A protest before a Milo Yiannopoulos appearance turned physical last year at UC Irvine. Protestor Stu Millheiser took a swing at a group of students claiming racial injustice on the UC Irvine campus.
More than 50 law enforcement personnel from five agencies were on hand for security at the Milo Yiannopoulos event at UC Irvine in 2016. (Photo by BILL ALKOFER, Orange County Register/SCNG)
FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2017 file photo, Milo Yiannopoulos speaks at the Mathematics building at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo. (Jeremy Papbado/Daily Camera via AP, File)
Protesters shouted down Milo Yiannopoulos supporters at UC Irvine in 2016. (Photo by BILL ALKOFER, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Business Marketing student Christian Acosta, 21, skateboards past a chain-link barrier on Monday, October 30, 2017, built around the Titan Student Union in anticipation of a demonstration planned against speaker Milo Yiannopoulos — a former Breitbart news site political commentator who will address students in Fullerton, CA. (Photo by Ken Steinhardt, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Demonstrators protest the appearance of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos rally in Berkeley, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Yiannopoulos was whisked away in a car after a brief appearance at the University of California, Berkeley that drew a few dozen supporters and a slightly larger crowd protesting him. (AP Photo/Daisy Nguyen)
Milo Yiannopoulos started off his appearance with a boisterous singing of the Star Spangled Banner at UC Irvine in 2016. (Photo by BILL ALKOFER, Orange County Register/SCNG)
UCI Republican Club vice president Peter Van Voorhis handed out pacifiers to protestors at a Milo Yiannopoulos lecture sponsored by his club in 2016. (Photo by BILL ALKOFER, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Business Marketing student Jordan Hino, 21, eats his lunch under a tree near a chain-link barrier on Monday, October 30, 2017, built around the Titan Student Union in anticipation of a demonstration planned for Wednesday against speaker Milo Yiannopoulos — a former Breitbart news site political commentator who will speak on campus Halloween night. (Photo by Ken Steinhardt, Orange County Register/SCNG)
There was more questions than time for speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. However, he also encouraged enthusiastic vying for his attention. The Trump rally was held at UCI in 2016. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
“Can I grope you?,” a cub asks speaker Milo Yiannopoulos who responds, “Yes. Later… but only over the fur,” during a pro Trump rally at UCI in 2016. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
A student walks near a chain-link barrier on Monday, October 30, 2017, built around the Titan Student Union in anticipation of a demonstration against speaker Milo Yiannopoulos — a former Breitbart news site political commentator who will speak to students at the Fullerton campus Halloween night. (Photo by Ken Steinhardt, Orange County Register/SCNG)
FULLERTON – Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is speaking at Cal State Fullerton this Halloween night, and not only is the campus gearing up for it, so is the surrounding community.
The political commentator who has been met on some campuses by protests – even riots – will speak to a sold-out crowd of 800-plus who each paid $35 to see him at the Titan Student Union. He was invited by the university’s College Republicans club, whose members welcome his right-wing views into what they say is a sea of liberal voices on campus.
Here is what you need to know:
- Yiannopoulos is to speak at 6 p.m; protesters plan to gather outside two hours earlier.
- Fullerton and campus police are coordinating with state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe event. Police won’t divulge deployment details.
- Troy, La Vista and La Sierra high schools and Acacia Elementary will end clbades early, so students and parents are out of the area before any protests or possible street closures. A water polo playoff match was moved from Troy to Sunny Hills High.
- Speech attendees will be “screened through a metal detector, searched and patted,” according to a university statement.
- Backpacks, purses, masks, face painting and “any other mediums that conceal identity” will not be permitted.
- On campus, some buildings, roads and walkways will close early.
- The Cal State Fullerton visit kicks off the political commentator’s latest college tour,“Troll Academy,” that will include stops in Australia.
- The public tends to find the British-born media personality as either wickedly entertaining or horribly offensive. Yiannopoulos is gay but has made comments offensive to the LGBT community, particularly against bads.
- Yiannopoulos is a former senior editor at Breitbart News who stepped down following comments many interpreted to support pedophilia. In various interviews since, he has said he does not condone pedophilia and was abused himself as a child.
- More than 5,000 people signed a petition on change.org trying to prevent the talk, saying he brings “hatred and bigotry to our place of learning.”
- The university is not sponsoring the event. Preventing speakers based on their views would violate the First Amendment rights of the student group inviting the speaker, administrators say.
- CSUF President Mildred García warned students they may face “offensive language from individuals with whom we strongly disagree.” That “should be matched only by our determination to challenge them through civil discourse, peaceful protest, and the hope that education — the truest and longest-standing cure for hatred and violence — sparks a transformation.”
- Yiannopoulos spoke at UC Irvine twice last year. The first event drew about 50 protesters, the second none.
- “Because we are often left out of the campus conversation, the CSUF College Republicans are hosting a speaker whose unique style draws attention to the issue of free speech, especially in the marketplace of ideas that is a college campus,” reads a statement from the group.