Alt-Right Troll Removed From Another School Amid Protests

Photo: Erin Babnik / Alamy Stock Photo
Six months after he was permanently banned from Twitter for his horrifying abuse of actress Leslie Jones (which he has called "God's work"), racist troll Milo Yiannopoulos landed a book deal via a baffling move by Simon & Schuster. Jones, for her part, called the publishing house out for helping Yiannopoulos "spread [his] hate to even more people." Well, we can rest assured he will not be spreading that hate to the students and staff of UC Berkeley tonight.

Protests against Yiannopoulos' scheduled Berkeley speech erupted on campus today, and CNN reports that Yiannopoulos was removed from campus when the protest activity turned violent. This marks the second time his appearance at a California university was canceled last-minute due to protests against the hate speech for which Yiannopoulos has become infamous.

In the weeks between the canceled UC Davis appearance and the scheduled UC Berkeley one, faculty, students, and community members alike sent university administration hundreds of letters demanding they ban Yiannopoulos, whom Bloomberg has called "the pretty, monstrous face of the alt-right," from speaking. According to The L.A. Times, one letter from a group of professors outlined how Yiannopoulos' “harassment, slander, defamation, and hate speech” is in direct violation of UC Berkeley's code of conduct.

UC Berkeley Public Affairs issued a statement that rightfully condemned the few unlawful and violent acts that occurred amidst the otherwise peaceful and lawful protests. The statement also explained that Yiannopoulos was removed from campus in order "to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event, the speaker, those who came to engage in lawful protest and members of the public and the Berkeley campus community...We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives."

The statement concluded by adding that the university is bound to honor free speech despite the fact that "Yiannopoulos’ views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to our own."

It's deeply unfortunate that acts of violence marred what otherwise would have been a successful protest. But the majority of recent protests against hate have been just that: peaceful — and powerful.
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