Sign-toting protesters interrupted and shouted down conservative speaker Christina Hoff Sommers during her speech Monday at Lewis & Clark College's law school in Oregon.
How did things commence?
A day before Sommers' speech, several law-related groups — including the Lewis & Clark chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Minority Law Students Association, Women's Law Caucus, Jewish Law Society, Black Law Student Association and Latino Law Society — issued a joint statement calling Sommers a "known fascist" and urged the cancellation of her speech.
Just before Sommers' speech, protesters blocked entry to the venue, which resulted in officials escorting those who wanted to hear her to a rear entrance, Inside Higher Ed reported.
When Sommers began her speech, the demonstration heated up.
The protesters' leader — a woman wearing a jacket with the phrase "stay woke" on the back — shouted "mic check!" Reason reported, adding that the protesters then repeated line after line from her:
We choose! To protest! Male supremacy! Not give it! A platform! Christina Sommers! Has repeatedly! Delegitimized! The suffering of women! Worldwide! But we believe! Our siblings! And our comrades! Women are not! Liars with victim mentalities! Rape culture is not a myth! Microaggressions are real! The gender wage gap is real! Trans people are real! Trans lives matter! Black lives matter!
Protesters also joined a kind of song, lightly clapping to keep the beat: "No platform for fascists, no platform at all. We will fight for justice 'til Christina's gone. Which side are you on, friends? Which side are you on?"
Protesters also disrupted Sommers' speech by playing recorded music in an attempt to drown her out. And soon protesters and audience members began arguing with each other.
How did a law school 'diversity' dean react?
Sommers criticized Janet Steverson — a law professor and dean of diversity and inclusion at the law school — for asking her to end her speech and move to the question-and-answer portion of the event.
Steverson told Inside Higher Ed she cut short Sommers' remarks because they were going on for too long as well as to promote an orderly discussion.
"I could see the students getting antsy," Steverson told Inside Higher Ed.
Steverson added to the outlet that she asked protesters to stop disrupting Sommers so others could ask her questions: "I think it worked out as well as it could have."
Will the protesters face any discipline?
Steverson told Inside Higher Ed that students who blocked the venue's entrances and who interrupted Sommers' speech violated school policy — and that she anticipated "consequences" of some kind for them.
The diversity dean added to the outlet that it wasn't appropriate for law students to refer to Sommers as a fascist: "In the law school it is important to define the terms that you are using and apply the facts to support the allegations that you have made."
What were the protesters so upset about?
Sommers has criticized the women's movement and feminism, in particular claims about a widespread "rape culture" on college campuses as well as a gender wage gap. She's also said that there’s a “war on boys” in America’s public school classrooms.
Here's a longer video of the protest: