UC Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter condemned the protesters at MILO and Martin Shkreli’s event on campus Friday, which had to be shut down after increasing violence and a police arrest.
“After consulting with UC Davis Police Department and UC Davis Student Affairs officials, the Davis College Republicans canceled tonight’s event featuring Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos,” explained UC Davis in an official blog post on their website. “The decision was made at about 7:00 pm, 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the event, after a large number of protesters blocked access to the venue, and it was determined that it was no longer feasible to continue with the event safely.”
“I am deeply disappointed with the events of this evening,” proclaimed Hexter, who was appointed chancellor last year. “Our community is founded on principles of respect for all views, even those that we personally find repellent. As I have stated repeatedly, a university is at its best when it listens to and critically engages opposing views, especially ones that many of us find upsetting or even offensive.”
During the lead-up to the show, protesters became increasingly violent, with one ABC10 photographer being attacked with hot coffee outside of the venue.
Protesters wearing balaclavas started to tear down police barricades and shove students, while MILO’s video producer Matt Perdie was pushed and spat on by the “anti-fascists.”
Shkreli, who attempted to speak to media and fans peacefully, had obscenities screamed at him by protesters.
“We were told by the chief of Davis police that they could not guarantee the safety of the students, the speaker, or the police officers if the event should go ahead,” said Gabrielle McDowell, vice chair of the UC Davis College Republicans.
“As the organisation hosting the event, we would have been held personally responsible for any harm caused as a result of its taking place. We were therefore forced to cancel the event,” she continued.
MILO and Shkreli are planning to march with the College Republicans on Saturday afternoon across campus in a peaceful protest against the violent left-wing “anti-fascists” that forced the event’s cancellation yesterday.