Pacifiers keep liberal babies quiet during @Nero event at UCI
- Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of California, Irvine Thursday night, appropriately dressed as a police officer, to discuss many of the myths fueling the Black Lives Matter movement.
- The event was not disrupted, though protesters were in force outside, and attendees were instructed not to exit through the rear doors "for everyone's safety."
- UPDATE: This article has been updated to include details regarding the protests that took place outside the event, forcing Milo to depart covertly in a police car.
Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of California, Irvine Thursday night, appropriately dressed as a police officer, to discuss many of the myths fueling the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Black Lives Matter doesn’t really care about black lives,” Yiannopoulos said at the beginning of his remarks, which came to be the theme of his talk.
His talk, however, was not disrupted by protesters, as they usually are, possibly because UCI’s College Republicans (CR) distributed baby pacifiers beforehand to a group of students participating in a university sanctioned “safe zone training.”
The CRs passed out over 100 pacifiers with labels attached that said: “I survived! Milo Tour 2016.”
“For those who are too timid or have been mentally incapacitated to engage in debate we are giving them baby pacifiers to help them cope with the appearance of a conservative speaker on campus,” CR member Carl Olson explained.
Yiannopoulos, though, seemed disappointed in the lack protesters at Thursday’s event, saying recent disruptions of his lectures only serve the conservative cause.
“Every time they do it it serves us. Every time they do it it damages their own cause. So my answer to protesters is keep coming,” he said.
But there was one dissenter who respectfully challenged Yiannopoulos’ arguments, only to later discredit his opinions on the grounds that he is not a traditional academic.
“Try to make me into a trigglypuff,” he said, criticizing Yiannopoulos for not passing a “peer review” before he presents his views, eventually plugging his YouTube Channel for all audience members to view. Yiannopoulos later touched on his enthusiastic support of republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but fielded the subject in a lighthearted manner, saying, “Trump is like a gay icon...he’s just as ridiculous as we are.”
Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside the event, where they audaciously criticized police officers for not appropriately handling Trump supporters in attendance.
“Where’s the police for all the Trump supporters?” one protester shouted at a police officer. “All of the police is on that side. Do you see that? Then why are they on that side?” she continued while her compatriots chanted, “Hey, hey/ Ho, ho/ These racist police have got to go!”
"Stop the hate! Free free Palestine! End the occupation!" other protesters chanted, UCI professor Gary Fouse notes in his account of the event.
Recently, Yiannopoulos spoke at DePaul University where he was forced to cut his lecture short after a group of Black Lives Matter protesters refused protest civilly, likely explaining Yiannopoulos’ focus on BLM Thursday night.
Then again, on Tuesday, protesters attempted to shut down Yiannopoulos’ event at the University of California, Los Angeles, but an increase in security was able to fend off most attempts. Even so, College Republicans President Ariana Rowlands was compelled to inform the crowd at the conclusion of the event that they would not be allowed to exit through the rears doors of the auditorium "for everyone's safety," due to the presence of the protesters outside.
Indeed, Yiannopoulos was forced to exit through a backdoor, where a police van escorted him to a local police station to be picked up by members of his team.
“They had a police car back up to the building. They put Milo in a cop car and drove him to a police station nearby. The protesters were very, very violent.” Peter Van Voorhis, vice president of UCI’s College Republicans told Campus Reform. “The mere fact that they had riot police and a swat team there, and they had to have a police cruiser back up to the building to pick him up, that shows me that these protesters were not messing around. They were there to cause trouble.”
Van Voorhis’ colleague, CR President Ariana Rowlands, noted that there were five different police agencies in total at the event, including a bomb squad that searched the auditorium beforehand as a precautionary measure after word of a bomb threat spread at Yiannopoulos’ UCLA event earlier this week.
The atmosphere was surprisingly tame inside the auditorium, though, which Van Voorhis credited to the CRs vetting process that required students sign up for the event beforehand in order to keep outside stragglers from causing any disruption.
“We had people RSVP. So to get in you had to RSVP on Facebook or email the club. And we had people present ID. So we knew if you were trying to cause trouble we could keep you out,” he explained. “It seemed to work very well.”
Van Voorhis also touched on the CR’s stunt before the event, during which they distributed pacifiers to protesters, one of whom began aimlessly chucking them about.
“People were getting very riled up over that,” he noted with amusement. “It’s true, they’re babies. It’s pretty clear they don’t believe in free speech unless it’s speech they support.”
Campus Reform reached out to UCI for an explanation of its uncharacteristic success in handling Yiannopoulos’ appearance, and the school also credited the strong police presence at the event, saying officers were engaged with protesters and actively "calming tensions that escalated on a few occasions."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski