Leftist students invaded a school-approved meeting of the College Republicans at the University of California, Santa Cruz, on Sunday, reportedly chanting that "dialogue is violence" and accusing the GOP students of being Nazis, fascists, racists, and white supremacists.
How did this start?
- Student activist Haik Adamian — a "ringleader" of the protest, according to Campus Reform — posted on the official UCSC Student Facebook group about the College Republicans meeting, the outlet said.
- “White Supremacist, fascist sympathizing College Republicans are having a meeting at McHenry library, room 0332. Everybody be aware of this violent racist activity happening everyday on this campus!” his post said, Campus Reform reported. “We need a movement of people on this campus that rejects the ‘right of assembly’ or ‘right of free speech’ for white supremacists and fascists.”
What happened next?
- According to a statement from the College Republicans, posted by City on a Phil — which Campus Reform referred to as a moderate school news site — the student activists "banged open the door and started screaming at the top of their lungs and demanding we leave the space immediately."
- The protesters called the meeting “a threat to the library," the statement read.
- "We invited the activists to stay and discuss ideas," the statement continued. "However, any attempt at civil communication was met with the response, 'Dialogue is violence.'”
- "The protesters called us a number of different epithets, including 'fascists,' 'racists,' and 'white supremacists' and berated McHenry Library staff, calling a school employee a 'white supremacist,'” the statement added.
- One protester was caught on video telling a school official to not follow the "f***ing rules."
Image source: YouTube screenshot
- Some of their targets included students of color at the meeting, the statement said.
What else did video catch the protesters saying to meeting attendees?
- "Your existence is a disturbance."
- "It's gonna help if these motherf***ers leave, and we don't allow racists on this campus."
- When a meeting attendee argued that Communist students wouldn't be treated this way, one protester replied that's "because Communists aren't f***ing racists."
- "So you believe that Nazis should be able to express their racist ideas?" a protester asked, adding that he concluded the group members are Nazis because they "had a Build the Wall march" a year before.
How did it end?
- A school official was on hand attempting to mediate the dispute and got nowhere.
A school official tried to calm things down. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)
- The College Republicans refused to vacate the room.
- One attendee who identified himself as a Democrat and defended the GOP students was heard on video saying in reference to the protesters that "we're not indulging these children."
A self-described Democrat defended the College Republicans against the protesters. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)
- All those not actively attempting to get the College Republicans out of the room became a "white supremacist" to the protesters, the statement continued.
- One of the protesters even ran into the main library area screaming that there were “Nazis downstairs," Campus Reform reported.
- School officials called campus police, the College Republicans' statement read, and three protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace.
How did one Democrat react?
- "As a Democrat, I am embarrassed that some people on the left act this way,” Phil Leonard Vogel, creator of the City on a Phil, told Campus Reform. “They give all of us a terrible name."
- "I have a lot more sensational footage of the protesters being arrested and yelling at police," City on a Phil added. "I don't feel comfortable releasing that at this time. Although the protesters called me a litany of hurtful names and acted belligerently, I realize they are very young, and may not understand the full ramifications of their actions."
- In regard to the "your existence is a disturbance" statement, the City on a Hill post noted: "This is the exact rationale that the NAZIs used to murder members of my family. Basically, a Jew's existence is such a 'disturbance' to the lives of other people, that any action of extermination is justified for the good of society. Many fascist groups frame their political enemies in this light, before taking violent action against them. The protesters who interrupted our meeting made it clear that they see everybody in that room (regardless of their viewpoints or ideologies) as defective people, who have no right to an opinion, or to assemble. I think it is important for the students on campus to see what fascism actually looks like."
The College Republicans' statement also said "many liberal students, who were initially skeptical of our group, now come to our meetings on a regular basis."
Here's an edited clip of the confrontation via Campus Reform. You can view the full video here. (Content warning: Rough language):
This story has been updated.