Eight People Were Arrested At Milo Yiannapoulos' Cal State Talk While Other Students Held Alternative Events & Protests

At least eight people were arrested Tuesday night during small but emotionally and politically charged protests as inflammatory conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at Cal State Fullerton, reports the LA Times.

Yiannopoulos' main point throughout the evening was taking aim at college campuses he claimed were suppressing conservative views.

University spokesman Jeff Cook said on Twitter that at least two of the people were arrested when a fight broke out between left-wing protesters and right-wing counter-protesters. Another woman, wearing a black mask and helmet, was also reportedly arrested after shooting pepper spray into the air and allegedly encouraging other protesters to harm Yiannopoulos during his event. 

Other protesters stood together holding signs and chanted things like "Black lives matter," and "Cops and the Klan go hand in hand." Meanwhile, a nearby “Unity Block Party” hosted by students was peaceful and featured speakers from the LGBTQ community and immigrants.

College Republicans of Cal State Fullerton hosted the event at the Titan Student Union. It sold out and the audience contained more than 800 people.

Yiannopoulos reportedly began the night by taking the stage to cheering and attendees chanting his name. The first item on his agenda was sexual assault in Hollywood in light of the many allegations that have emerged in recent times. His focus soon shifted to conservative speech on campus, however, and he called for the federal government to withhold funding from universities that, in his opinion, try to shut down conservative speech.

“When it comes to oppressed minorities and marginalized groups, there’s no tribe in America at greater risk — the physical and existential risk — than the campus conservative,” he said.

As the evening went on, shouting broke out while Yiannopoulos spoke. Around 7 p.m., someone threw a water bottle at an attendee wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. The university police were out in full force for the entirety of the event, pulling in extra help from several nearby agencies. They monitored various situations outside using everything from helicopters to officers on horseback. At around 8 p.m. about 150 people in a more disruptive crowd were dispersed after they got close to a university library. Aside from one woman seeking treatment from firefighters, there were no other injuries reported at the event.

While Yiannopoulos is a highly controversial figure, however, the university’s administration stated that they don't have any involvement in deciding which speakers student groups can and cannot invite to campus.

The event Tuesday was Yiannopoulos’ first college-speaking event in the U.S. since his highly-publicized “Berkeley Free Speech Week” fell apart as a result of disorganization. He blamed UC Berkeley officials for trying to stop him from coming to campus. He’s not done in the U.S. by any stretch of the imagination, organizing speaking events across the country that he calls the “Troll Academy Tour.”