An event at Portland State University was delayed by more than an hour on Tuesday due to a protester who entered the room and continuously rang a bell while event security watched but did not intervene.
The College Republicans chapter at Portland State University (PSU) had their event delayed by more than one hour after a protester had entered the room and began repeatedly ringing a bell, which made it impossible for the speaker to deliver his remarks.
The event featured conservative blogger Michael Strickland, who was set to speak at PSU about his conviction for brandishing a gun in 2016 at a Black Lives Matter protest, where he was threatened by protesters.
“Welcome to our [clown] show last night. Enjoy!” posted the Portland State College Republicans to their Facebook page on Tuesday, which included a shared video of the roughly one-hour and twenty-five-minute attempt by Strickland to deliver his speech.
The video opens with one protester continuously ringing a bell while a group of individuals standing in the room chatter amongst themselves, as it appeared clear that the event was unable to proceed.
“So there’s nothing you can do? You can’t get this guy out?” someone can be heard asking a security guard in the video.
“First Amendment [unintelligible]” someone else can be heard saying.
“So, the policy for tonight is that he’s allowed to do that?” asked a woman.
“There’s nothing we can do unless he starts to, uh, hurl punches and get violent, then they can — so, if he rings this bell and totally disrupts this thing, then they say it’s perfectly fine, there’s nothing they can do.” responded a man.
“All I can say is that I’m glad I graduated from college thirty years ago, it was never like this when I went to school,” said another man in the room, as the protester continued to ring his bell, uninterrupted.
“College Republicans invited conservative blogger Michael Strickland to @Portland_State,” tweeted journalist Andy Ngo, “Event got shut down by anarchist who came w/a bell.”
Ngo, who appeared to be present at the event, posted several short videos to Twitter highlighting a few moments within the more than one-hour-long disruption.
The person who shut down the College Republicans Portland State event then went to the front and blocked the projector so that the speaker couldn't play a video. This continued for more than an hour while police watched. pic.twitter.com/eF3YNraWQ4
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) March 6, 2019
“Speaker attempted to give his speech to live stream but the disruptor followed & continued ringing bell,” tweeted Ngo, “@Portland_State has no policies in place to deal w/disruptions at student-organized events. Police will only intervene when there is violence or property destruction.”
“When Mike began his presentation, the main protestor started ringing a bell and shouting over us. Campus security did not remove him,” the PSU College Republicans told Breitbart News.
“They cited a policy that since this was a public event, they can’t remove disturbances unless there is a threat to people or property.”
“This continued for around an hour and twenty minutes until the disrupters left for unknown reasons,” added the College Republicans, “We then continued with the presentation, even though we were unable to go for the full time we planned.”
A Portland State spokesperson provided the following statement to Breitbart News, which states the officer used “professional judgement” in deciding not to take action, and claiming the event was able to eventually proceed.
The statement in full:
Portland State University has guidelines for events at Smith Memorial Student Union. The event this week was sponsored by the college Republicans, a recognized student organization at PSU. Due to the nature of the event advocating gun rights, a Campus Public Safety officer monitored the event to ensure the safety of participants. When an individual disrupted the event by ringing a cowbell, the officer used his professional judgment and determined not to threaten or restrain the individual so as not to escalate a potentially unsafe situation. After the disruption, the meeting continued. PSU facilities management allowed college Republicans to extend their meeting beyond the scheduled end time that night because of the delay caused by the disruption, and it continued without incident.
Breitbart News will continue to report on the situation at Portland State.