat down in the auditorium aisle to resist being ejected from the theater, and allegedly had a small physical altercation with a guard.

    [RELATED: Panel on ‘civil discourse’ shut down by uncivil protesters]

    In addition, The Daily Bruin reports that Deloria was arrested by the California State Highway Patrol in 2015 for blocking traffic on the 405 Freeway in California. At that time, she was leader of the school’s UCLA Revolutionary Club, which supports the Revolutionary Communist Party, an American communist group founded in 1975.

    “Sometimes civil disobedience is necessary to send a message,” Deloria remarked after her arrest.

    In her recent op-ed, Deloria defends her role in disrupting the recent panel on free speech at UCLA, adding that she was “proud” to do so.

    “These people make no distinction between those advocating for and those opposing reactionary ideas with state backing, and make the harmful argument that we need to hear each other out,” she declares.

    Deloria ends her op-ed by asserting that “civil discourse” is not sufficient to oust Trump out of the White House, saying, “Pretending civil discourse will solve anything in this context only serves to put people on the defensive while the regime steamrolls over people’s lives and rights.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Deloria for comment, but did not receive a response.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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