Panel on ‘civil discourse’ shut down by uncivil protesters
A panel on “civil discourse” Tuesday at the University of California, Los Angeles was shut down by protesters who refused to vacate the auditorium, forcing the event to be relocated.
According to video of the protest obtained by Campus Reform, one unidentified female began shouting at the panel of speakers—which included such prominent figures as Professor Eugene Volokh and Los Angeles Times Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jon Healey—abruptly accusing them of “not dealing with the reality that we’re facing right now.”
“This is outrageous. You’re not dealing with the reality. You’re not dealing with the reality that we’re facing right now where people are being deported. Yes you can take me out of this room but I’m not going to shut up,” she hollered as a security guard attempted to remove her from the venue.
“Look. We need to actually organize ourselves to create a political crisis to get this fascist regime from power,” she shouted, claiming the “country was founded on genocide and slavery” and “was never f***ing great.”
“We can’t normalize fascism,” she proceeded to yell, imploring audience members to stand and raise a fist with her in protest.
“Stand up because this is what the good Germans were facing. This is what the people in Nazi Germany were facing,” she declared as another protester joined in, eventually leading a boisterous chant of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”
“The point of this panel is to talk about civil discourse,” one speaker stated in an effort to calm the protesters by pointing out the irony of their behavior, but the chants continued until the panelists were forced to move to a separate room to continue the event.
“November 4, it begins. Trump and Pence must go!” protesters repeatedly shouted as the auditorium emptied, referencing Antifa’s planned uprising in November.
Andrew Litt, a recent graduate of UCLA School of Law who was in attendance, told Campus Reform that “this heckler’s veto behavior is reprehensible by any standard.
“It is literally the antithesis of productive discussion about freedom of speech in the United States,” Litt added. “Aside from disrupting a lawful assembly and interfering with participants’ educational opportunities, these disruptors’ behavior is immature and is by no means a form of persuasive protest.”
Similarly, the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter strongly condemned the protests, calling them “ironic in the extreme” due to the intended theme of the event.
“It turned disturbingly uncivil when protesters shouted over speakers, blocked aisles, and disrupted the event to the point where the remnants of the event were moved to another room,” UCLA YAF Chair Thea Dunlevie told Campus Reform, saying the student protesters “demonstrated that they disdain discussion, they discourage conversation, and they reject dialogue.”
“Fascists tend to shut down free speech, just like Refuse Fascism who only allowed their speech to be heard,” she added. “Refuse Fascism’s protests derailed productive conversation about actual history for political gain regarding hyperbolic claims about today’s politics. Let’s have a conversation, not a shouting match.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski