Milo Yiannopoulos’s Cal State Fullerton talk on Halloween expected to include protests, school closures – Orange County Register

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.

 


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