Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at Cal State Fullerton; triggers heated debate on campus

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at CSUF
California State University, Fullerton is preparing for a speaking event with controversial conservative commentator and author Milo Yiannopoulos.

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- California State University, Fullerton is preparing for a speaking event with controversial conservative commentator and author Milo Yiannopoulos on Tuesday.

Fencing has gone up all around the student union, where he will speak, in hopes of preventing violent clashes like the scene at UC Berkeley, where Yiannopoulos' event was canceled in February.

Tickets to see the former senior editor of Breitbart are sold out.

"While this may be a speech that some people find objectionable, this is consistent with our policy," said Jeff Cook, CSUF's chief communications officer.

MORE: Milo Yiannopoulos banned from Twitter after Leslie Jones' reports of abuse

Cook said the university's policy allows student groups to invite speakers without administrators vetting the content of their speeches. He said it allows the university to protect the First Amendment.

The school's College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to bring his "Troll Academy" tour to the university, with hopes of highlighting free speech.

"As conservatives we felt left out of the campus conversation and bringing such a provocative speaker definitely sheds light to the issue, definitely brings attention," said Brooke Paz, a member of the club.

Scheduled stops at a few other campuses across the country have been canceled due to safety concerns.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition calling for administration to block the CSUF appearance, calling it an "alt-right circus."

"Anti-feminist ideas, anti-Black Lives Matter and against transgenderism," said Liz Sanchez, a member of the school's Students of Quality Education. "This is someone who is not here for what higher education stands for now."

Several student groups led by SQE are holding a unity rally in protest.

Cal State Fullerton police are working with Fullerton PD, regional and federal partners to secure the campus and surrounding area.

In a statement, Fullerton PD said this: "The Fullerton Police Department respects every American's right to free speech; however, the Fullerton Police Department will not tolerate any acts of crime, violence or disorder within the City of Fullerton as a result of this speaking engagement and any threat to residents or property within the City of Fullerton will be immediately addressed."

While organizers and some of the student protesters may not agree on much, they're calling for peace tomorrow.

"I'm hoping that the political climate has changed a little bit and that people have seen that violence is not the most productive means of communication," said CSUF GOP's Brooke Paz.

Yiannopoulos is scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. on Halloween.