Protesters at the University of Michigan disrupted the Young Americans for Freedom chapter’s campus lecture featuring Newsweek’s Josh Hammer Thursday evening, nearly causing administrators to shut down the event entirely.
Hammer’s topic was “Israel’s Righteous Fight Against Jihadism”
Mask-clad leftists interrupted Hammer’s speech within minutes, covering themselves in red paint and disruptively coughing. Soon after, deafening chants filled the room, drowning out Hammer’s voice.
Many protesters attempted to directly intimidate and harass attendees, pointing, yelling, coughing, and nearly assaulting those who were there to respectfully listen and engage.
Despite being given multiple warnings about violating the First Amendment and university policy, university administrators and police refused to act, allowing the demonstration to continue for over 30 minutes. When YAF’s team demanded action, administrators suggested the speech be paused so that the protest could continue.
The university even stood idle when protesters attempted to approach the speaker directly, being stopped only by Hammer’s personal security.
Ben Estell, Chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter that hosted the event, was told by administrators that they could not tell the protestors to leave or escort them out.
When they eventually exited, the pro-Hamas students made for an equally eventful exit, plastering the walls in red handprints and stained flyers, banging on the glass doors and continuing their chant all throughout the building. They even stole the chapter’s banner and merch. University personnel never acted.
“We worked with U of M to coordinate the event in good faith that they would work with us to ensure the event was peaceful and free of disruption, but were instead met with insincere cowardice purposefully structured to allow disruption,” Estell said. “While the actions of the protestors last night were immature, foolish, and criminal, the cowardly inaction of university administrators remains an even more sinister threat to our most essential freedoms. The University of Michigan must immediately reconsider its policies and ‘commitment’ to freedom of speech,”
The YAF chapter has filed a police report regarding this incident; the leftists’ actions are currently being investigated.