An “angry mob” of protesters effective shut down a speech by a pro-law enforcement scholar at Claremont McKenna College on Friday, surrounding the building, screaming obscenities and banging on windows.
Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald, who is promoting a book called The War on Cops about the Black Lives Matter movement, was forced to give her speech on livestream – to a largely empty room — and then to flee the University building under the protection of campus security when things got really scary.
Black Lives Matter activists had planned the protest ahead of time, posting on Facebook that they intended to shut down the “anti-black” “fascist” Mac Donald. Their event called Mac Donald’s work “fascist ideologies and blatant anti-Blackness and white supremacy,” and claimed that “together, we can hold CMC accountable and prevent Mac Donald from spewing her racist, anti-Black, capitalist, imperialist, fascist agenda.”
Mac Donald’s book, released amidst heightened tensions between the black community and the police, argues that better community policing, and familiarity with neighborhoods could reduce crime. She suggests that law enforcement officials actually believe that “black lives matter” more than activists do, and that the narrative that police are “racist” is making minority communities less safe.
The nuances of her argument, however, fell on deaf ears at liberal Claremont McKenna college–outside Los Angeles–and when the time came for Mac Donald to give her speech, protesters (who included what appear to be middle aged activists alongside college students) ringed the building, chanting a range of slogans including, “From Oakland to Greece, f– the police” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Mac Donald then moved her speech to a livestream, but when the chants turned into threats, and protesters began banging on the windows, campus police had to escort Mac Donald out of the building, escaping through a kitchen and into an unmarked police van outside.
Student journalists covering the event told Campus Reform that they, too, were under attack, particularly one writer who tried to interview protesters about Mac Donald’s book. When it became clear they weren’t familiar with her work, the mob got violent.
“Protesters tried to prevent me from conducting interviews by pushing me, grabbing me, and blocking my camera. Several protesters followed me around for almost an hour and formed a wall around me,” the student said.
The school told Campus Reform that they were “disappointed” that Mac Donald’s speech was ultimately cut short. The university’s vice president for academic affairs, Peter Uvin also had some choice words for the protesters.
“What we face here is not an attempt to demonstrate, or to ask tough questions of our speaker, all of which are both protected and cherished on this campus, but rather to make it impossible for her to speak, for you to listen, and for all of us to debate. This we could not accept,”