Several arrests made at Yiannopoulos protest
Editor's note: After multiple inquiries sent to the Spartans for Free Speech, The State News was unable to acquire credentials to cover Milo Yiannopoulos' event. Because of this, all of our reporting had to take place outside of Conrad Hall before, during and after the event.
Dozens gathered outside Conrad Hall Wednesday night to protest far right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulos was invited in July to speak by Young Americans for Liberty at MSU on his “Dangerous Faggot Tour.” The event, now hosted by Spartans for Free Speech, was met with resistance from several objecting groups.
Which Side MSU? created a Facebook event for the protest, stating that their goal was to “ensure that Milo Yiannopoulos does not address his audience” using “different tactics of varying risk level.” By Any Means Necessary also had signs at the protest, alongside many unaffiliated students.
The protesters blocked the door to Conrad throughout their demonstration, resulting in the MSU Police Department informing protesters they were violating ordinance 15.1 and giving them several minutes to end their “unlawful assembly” before making several arrests.
The doors to the event were set to open at 6:15 p.m., but it was delayed to 6:35 p.m. and only ticket holders were allowed in the building.
“No person shall, without authorization, assemble together anywhere on the campus for the purpose of creating any excessive noise or any disturbance, riot, or raid, or assemble in a manner which obstructs the free movement of persons about the campus or the free and normal use of University buildings and facilities or which prevents or obstructs the normal operations of the University,” the ordinance reads.
At one point Yiannopoulos disguised himself as a protester, holding a “Milo sucks” poster and wearing a mask. He proceeded to take his mask off before leaving the crowd of cheering supporters and booing protesters.
Sociology sophomore Oumie Nyassi, who protested outside the event, said she was unhappy with the way the protest was handled by police.
“We’re here trying to protest and we’re being silenced, we’re being threatened with arrest … how else are you supposed to protest without making noise, without being in people’s faces?” Nyassi said. “If you’re not making people uncomfortable, you’re not really protesting.”
Nyassi said people like Yiannopoulos and Donald Trump Jr., who spoke at the Union earlier this semester, should not be allowed to speak on campus as it makes some feel unsafe.
“There’s a lot going on at this school that I am not happy about, and I want to have a say in changing it,” Nyassi said.
Actuarial science freshman Marilla Marks came to the event to see Yiannopoulos speak. She said she liked how he approached free speech and did not agree with the protesters.
“I think that they’re anti-free speech,” Marks said. “They’re trying to stop somebody from coming and talking. I think that they’re wrong about all the stuff they’re talking about, the hate speech, white supremacy.”
Political science freshman Gregory Chappell said he came to the event to see if MSU would support free speech. He said he supported the protesters as long as they did not get physical.
“I mean, if you look at Ben Shapiro, he’s another speaker that tends to ignite these kinds of protest," Chappell said. "He was at the university in Chicago and the police wouldn’t let him in to speak. (I) was just seeing if Michigan State was going to do that or let Milo speak.”