News and Commentary

Binghamton Leftist Mob Returns With A Vengeance To Shut Down Conservative Event
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 8: Economist, Art Laffer is pictured in Washington, DC on Sunday, March 8, 2015.
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Binghamton Leftist Mob (BLOB?) is at it again.

This time, dozens of left-wing Binghamton University students shut down an event sponsored by Young America’s Foundation (YAF), where a famous economist who worked for the Reagan administration was scheduled to speak about gun violence.

Minutes after Dr. Arthur Laffer had begun his speech, dozens of angry students began protesting in the room. Protesters were armed with loud voices and, for good measure, a megaphone. Some among the group were wearing red bandanas and black masks.

“We’re like the new Berkeley,” said Lacey Kestecher, president of the university’s Turning Point USA chapter, about Monday’s event that conservative clubs had been planning since July.

Kestecher left the room with the other students, fearing the protest would escalate into violence. “We didn’t know what was going to happen if we stayed in the room,” she said.

When security approached a protester ranting on the megaphone about how the Trump administration was killing people of color, the mob swarmed in to block the officer from escorting the ranter out of the room. Then, in Orwellian fashion, the screaming mob chanted “free speech” — implying that their free speech rights were the ones being blocked.

“No peace no justice,” they yelled, followed by, “shut it down.”

Due to security concerns, Dr. Laffer was promptly removed from the room. Moreover, police arrested two of the protesters.

In response to the shutdown, YAF released a statement indicating that “legal remedies” were on the table. YAF  wrote, “Young America’s Foundation is actively exploring all legal remedies, including litigation, to do what Binghamton University failed to do — protect the First Amendment.”

It was just less than a week ago that the leftist mob had targeted conservative students for harassment and intimidation and the university refused to take disciplinary action.

As The Daily Wire’s Frank Camp previously reported, about 200 leftist students at Binghamton University swarmed college Republicans while they were tabling last Thursday, destroying their display. In addition to vicious name-calling, including using expletive words referring to genitalia, the mob demanded that the students “pack up” and leave. When the conservative students from Turning Point USA and college Republican clubs refused, the protesters screamed in the personal spaces of the students. They proceeded to overturn their tables and throw around their merchandise. Campus police intervened to escort the conservative students to safety.

A day later, New York State Assemblyman Douglas M. Smith sent a letter to President Harvey Strenger of Binghamton University requesting actions from the college to “ensure that … students are able to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights on campus without fear of physical violence in the future.”

By Monday — hours before the shutdown of the YAF event — the Binghamton administration said that it would not investigate the mob incident, nor would it discipline the students involved in the harassment against conservative students.

The administration’s statement said:

“On Thursday, Nov. 14, two groups tabling outside of the Union attracted counter-protesters. … The groups’ display included provocative posters. … There were also protesters who acted in a manner that may have violated University rules. In the context of the incident … the University did not seek to identify or charge any protesters. To do so would have escalated an already volatile situation and run counter to the primary interest in safely de-escalating the situation.”

The administration concluded inaction would “de-escalat[e]” the situation.

As the shutdown of Monday’s YAF event shows, Binghamton’s decision not to act may have only served to embolden the mob to continue harassing conservatives.

Ultimately, the mob incidences at Binghamton have created an environment of terror and fear among conservatives.

“I do not feel okay,” said Kestecher. “I did not ask for this. I’m just standing up for my rights. Which is have to do, what I should do.”