8 Detained, 3 Arrested During Milo Yiannopoulos Speech Protest At CSUF [Updated]
Eight people were detained and three were arrested at California State University, Fullerton on Tuesday night in connection with protests that broke out around conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos's appearance on campus.
Yiannopoulos, a former tech editor for Breitbart.com who was previously banned from Twitter for harassing actress Leslie Jones, had been invited to speak at CSUF on Halloween night by the school's College Republicans student group. The university had said in a statement that there would be " increased law enforcement presence on campus" during Yiannopoulos's speech.
A group of about 200 protesters showed up at the sold-out event, where someone in the crowd reportedly used pepper spray, Captain Scot Willey of the CSUF Police Department told City News Service. Of the three people arrested at the protest, two were cited and released with misdemeanor charges of violation of a dispersal order, a California State University, Fullerton official told LAist on Wednesday; the third was booked at Orange County Jail for parole violations (possession of weapons, knife and pepper spray.)
One woman sought treatment from firefighters, but no other injuries were reported at the scene, the L.A. Times reports. Officers eventually "cleared out a rowdy crowd of about 150 people" near a campus library around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the L.A. Times.
Yiannopoulos' announcement of his planned appearance at CSUF earlier this fall spurred a Change.org petition titled "No Alt-Right Speakers or Hate Groups at CSUF," which garnered over 5,000 signatures. CSUF Chief Communications Officer Jeffrey Cook noted that the event was sponsored by the CSUF College Republicans and not the university itself in a September 12 statement, writing, "While many at the University and in the broader community may find Mr. Yiannopoulos’ remarks distasteful, if not wholly objectionable, the law is clear: what some consider hateful speech is, in fact, protected speech."
Yiannopoulos' visit to CSUF on Tuesday came approximately a month after his planned "Berkeley Free Speech Week" event fell apart in September, lasting 15 minutes and costing UC Berkeley around $800,000 in security arrangements.
Note: An earlier version of this story stated that at least eight people were arrested at the protest surrounding Yiannopoulos' speech at CSUF on Tuesday. A CSUF official has since clarified that eight people were detained in total, but only three were arrested.