Protests planned for Milo Yiannopoulos’ campus visit

On Feb. 17, two groups will be converging at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the West Bank campus with heated and oppositional messages. 
In one camp will be students excited about the visit to campus by the far right’s newest incarnation of Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos. He will be speaking up as a proud anti-feminist and asserting that white, straight men have lost out in a gender war in which women have attained unfair and excessive privileges in all fields of life. 
In opposition to this, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) has organized a protest outside of the event to rally students in support of feminism, anti-racism, LGBT rights and progressive politics generally.
This will not be the first time Yiannopoulos’ presence has drawn organized protest. Just last week, activists shouting “Black lives matter” disrupted his scheduled talk at Rutgers University, calling out that he was promoting hate speech. The protesters smeared fake blood on themselves and on the room before a staging a coordinated walkout of the event. 
Here at the University, SDS has organized around the demands to “Protest Hate Speech” and “Stop the Funding of Hate Speech on Campus.” 
While Yiannopoulos has been accused of hate speech from a number of corners, both organizationally and ideologically, the demand to end the funding of hate speech is a reference to the speech’s sponsoring organization, Students for a Conservative Voice. SDS would like the University to cut the annual Student Service Fees allotment for
Students for a Conservative Voice in order to stop them from putting together events like this. 
This year, Students for a Conservative Voice received about $80,000 from Student Service Fees, and in previous years the organization received comparable amounts. This same group has distributed papers calling for a “White History Month” in opposition to Black History Month. It has also advocated supporting a “Galactic Fiesta,” a reference to an on-campus event in which Goldy Gopher was dressed offensively in a sombrero and Pancho Villa-style moustache. 
SDS’ demand is that Student Service funds not go to groups promoting hate speech on campus and that students speak out against intentionally offensive events.
Matt Boynton
University Ph.D. candidate