Provocative speakers spur free speech discussion

Protesters did not deter Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers from speaking Wednesday at an event on campus.

Protestors stand outside of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on Wednesday evening, where Students for a Conservative Voice hosted an event entitled

Maddy Fox

Protestors stand outside of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on Wednesday evening, where Students for a Conservative Voice hosted an event entitled “CALM DOWN!! Restoring Common Sense to Feminism.” The event featured speakers Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers, who protestors believe are proponents of hate speech and should not be welcomed to campus with University funding.

Annalise Gall

More than 250 event-goers filled a Humphrey School of Public Affairs auditorium Wednesday to hear two provocative speakers call for the end of modern feminism — outnumbering protesters rallying feet away.
 
 
The demonstrators called for the University of Minnesota not to fund hate speech — which they said includes Wednesday’s speakers, Milo Yiannopoulos, technology editor for conservative news website Breitbart, and writer Christina Hoff Sommers.
 
 
Students for a Conservative Voice hosted the event, during which police escorted eight protesters from the auditorium for yelling obscenities.
 
 
“We stand against hate speech, and we think Milo absolutely embodies hate speech,” Students for a Democratic Society spokeswoman Stephanie Taylor said. 
 
 
Second-year University graduate student David Melendez said the event’s content didn’t qualify as free speech, calling it hateful.
 
 
“Freedom to print whatever, freedom to say whatever — it’s not the same thing,” he said.
 
 
Despite backlash, Yiannopolous and Sommers spoke as planned, and SCV Vice President Henry Carras said the group wasn’t fazed by the disruption.
 
 
“That’s their First Amendment right,” he said.