On March 5, a Portland State University College Republican event was disrupted for over an hour when a left-wing agitator appeared, ringing a cowbell and heckling the speaker, gun rights blogger Michael Strickland. Police and school administrators who were at the scene to monitor the conservative event, did absolutely nothing to stop the agitator’s disruptive behavior.
Strickland was invited to give his version of a notorious altercation that led to his arrest and conviction after he brandished a pistol at hostile protesters during a Black Panther protest in Portland in 2016. (Video here.)
Portland-based independent journalist Andy Ngo was a witness to the incident: “I saw angry protesters w/sticks surround & move him out of the BLM protest before he brandished his pistol,” he wrote on Twitter.
As soon as the event started, a hipster SJW with a man bun poking out of the back of his cap sauntered into the room with a cowbell and proceeded to clang it loudly and to fulminate against the speaker.
His attempt to “own the cons” was successful because he was able to effectively silence the speaker and the authorities standing nearby did nothing to stop him. Everyone was forced to listen to the insufferable loon for over an hour.
At one point in Ngo’s video, the agitator told Strickland that after his last visit to the university, “quite a few trans people got assaulted” by folks who had come to hear him speak. Strickland informed him that he’d never spoken at the campus before.
“Oh weird, that’s so weird,” the hipster sputtered, realizing that his fake hate attempt had fallen flat.
“I wonder what gave me that source,” he wondered aloud. “Oh yeah, I just f*cking made it up — because I can make sh*t up if I want to,” he declared unapologetically.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said her show’s producers tried contacting 17 officials at Portland State University and the Office of Public Safety for comment. She said they even invited some officials to appear on the show.
“All of them declined,” she said.
But the university did put out a statement:
This is the statement @Portland_State released today on why nothing was done when the event got shut down for over an hour. The disrupter & his friends got tired of yelling & eventually left. https://t.co/WAouHKYfc5 pic.twitter.com/5BqpEx1taC
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) March 8, 2019
Ingraham wondered if campus authorities would treat a neo-Nazi protester disrupting a Black Students Association event in the same way.
One suspects not.
“What message does just standing there send to other conservative students who want to invite a speaker who is actually a high-profile person?” Ingraham asked.
Again, the chilling effect continues long after the event is disrupted. And when a state university does this, there are clear constitutional implications because you can argue that they’re state actors. Their inability to ensure that students feel comfortable expressing their views on campus and that all speakers — liberal, independent, conservative, what-have-can speak without fear you — can speak without fear for their safety is the reason President Trump is now promising executive action.
Ingraham added, “Perhaps it is time for the Justice Department to consider some kind of RICO prosecution … or maybe a clever lawyer could devise a legitimate class-action filing to defend Americans’ God-given rights — even on campus.”