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Protesters Pull Fire Alarm at Portland State Free Speech Event

European Council
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty

Student protesters tried to derail a free speech event at Portland State on Thursday featuring YouTube commentator Sargon of Akkad and Professor Peter Boghossian by pulling the fire alarm during the event.

A student protester pulled the fire alarm Thursday night at Portland State University in an attempt to derail an event featuring Sargon of Akkad and Professor Peter Boghossian. After the fire alarm went off, Boghossian attempted to continue the event so that the protesters would not be successful in their mission to shut the event down.

“I’m not evacuating. If the campus safety police and tells me to evacuate, I am going to obey the law and evacuate. Short of that, I am not going to evacuate,” Boghossian said. Shortly after Boghossian said this, he was informed by campus police that they were required to evacuate the building.

“Listen up. We are going to leave until this is clear because we are law abiding citizens unlike the people who did this,” Boghossian said, referring to the protesters who pulled the fire alarm.

The event resumed shortly thereafter. After they returned, Boghossian condemned the university’s bias response team. “What is bias? ‘Bias is a state of mind,'” Boghossian said, referring to university documents. “Through the bias response team, you can be reported and those reports go to our friends at our campus police department who have truly been wonderful at our past events and I am grateful for that.”

“That’s what language control is about,” Sargon of Akkad interjected. “It’s eventually controlling thought, exactly as the party wanted to do in 1984. I hate to keep coming back to this example because it feels hackneyed to do it but they are literally saying that you can’t use certain words and the reasons they do that is so that you can’t properly express certain concepts.”

Before the event concluded, a student stood up and told the speakers that she identifies as “far-left.” She went on to announce that she was hosting an upcoming event at the local city hall for those interested in sharing their political perspective with others with opposing views. The student was cheered by the audience before she sat down.

 

 

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