A mob of hundreds of screaming protesters descended upon a California college building Thursday in opposition to a pro-police author's speech. The actions ended up preventing would-be attendees from entering the room and forcing police to end the event early and give the author an escort to safety.
Because of the melee outside, Heather Mac Donald — author of "The War on Cops" — had to give her talk via livestream to an empty room at Claremont McKenna College in southern California as protesters chanted “f*** the police” and “Black Lives Matter” and pounded on windows, the College Fix reported.
Heather Mac Donald is the author of "The War on Cops." (Image source: YouTube screen cap)
“The protesters surrounded all the doors to the Atheneum where I was supposed to speak, so none of the students who had signed up to attend my lecture could get in,” Mac Donald told the outlet. “I was hustled from my guest suite by several police officers from Claremont PD into the lecture hall. It was decided that I would give the speech for live streaming to a largely empty hall. The organizers moved the podium so that it would not be visible through the windows to the students surrounding the building once night fell. We jump-started the timing of my talk as the crowd seemed to be getting more unruly.”
Mac Donald has said no governmental agency is more committed to the idea that black lives matter than police, who prove it by saving lives in black neighborhoods — but added that the anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement has forced police to reduce its presence in such communities with tragic results.
“Unless the false narrative about endemically racist police ends, we are going to see more black lives lost,” Mac Donald said during her livestreamed speech as protesters' chants of “shut it down” were heard outside, the College Fix said.
“During my speech, the protesters banged on the glass windows and shouted. It was extremely noisy inside the hall. I took two questions from students who were watching on livestream, but then the cops decided that things were getting too chaotic and I should stop speaking,” Mac Donald told the outlet. “An escape plan through the kitchen into an unmarked police van was devised; I was surrounded by about four cops. Protesters were sitting on the stoop outside the door through which I exited, but we had taken them by surprise and we got through them.”
Image source: YouTube screen cap
The protesters organized themselves on Facebook before the speech with a “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” post — complete with a photo of Mac Donald in devil's horns — and the following text: "Together, we can hold CMC accountable and prevent Mac Donald from spewing her racist, anti-Black, capitalist, imperialist, fascist agenda. Mac Donald's fear-mongering and manufacturing of lies will not be tolerated."
Steven Glick, editor of the student-run newspaper the Claremont Independent, covered the protest and told the College Fix that he tried to talk to members of the throng but "not a single one could point to an issue they had with [Mac Donald's] work."
Glick told the outlet that he interviewed a student who wanted to attend the speech and said instead protesters threw water on him and ripped up his sign. Glick's efforts to report on the event were hampered as well.
“Protesters tried to prevent me from conducting interviews by pushing me, grabbing me, and blocking my camera. Several protesters followed me around for almost an hour and formed a wall around me,” he told the College Fix. “I was saddened to see that Claremont McKenna College was, yet again, so quick to give in to the protests and cancel the event. I hope that, someday, college students will have the opportunity to hear from a variety of different viewpoints on their campus.”
Protesters outside pro-police author Heather Mac Donald's speech at southern California's Claremont McKenna College block a man from videotaping their activities. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)
Here's a clip. (Content warning: Strong language):
The day before at the University of California, Los Angeles, Mac Donald actually got to deliver her speech, the College Fix reported in an earlier story — although protesters at one point took over the stage for almost 10 minutes while shouting and chanting "Black lives they matter here!"
Things got nastier during the Q&A session when a black woman asked Mac Donald if it mattered to her that black people are killed by police.
“Yes,” Mac Donald replied. “And do black children that are killed by other blacks matter to you?”
Boom. The room exploded as the woman began screaming in response to Mac Donald's answer. And it got worse.
Protesters take over the stage during a speech by pro-police author Heather Mac Donald at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Wednesday. (Image source: Facebook video screen cap)
"You know what?" Mac Donald continued. “There is no government agency more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police.”
The audience members were beside themselves again, with one screaming “Bulls**t! Bulls**t!”
Mac Donald was undeterred.
“The crime drop of the last 20 years that came to a screeching halt in August 2014 has saved tens of thousands of minority lives," she told the crowd. "Because cops went to those neighborhoods and they got the dealers off the street, and they got the gang-bangers off the street.”
It seemed the best audience members could come up with were exclamations of “You have no right to speak!” and “What about white terrorism?”
“Just to give you a sense of the attentiveness of the students, I had said quite explicitly that the history of racism in this country and the complicity of the police in maintaining slavery and Jim Crow segregation through the use of brutal and illegal force make every police shooting of a black man particularly and understandably fraught,” Mac Donald told the College Fix. “Yet a female in the audience continued to scream at me, ‘Why don’t you talk about the history of racism and why don’t you care about the loss of black life?' ”
Here's a clip. (Content warning: Strong language):
This story has been updated.