Students protest YAF speaker
About 50 students rallied outside the Veterinary Medical Center Friday night to protest Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party, at a speaking engagement sponsored by MSU’s Young Americans for Freedom.
Former MSU student David Mitchell spoke to protesters, requesting they stay throughout the event, respect the people around them and the police in the event of student misbehavior.
MSU police Lt. Alan Haller also warned students about objects that could not be taken into the event.
About 10-15 YAF members and supporters were present, compared to dozens of protesters.
The event began with the pledge of allegiance and Griffin began to speak, interrupted occasionally by yelling.
Students yelled accusations and continued chants overpowering Griffin.
After the commotion settled, Griffin had his chance to speak. He was ridiculed occasionally during his presentation.
Ultimately, he finished and opened the floor for questions.
Protesters raised their hands and Griffin answered all questions.
The questions ranged in topic from feminism to immigration to allegations of his neo-Nazi and white supremacist ties.
Griffin was accused of not caring about pressing global issues of abuse and genocide.
He responded, “Of course I give a s—t. I have four kids. When you grow up and have kids, you’ll care as well.”
Earlier Friday, MSU Trustee Faylene Owen requested the MSU Board of Trustees draft a statement.
Owen called the statement a “disapproval of the message of hate.”
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement Friday on the importance of the university venue setting a positive example.
“Whether I personally or any one of us agrees with what the speaker says, it’s part of the environment to allow the civil discourse,” Simon said.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to respond to behaviors around that discourse that are inconsistent with the values of this university.”