In a rare display of grassroots bipartisanship, the main student club for Bernie Sanders supporters at UC Irvine has come out in support of the College Republicans, who are facing a one-year ban from hosting events on campus.
Earlier today, the UC Irvine Bernie club made the following post on their Facebook page:
Statement regarding the suspension of the College Republicans of UC Irvine:
While we disagree with the College Republicans on a range of issues, the decision of the UC Irvine administration to suspend the campus club was a clear demonstration of the repeated mistreatment of all political organizations that take part in open discourse on campus. We hereby firmly stand against this decision and are vehemently against the administration for their over-reaching bureaucracy.
Effective immediately, we call for this decision to be overturned.
The administration of UC Irvine issued the College Republicans with a one-year suspension after they revealed their plans to host a second event on campus with Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Under the terms of the ban, the UCI Republicans will be prohibited from booking rooms for meetings or speaker events for a full academic year, effectively prohibiting the club from performing its functions.
The ban looks set to become a flashpoint in America’s campus wars, which has for years pitted libertarians, conservatives, and free-speech campaigners against censorious activists and administrations. UCI Republicans have already attracted support from off-campus: Kassy Dillon, president of the Holyoke College Republicans today authored an article for Breitbart condemning UCI for their “insult to every college Republican across the country.”
However, this is the first significant display of unity between Republicans and left-wingers on campus in recent memory. It’s not every day that Bernie Sanders supporters and campus Republicans stand side by side, even on the topic of free expression.
It may be a sign of things to come. The cultural libertarian movement is notable for bringing together both left-wingers and right-wingers who support free speech. And there’s a growing movement, spearheaded by liberal acadamics, for more “viewpoint diversity” in academia — by which they mean, more conservative voices.
It seems that left-wingers are starting to join right-wingers in their opposition to political intolerance. UC Irvine has picked a bad time to go authoritarian.