An angry mob of liberal students shut down a conservative, "pro-police" speaker at Claremont McKenna College in California on Friday by using violence to prevent the scheduled speech to take place.
Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald was scheduled to give a talk at the college on the Black Lives Matter movement and policing in America, while promoting her new book on the same subjects. But protesters were adamantly against her right to speak.
According to the Daily Signal, a mob blocked entrances to the building where Mac Donald was scheduled to speak, preventing anyone from entering the building. This forced Mac Donald to give her speech on a live-stream to a mostly empty room. Only about 250 students were able to watch the live-stream.
Once the protest began to get violent, with students and protesters pounding on windows to the building, Mac Donald had to cut the talk short and was escorted out of the building through a side door by four police officers.
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Black Lives Matter activists had planned the protest ahead of time, posting on Facebook that they intended to shut down the “anti-black” “fascist” Mac Donald. Their event called Mac Donald’s work “fascist ideologies and blatant anti-Blackness and white supremacy,” and claimed that “together, we can hold CMC accountable and prevent Mac Donald from spewing her racist, anti-Black, capitalist, imperialist, fascist agenda.”
Mac Donald’s book, released amidst heightened tensions between the black community and the police, argues that better community policing, and familiarity with neighborhoods could reduce crime. She suggests that law enforcement officials actually believe that “black lives matter” more than activists do, and that the narrative that police are “racist” is making minority communities less safe.
The nuances of her argument, however, fell on deaf ears at liberal Claremont McKenna college–outside Los Angeles–and when the time came for Mac Donald to give her speech, protesters (who included what appear to be middle aged activists alongside college students) ringed the building, chanting a range of slogans including, “From Oakland to Greece, f– the police” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
"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 College Fix. “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.”
Claremont college administrators have condemned the protests.
"I fully understand that people have strong opinions and different—often painful—experiences with the issues Heather Mac Donald discusses. I also understand that words can hurt," said Peter Uvin, vice president of academic affairs for Claremont McKenna College, in an email to students.
"What we face here is not an attempt to demonstrate, or to ask tough questions of our speaker, all of which are both protected and cherished on this campus, but rather to make it impossible for her to speak, for you to listen, and for all of us to debate. This we could not accept," he explained.
Despite the tense situation, police did not make any arrests because they said that would have escalated the situation further.