A group of student protesters at Binghamton University in New York shouted down a speech by economist Arthur Laffer on Monday. Two people were arrested including one person who used a bullhorn during the incident. The school has since published a statement expressing disappointment in the student protesters and supporting freedom of speech:
…the lecture was immediately disrupted and the speaker was entirely prevented from addressing the audience led by an individual using a bull horn. That individual was arrested, as was another individual who attempted to interfere with police.
The University is incredibly disappointed with the events that happened, particularly given that demonstrators were provided an adjacent lecture hall to engage in a counter discussion. The protestors chose instead to infringe on the expressive activity of others and to prevent those who wished to hear the speaker from doing so.
The investigation of student organizations and individual students who encouraged or participated in any activity that violated applicable law and University policies continues. The University reserves the right to pursue appropriate charges or disciplinary action against those organizations and individuals as relevant information is confirmed.
As an institution of higher education, freedom of speech is fundamental to our core mission; academic inquiry and the exchange of ideas rest on the principle that all have a right to express their beliefs.
Here’s video of the disruption:
I’m disgusted by the chaos we’ve witnessed erupt across the @binghamtonu campus over the past several days. Our college campuses should be places where ideas and peaceful discourse can be shared freely by all individuals, no matter their differing politics or opinions. pic.twitter.com/75QENYMlRv
— Senator Fred Akshar (@fredakshar) November 19, 2019
Campus Reform reports on the suspected identities of those involved:
Bobby Walker, chairman of the New York State Federation of College Republicans, said in a statement Tuesday that Antifa was to blame.
“[M]embers of Antifa and the student group Progressive Leaders for Tomorrow (PLOT) began to shout him [Laffer] down and cause an extreme disruption. This organized mob of violent, far-left, radical students then confronted officers of the New York State Police and University Police who were attempting to restore order,” Walker said.
The site also obtained additional video showing more of what happened during and after the arrests. As you can see, the building was cleared, ending the planned speaking event:
All of this comes just a few days after another incident involving left-wing students at Binghamton University. Last week, two conservative students who were recruiting for the campus chapter of Turning Point USA and were surrounded and harassed by a group of protesters. Lacey Kestecher, the president of the school’s TPUSA chapter recorded the incident on her phone:
The protest quickly grew “from 5 [to], 10 [to] 20 then out of nowhere, everybody was there,” Kestecher told Campus Reform. As she faced a chanting crowd, Kestecher took out her phone and began to record. The video she captured shows students shouting and dismantling the conservative group’s display…
After police arrived, students can be heard chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police.” When a bystander asked what the police were doing to be considered racist, he was told to “shut the fuck up” as another student screamed “you’re white” as an explanation…
“The police said to me yesterday when I was leaving, ‘if you’re going to walk around, don’t go through the middle of campus… [and] have somebody with you at all times,’” Kestecher told Campus Reform.
All I’ll add to this is the fact that what connects these two incidents besides the location where they took place is the far left’s insistence on shutting down or shouting down any voices they disagree with. They see silencing others as a virtue and they’re not shy about it. This behavior is stupid, short-sighted, and un-American but the professional left will wave this off as nothing and the national media will once again make no effort to connect the dots. Hopefully Binghamton U will follow through on the threat to investigate the students involved.
There’s plenty of NSFW language in this clip so consider yourself warned: