Letter: Milo and His Cabal Trivialized Pepper Spray Incident

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by Natalia Deeb-Sossa

On January 13, 2017 on a cold winter night on the UC Davis campus I saw some 250 people come together, which included students, faculty, families with children and other community members came out to protest Milo Yiannopoulos and Martin Shkreli talk.

They were exercising their right to assemble and to protest as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The protesters were successful as they blocked access to the venue forcing the Davis College Republicans to cancel the event. Contrary to Milo’s posts and following comments “violence from left-wing protesters” did not force the cancellation of the event. No “hammers” were used by protesters to “smash windows” on campus.

Milo and his cabal did march through the campus the following day to protest the cancellation of the event.

During the protest his cabal recreated the “Pepper Spray University,” when on November 18, 2011, during an Occupy movement demonstration, officer Lt. John Pike, a university police officer, pepper sprayed a group of demonstrators as they were peacefully seated on a paved path on the campus quad protesting tuition hikes, violent assaults by police on other UC campuses, and as they defended their right to education.

Milo was smiling as he was sitting down being sprayed with silly string.

Milo and his cabal were trivializing the targeting of students protesters by police officers in riot gear with chemical weapons.

This was not what the protesters did to Milo the night before.

On November 18, 2011 the UC Davis administration felt the only way to “secure” the campus was by displaying and using military acts of power against political protest and intellectual dissent.

On January 13, 2017 students and community members used signs and sang chants to display their opposition to what Milo and Martin stand for.

What is so hurtful and harmful of what Milo and his cabal have done is that they are laughing at the abuses of police power and police violence that target disproportionately radical and progressive student activism.  They are also normalizing the militarization of police which have intensified the surveillance and criminalization of communities of color.

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14 thoughts on “Letter: Milo and His Cabal Trivialized Pepper Spray Incident”

  1. Ols Keith

    They were exercising their right to assemble and to protest as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    They didn’t have the right to tear down the barricades and stop free speech.  Funny how the protesters have rights but the speaker didn’t.

    This was not what the protesters did to Milo the night before.

    No they cussed, spat at people, reports of dog feces being thrown, tore down barricades, blocked entrance into the venue, flipped off attendees and police officers, blew whistles right in people’s faces, etc.   It’s all on video.

    That said I will agree that the pepper spray re-enactment was childish and unneeded.  I thought Milo and his followers performing that stunt brought them down to the level of the protesters.

     

     

  2. Tia Will

    Ols

    If you are interested in being “factual”, it is not all on video. No documentation of excrement throwing that I have found.  “Reports of….” is not the same as the “factual existence of” and yet you choose to use the Milo tactic of adding a string of supposed events and then pretending that you know that all occurred. When you listen to MY’s talks, this tactic is used repetitively. Most recent MY example, “reports of hammers being used to break windows” despite police disavowal that this in fact occurred. No matter to MY and his followers, once it is out there, it becomes their truth.

    As for the use of obscenities, let’s not make MY a victim here. He has peppered nearly every video I have seen of his with multiple obscenities. So if you include that in your behaviors not to emulate, I would look to the source which the Republican group chose to invite.

    1. David Greenwald

      On Saturday, Milo was yelling f-this and f-that. People in the audience were saying even worse stuff. As I said on Sunday, there was no moral high ground in this whole incident. Milo admitted he can express himself in outrageous ways. He’s incendiary. He needs to own it and stop playing victim.

      1. Colin Walsh

        Not only is Milo himself incendiary, but he and Breitbart employ provocateurs to rile up the crowd and that is clearly shown on video of the Friday night event.

         

    1. Tia Will

      Keith

      Fair point and thanks for the clarification. I would not intentionally compare anyone who posts here with MY because of an ambiguously placed “all on video”.

      1. Tia Will

        I had unfairly compared your statement which concluded with the statement “it is all on video” to the tactics commonly used by MY in his presentations. I was attempting to correct my error as I find comparisons to MY quite insulting and that was not my intent.

  3. Keith O

    What’s kind of ironic is Shkreli claims he was there to confront MY about his views on feminism.
    I don’t like Shkreli, never have.  He comes off as a total weasel.

  4. Matthew Guilfoil

    They were exercising their right to assemble and to protest as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
    The protesters were successful as they blocked access to the venue forcing the Davis College Republicans to cancel the event. Contrary to Milo’s posts and following comments “violence from left-wing protesters” did not force the cancellation of the event.
    Natalia – It is interesting to me that you mention the First Amendment in your letter, specifically noting the right to assemble and protest. You are correct, in-part with that statement, however you are missing two key points on the First Amendment. While the 1st Amendment does provide us all the right to assemble and protest, it also clearly states “freedom of speech”. How are you and your fellow protesters allowing the free speech of the speakers, the Davis College Republicans group, and your fellow Americans who wanted to attend the event? Also, and more importantly, you neglected a key word in your reference to the 1st Amendment, that word being “peaceably”. The Amendment and the rights given to all of us, states “the right of the people to PEACEABLY assemble. But you noted in your letter, “The protesters were successful as they blocked access to the venue forcing the Davis College Republicans to cancel the event.” How is your sentence above reflecting peaceably assemble, while also allowing for free speech? To be clear, I do not support either speaker, however I do support equal rights for all. To me, your letter and your portrayal of the protestors actions did not provide free speech to all, nor does it sound peaceful if the event had to be cancelled due to concerns of safety for everyone? (And to be clear, I am not speaking of any possible violence, just basing this response on your words as noted above.)

  5. Mike Hart

    250+ people came out to work for free to spread the word of Milo and make him national news while making a huge profit for Breitbart and their related publications…  The fact that these folks continue to play checkers while Milo and his pals play chess astonishes me.

    1. Matthew Guilfoil

      Milo is using social media and the press to stir the pot of people’s emotions. Not even sure he believes all he’s says, however I am sure that he is enjoying getting famous and rich in the process. This is the same thing that Trump did to win the Presidency.

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