Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk responded to the protestors at the University of New Mexico (UNM), whose antics outside of his recent event resulted in riot police being called to campus.
“I’m also grateful to the police who held the line and kept us safe,” Kirk told Breitbart News. “College campuses shouldn’t be a war zone, but we can’t allow them to win.”
The Turning Point USA founder added that “after two events that have been canceled because of militant left-wing agitators, it was personally important to me that TPUSA went back to UNM and didn’t allow their threats and their clashes with law enforcement to silence conservative speech at that campus.”
“They came out in force, but we were ready for them,” Kirk added. “I’m grateful to the brave TPUSA chapter members at UNM who put up with these threats every day and persevere.”
On Wednesday, riot police were called at the University of New Mexico in response to protesters having a collective meltdown over Kirk’s presence on campus.
— Savanah Hernandez (@sav_says_) December 1, 2022
The university responded to Breitbart News in a statement, in which the school referred to the incident as “a counter speech event.”
“The safety of our campus community and visitors continues to be our first priority,” a UNM spokesperson said. “The speaking event was able to successfully take place in the Student Union Building, while a counter speech event concurrently occurred outside.”
The university’s statement continued:
The UNM Police Department, and security were at the event already as a part of a planned security protocol, both in and outside of the event. State police are a part of our event management planning, and the Emergency Response Team (ERT) is a part of the security staging. ERT is deployed to ensure the safety and security of the University community and the campus, and engaged yesterday evening in response to the actions of multiple individuals failing to disperse from the event entrance ramp when requested.
No property damage or injuries were reported. Three individuals, one of whom was a student, were detained and issued court summons by UNM police, and left the UNM campus (no arrests were made). The charges are “Interference with members of staff, public officials or the general public”, 30-20-13 C. which states “No person shall willfully refuse or fail to leave the property of or any building or other facility owned, operated or controlled by the state or any of its political subdivisions when requested to do so by a lawful custodian of the building, facility or property if the person is committing, threatens to commit or incites other to commit any act which would disrupt, impair, interfere with or obstruct the lawful mission, processes, procedures or functions of the property, building or facility.”
“The University of New Mexico is committed to the principles of free speech and values its role as a public square for debate, a marketplace of ideas, and a place to test and challenge competing viewpoints and opinions,” the university maintained.
“In this context, allowing speakers invited by a student organization on campus in no way implies an endorsement of the content of their speeches or their opinions,” the school added.
“And those who disagree with the ideas expressed are encouraged to respectfully voice their perspectives, which is what occurred,” UNM concluded in its statement.