There was another incident of student protesters preventing a meeting or class from occurring, though this incident has a welcomed conclusion: arrests. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, students found out that fellow students were meeting in the library as part of the College Republicans. That was unacceptable to them, so they put out a posting on Facebook to stop the meeting. They succeeded. The protesters entered the room denouncing their fellow students as “fascists,” “racists” and “white supremacists.” One student protester reportedly told a Young Republican: “Your existence is a disturbance to every marginalized person in this country.” It was a telling comment. The very existence of a young Republicans is viewed as an offense like some type of human microaggression.
The other students and library staff tried to reason with the protesters but they were denounced by the protesters who chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”
In a scene reminiscent of the protests at the Dartmouth library, other students complained that they wanted to use to the library to study. (At Dartmouth, a university officia actually apologized to the protesters who abused other students and stopped them from studying). Eventually, students studying in the library began to complain that they really wanted to study rather than listen to protesters. After a librarian tried to convince the protesters to respect the rights of other students, she and her supervisor were called “white supremacists.” One protester even proceeded to run up and down the library stairs shouting about “Nazis” and “white supremacists.”
So first fellow students sought to get the protesters to leave; then a librarian; then the librarian’s supervisor, and then finally the police.
The police said that they did not want to arrest the students and asked them to leave but they insisted on being arrested. They are now facing charges with disturbing the peace, failure to disperse, unlawful assembly and trespassing.
The school’s director of news and media relations, Scott Hernandez-Jason, said It’s unfortunate and disappointing that a few students disrupted their meeting and refused repeated requests to leave. UC Santa Cruz vigorously supports our students’ rights to peacefully and lawfully assemble.”
However, the arrests only occurred because the students insisted on being arrested and after given repeated opportunities to leave. There is conspicuously no announcement from the university that the students would be suspended or expelled. That should be obvious when you first seek to prevent others students from assembling or speaking as well as preventing students from studying.