Protesters successfully shut down a University of California, Davis event Friday night headlined by infamous online harassers Milo Yiannopoulos and “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli.
A mass of people appeared on campus before the event that the student-run Davis College Republicans hosted, shouting “shut it down” and prompting police to put up barricades, according to The Associated Press. The event was canceled a half-hour before it started.
Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer for Breitbart News whose online harassing of actor Leslie Jones got him banned from Twitter in July, was speaking as part of his university tour, dubbed “The Dangerous Faggot Tour,” according to The Washington Post. He had previously announced that Shkreli ― who was also banned from Twitter last week for harassing a journalist ― would join him as a guest speaker.
Students wrote a public letter stating that the pair were a threat to all groups on campus and called for the event to be canceled.
“Milo Yiannopoulos is well known for his espousal of racist, sexist, and islamophobic hate speech targeted towards numerous members of our campus community,” they wrote. “The use of campus facilities and resources to host and therefore legitimize a white nationalist runs completely counter to the stated goals of the University of California and serves as a direct threat towards traditionally marginalized groups on campus.”
Yiannopoulos complained on Facebook Saturday that he’d heard protesters were throwing urine and feces at guests. Campus police said there was no violence or property destruction.
UC Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter wrote in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the event’s cancellation.
“Our community is founded on principles of respect for all views, even those that we personally find repellent,” he said. “As I have stated repeatedly, a university is at its best when it listens to and critically engages opposing views, especially ones that many of us find upsetting or even offensive.”