The near-riot at CSULA prompted by Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro’s speech on Thursday February 25 is spurring a movement to protect free speech on campuses.
On Wednesday night, the Associated Students Senate at UC Santa Barbara approved a resolution in support of free speech; the brutal attempts by protesters to block guests from hearing Shapiro speak were cited as an example of the fascistic actions of the left.
The bill was initially introduced in January as a draft by students Jason Garshfield and Brandon Morse, according to the College Fix. After a recent letter to students from the school’s chancellor informed them, “In simple terms, just because you can do or say something (because it’s legal) doesn’t mean that you should do or say it,” the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sprang into action, warning the chancellor that the letter’s message clearly violated students’ protected free speech. The letter called on UCSB’s administration to “immediately work to amend all speech codes so that they no longer contain any language that infringes upon or threatens to infringe upon students’ right to free expression.”
Garshfield and Morse brought a seven-foot beach ball covered in signatures ranging from “Fuck Trump” to “Fuck Bernie,” and Morse said only one person objected to the beach ball. He added, “This is the kind of behavior that needs to be protected. What rights do we have if we cannot push a seven-foot ball on campus?”
Garshfield spoke of Shapiro’s lecture at CSULA, asserting, “I want to make sure with all my heart that what happened there last week does not happen here,” concluding, “This is about humility, and taking a position of accepting forms of speech is taking a position of humility.”
One student who had attended Shapiro’s event, Eric Lendrum, said he “genuinely feared” for “life and limb” when protesters attacked him. He told the student senators that college campuses are the “institutions that by their very nature cry out for the betterment of the mind of man … If we do not stand for free speech, here and now, against this kind of thuggery, what else will we stand for?”
After the resolution was passed, the crowd shouted, “God Bless America!”
“I want to make sure with all my heart that what happened there last week does not happen here."
UCSB Student Jason Garshfield, fighting for free speech, citing Ben Shapiro's CSULA event
Garshfield told The College Fix he hoped the action to protect free speech would trigger a free speech movement across college campuses.
Last May, over 20 UC Santa Barbara students disrupted a panel supporting traditional marriage, blocking the view of the stage and holding signs reading, “Anal is the most inclusive form of f*cking,” “There is a Future in Sodomy,” and “God Loves Fags.”