UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Due to the threat of escalating violence associated with the comedy show that was set to feature Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Penn State University Police determined that it was necessary to cancel the speaking event in the interest of campus safety.
What began as a peaceful protest began to escalate when the other planned speaker, Alex Stein, came out of the Thomas Building and went among the crowd.
“A bunch of college kids harping like they are activists,” Stein said. “When the big bad villain primetime 99 Alex Stein comes to campus, they don’t say anything they just yell and scream in my face like a bunch of crybabies. So that’s the reality, we have about three hundred cry babies, that want to prevent free speech, but guess what? They are all losers with a capital “L”.”
Demonstrations regrettably turned violent before the event took place. The university issued an alert at 7:19 p.m. telling protesters to disperse and adding that the event was canceled.
The event was held by the non-profit student organization, Uncensored America. They drew heavy criticism for hosting the upcoming comedy show featuring Proud Boys founder, Gavin McInnes, and conservative media contributor, Alex Stein.
“The University has been clear that the views and speech of the two speakers at tonight’s student-organization-hosted event are abhorrent and do not align with the values of Penn State,” the college said in their release.
University police and public safety officials recommended earlier in the week that community members avoid the event, as non-engagement in these kinds of situations where a speaker attempts to create outrage is an effective way to avoid confrontations.
“I understand that we are a state institution and therefore we have to represent kind of a variety of views,” fifth-year student Catarina Earros-Correia said. “But I don’t think that giving the platform to white supremacists no matter what age they are should they be student age or should they be fully grown, proud men.”
Coron Mains watched the whole protest from across the street. He is a Marine Corps veteran and is now a Penn State student.
“You know you can’t prevent someone from exercising their free speech, you can’t,” Mains says. “Like I have a sworn oath to the Constitution. But it doesn’t make us as a University look good to use our free speech to infringe on somebody else’s.”
“Such obstruction is a form of censorship, no matter who initiates it or for what reasons. The University expects that people engaging in expressive activity will demonstrate civility, concern for the safety of persons and property, respect for University activities and for those who may disagree with their message, and will comply with University rules,” the campus added.