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Milo Yiannopoulos Invited to Provoke Controversy at Cal State Fullerton

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos

Despite concerns of violent protests, the alt-right provocateur may return to another West Coast campus.

Despite the riots that broke out at the University of California, Berkeley, when the conservative commentator was last invited to speak in a college setting, California State University, Fullerton's College Republicans are finalizing plans to host Milo Yiannopoulos on campus.

"At this point, it's pretty much a done deal. We're just formalizing it," the Republican student group's president, Christopher Boyle, told the Los Angeles Times. "It's really just the fine details -- things like how the room will be set up -- that's holding it back."

The event is set to happen around Halloween, which might help the speaker -- maybe this time he can get through crowds of protesters in disguise. Many Cal State students are objecting to Yiannopoulos's appearance, calling him a purveyor of hate speech. Over 4,000 people have signed a Change.org petition titled "No Alt-Right Speakers or Hate Groups at CSUF" opposing the event. Those behind the petition say Yiannopoulos denounces the Black Lives Matter movement, has outed transgender students on campus, is a staunch opponent of gender equality, and has claimed Muslims are terrorists.

"We call on admin to block any attempts to bring these hateful leaders to campus. ... Hate speech to incite violence and threaten the lives of students is not the same as free speech of diverse opinions," the petition states.

"As a student political organizer within the CSU system, I have been harassed and threatened by alt right students of CSUF. Im tired. Im angry. Im scared...if you let this man come to our campus, it's going to send a message to the students that you don't care about us at all," wrote Liz Sanchez, one of the petition's signatories. "A defender and advocate of pedophilia should not be given a public platform to speak, especially in an academic institution. Free speech is NOT as does not necessitate freedom from social consequence." said Arefah Mosavi, another signer.

The last time Yiannopoulos came to a California campus, his presence incited protesters to set fires in the streets. Thirteen were arrested, one on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and three others for battery.

CSUF officials, however, say Yiannopoulos has a right to appear on campus. "Mr. Yiannopoulos is a controversial figure, but the University administration does not play a role in determining which speakers student groups may invite to campus," spokesman Jeffrey Cook told the Times, saying the event would be closed and ticketed. "Hate-speech codes that have been enacted by some colleges and universities have been declared unconstitutional when challenged in court. While many on campus and in the broader community may find Mr. Yiannopoulos' remarks distasteful, if not wholly objectionable, even hateful speech is protected speech."

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