DAVIS — In the video captured by FOX40 you can see a fist flying right toward the face of Martin Shkreli. Along with Milo Yiannopoulos, Shkreli was something of a one-two punch himself in terms of guest speakers, booked by the University of California, Davis, College Republicans.
But as the event drew nearer, so did protesters. And as barricades were broken apart and protesters surged toward UC Davis Police officers, the event was canceled.
Despite the controversial speakers on the bill the deeper controversy now is who pulled the plug on the event scheduled by UC Davis College Republicans for the Northern California campus last night.
“What actually happened was, my staff were here with the administrators and with the police. And we were told, in no uncertain terms, that the event could not continue,” said Yiannopoulos during an appearance on the university’s quad Saturday. “That was a university decision, not a College Republican decision,”
UC Davis Administrators insist it was College Republicans who canceled. But today members of that group say they were forced to do so by a university bowing to pressure from protesters.
“They would be held liable for anything that happened, the same way that if I held an anti-Trump rally and Trump supporters showed up and destroyed the Capitol building, I would be held liable,” said Mackenzie Wilson, a protester. “We put pressure on people. We showed-up. We demonstrated.”
There was one arrest during Friday night’s protests, but a university spokesperson confirmed Saturday that no weapons of any kind were confiscated from protesters. The UC Davis College Republicans say they were complicit with the cancellation partly because they were told hammers had been taken from members of the angry crowd.
“Every University campus in American is a bastion of the left. And even more than that, the University of California campuses,” said Atanas Spasov, Treasurer of the UC Davis College Republicans.
“We are committed to supporting freedom of speech,” said Kim Hale, a spokesperson for UC Davis. “As a public university, not only are we committed, we are required to uphold it.”
Yiannopoulos said that’s why the university’s administrators forced the College Republicans to do the canceling.
“They wanted to suggest that this was a decision that they didn’t make, so that they don’t get in trouble for not fulfilling their first amendment responsibilities,” Yiannopoulos said.
UC Davis officials wrote in a statement that “after consulting with UC Davis Police Department and UC Davis Student Affairs, the Davis College Republicans canceled tonight’s event featuring Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos.”