Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos will speak to students at the University of California Davis on the quad Saturday afternoon—a day after protests led a Republican student group to cancel his scheduled joint speaking event with ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli.
“We will not stand for the regressive left perpetuating violence, censoring speech, and spreading hate. Meet us and Milo at 1 P.M. in the quad,” Davis College Republicans posted on Facebook early Saturday morning.
The group decided to cancel Friday’s event about 30 minutes before it was scheduled to start, saying it was no longer possible to hold the event safely after mass protests blocked access to the venue.
Yiannopoulos, editor of the right-wing Breitbart News, has become a controversial figure because of comments widely criticized as racist and sexist. Shkreli notoriously raised the price of a pharmaceutical drug and was arrested for securities fraud in 2015. Both men were suspended from Twitter in the past year for harassment.
Leading up to the event, hundreds of UC Davis students, faculty members and alumni signed a petition asking that the university cancel the event.
“We demand that UC Davis administrators remove Milo Yiannopoulos’ platform for spreading hate and bigotry on our campus and issue a statement condemning white nationalist rhetoric within our community,” the petition said. “Now is the time for our university to take a firm stand and prove its commitment to inclusivity and egalitarianism in the face of growing exclusionist movements throughout the United States.”
“I am deeply disappointed with the events of this evening,” Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter said in a statement Friday night. “Our community is founded on principles of respect for all views, even those that we personally find repellent. As I have stated repeatedly, a university is at its best when it listens to and critically engages opposing views, especially ones that many of us find upsetting or even offensive.”
This post has been updated.