11 people arrested at NYU during clashes protesting conservative speaker (VIDEO)
The Canadian-born McInnes was invited to speak by the NYU College Republicans on Thursday evening. Outside the student center, protesters and activists repeatedly clashed with members of ‘ProudBoys,’ a fraternal order founded by McInnes, and Trump supporters who came to his defense.
“I’m dumbfounded that NYU would invite somebody who is a hate speaker,” NYU student Tama Fine told WNBC.
McInnes said he was pepper-sprayed when entering the student center, which prompted the first melee to break out between his followers and protesters.
New York police officers stepped in to form a barrier between the protesters and McInnes supporters.
“I got there as Gavin McInnes was making his way into the Kimmel center and huge fighting broke out,” Rebecca Goyette, an artist and adjunct professor at various colleges in New York told RT. “I saw some of his supporters being actively aggressive against NYU students. It turned into a big melee on his way in. Then I saw this guy, wearing a red lumber jack shirt, he started a whole chant of ‘Heil Hitler’ with the Nazi salute.”
Goyette said students were chanting back “F*** white supremacy!”
“It was really apparent that the cops were there to support his (McInnes) supporters, not the rights of students on their campus,” Goyette said.
“This is their campus, this is their place to feel safe, and I thought it was a completely unsafe situation for students,” she said, adding that this is why she snapped and began calling the police “Proudboys and Nazis” in a rant that quickly went viral.
“You actually come out of this institution stupider. Isn’t that amazing? You’re spending, well your parents are spending, 30K a semester to make you stupider,” McInnes had told the crowd attending the lecture.
The Proudboy leader’s speech was cut short when protesters rushed into the room and began interrupting him, according to WNBC.
NYU College Republicans defended inviting the conservative speaker in a post on Facebook.
“Our intention was not to advocate for McInnnes’ view, in fact many of us differ with him when to comes to certain ideas. The purpose of the event was to promote free speech and not to promote certain ideas,” they said, according to the New York Post. The page is no longer available on Facebook.
The New York clashes came a day after students at the University of California Berkeley similarly sought to block the campus appearance by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. When the protests turned violent and the college was locked down due to several fires set by violent demonstrators, the speech was canceled.
Even President Donald Trump weighed in on the incidents, condemning them on Twitter Friday morning as “professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters.”