As Hillary Clinton riled up her Democratic base at an invite-only event on Florida International University's campus, protesters — many of them college students — were threatened with arrests for protesting on the public university's campus.
In footage obtained by Campus Reform, a conservative college news site, police officers told the activists and students that they needed to move away from the center where the 2016 Democratic frontrunner was to speak. The officers attempted to corral the protesters in a makeshift "free assembly area" across the street and several blocks away.
"You guys will be subject to arrest, you understand," an officer said when one of the protesters asked if they could assemble on the sidewalk.
The activists attempted to argue with the police officers, claiming that Clinton and her camp would not be able to see them protesting if they moved to the barricaded area.
As Clinton spoke Friday, she called on Congress to end the trade embargo the U.S. had imposed on Cuba for decades; she said this in a building on FIU's campus that is near a memorial dedicated to honoring victims of Castro's regime.
Rey Anthony, a FIU senior, told Campus Reform the he and his peers had organized a peaceful protest as it was “insulting to a Cuban community like ours to come to our community and speak right across from a memorial that commemorates hundreds of people that fell to the Castro regime.”
Anthony said that he believed the protesters were discriminated against both racially and politically because their views didn't align with that of Clinton's.
“Essentially, the police corralled us away and continually moved us back, but thankfully there were some passionate advocates who have been abused by the Castro regime that continued to be vocal,” Anthony said.
As Campus Reform noted, FIU's policy does not list a "free-assembly area" adjacent to the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, the building where the former Secretary of State was to speak.
Clinton took some heat last month when photos of her campaign staff corralling reporters during an Independence Day event went viral.
"I understand the skepticism in this community about any policy of engagement toward Cuba," Clinton said Friday. "But you've been promised progress for 50 years, and we can't wait any longer for a failed policy to bear fruit. We have to seize this moment."
"Get on board or get out of the way,” she said.
According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization that advocates for civil liberties in higher education, FIU has a red speech code rating.
"A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech," FIRE's website states.
A FIU police officer told TheBlaze Saturday that he was not authorized to speak about the protest and the police regulations.