Billionaire investor and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel was forced offstage at the University of California, Berkeley, on Wednesday after Ferguson and Eric Garner demonstrators barged into the room and took over.
Protesters banged on doors of the lecture hall where Thiel was speaking, causing the audience to grow more and more uneasy as the noise continued to get louder. Then, a male student inside the lecture hall stood up, yelled "F*** you" at Thiel and left.
Protesters pound on a door to disrupt a Berkeley Forum event during a demonstration over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths, Dec. 10, 2014 in Berkeley, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
"This is really a classic Berkeley event today — this is so cool!" Thiel responded, according to Business Insider.
The protest further erupted when the doors to the lecture call gave way and protesters made their way up to the stage. They were holding signs that read "Ferguson" and "black lives matter."
The protesters eventually took over the stage where Thiel was speaking, forcing him off the platform, Business Insider reported. Audience members who had gathered to hear Thiel began a protest of their own, shouting "Peter Thiel matters" back at the protesters.
Protesters take over the stage as they disrupt a Berkeley Forum event during a demonstration over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths, Dec. 10, 2014 in Berkeley, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The parade of protesters included Berkeley High School students who walked out of school around 2:30 p.m. and began marching around the city, eventually ending up at the university. At 4 p.m. they staged a "die-in," lying on the ground and pretending to be dead.
Die-in demonstrations have been a frequent form of protest around the country following the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City. Berkeley has seen several nights of protests, with looting and arrests.
Watch as the protesters burst into the lecture hall and take over Thiel's speech (warning — strong language):
A representative for the Berkeley Forum, the student-run organization that hosted the event, told TheBlaze Thursday, "While we respect and sympathize with the protestor’s right to demonstrate, the right of free speech and discussion is a two-way street.The Berkeley Forum is founded on the principles of free discussion and intellectual exchange."
Editors' note: This post has been updated.
(H/T: Business Insider)
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