The theft, presumably by protesters, seemingly confirmed to theme of the event: the threat of liberal censorship.
On Wednesday November 30, the University of Michigan chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) hosted David Horowitz for an event entitled “Progressive Censorship: The Left’s War on Your Freedom.” The event, held in the Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union, drew a sizable crowd and, unsurprisingly, a few protesters.
Prior to Horowitz taking the podium, Grant Strobl, the National Chairman of Young Americans for Freedom and the Chairman of the campus chapter, read a statement from the University of Michigan to remind the audience that while protests of invited speakers were allowed, any protesters “must not interfere unduly with the speaker’s freedom of expression.”
The protest, which consisted of a group of individuals walking out of Horowitz’s speech shortly after it began, was not disruptive. Indeed, the only reaction came from Horowitz who mocked those who had quietly left, saying “I guess that was a protest.” This earned appreciative laughter from the crowd.
Outside of the Pendleton Room, those who had “protested” milled about, seemingly at a loss for what to do. Eventually, they simply left the Michigan Union. Inside, the speech went on as planned and Horowitz gave his usual tirade against communists, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), liberals and numerous other groups.
When the event ended, however, the materials that YAF had left out for late arrivals to peruse, including booklets and stickers, and the email sign up list to join the chapter list serve, had been stolen. On a piece of paper left at the table in place of the stolen materials, someone had scrawled “SHIT” as an apparent message to those who had organized the event.
The theft, presumably by protesters, seemingly confirmed to theme of the event: the threat of liberal censorship. Grant Strobl told the Michigan Review, “The theft of our materials only confirms the title of our event ‘progressive censorship.’ If the left disagrees with you, they will silence you.”
The materials have yet to be returned and Strobl has filed a police report. He says, “All we want is our sign up list, literature, Ronald Reagan calendars, and free speech stickers back.”