UCLA Blocked Pro-Israel Event, Conservative Student Group Says

Administrators allegedly refused to open the event room's locked doors.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) blocked a pro-Israel event from happening on Wednesday, according to the conservative student group hosting the event.

The student group, UCLA’s Young America’s Foundation (YAF) chapter, accused the university of caving to pressure from “pro-Hamas campus radicals” who have engaged in “violent” protests and encampments for weeks.

The event was slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The featured speaker was author and counter-Jihad expert Robert Spencer.

However, on the day of the event, the YAF team discovered that the doors to the event room were locked, the student chairman of UCLA’s YAF chapter, Matthew Weinberg told The Daily Wire.

When they contacted university officials, they were informed that their event would need to be relocated to a “very old and inconvenient” location on campus that is much less trafficked, Weinberg said. This was an “unacceptable last minute change that would have significantly impacted the event’s attendance and impact,” YAF said in a post about the incident.

“Ultimately, we were barred from utilizing the designated room for our event,” Weinberg said, adding that he had reserved the room over a month ago.

Administrators allegedly refused to open the locked doors, citing “security concerns.”

In the weeks prior, UCLA administrators also allegedly stalled the event’s approval process, according to the student group. Administrators told the group that if the pro-Palestinian encampment was still in place on the day of the event, it would be too dangerous for an event expressing opposing views to happen, the group said.

The student group brought in legal counsel and contested that decision, arguing that it was an unconstitutional use of the heckler’s veto. At first, the university appeared to reconsider.

“The school threw up roadblock after roadblock to try and prevent the event from happening. Eventually, the school granted approval, albeit on very short notice,” Weinberg said.

In the end though, the event was blocked, the group said

“The move is also a clear violation of students’ constitutional rights,” YAF said in its post.

UCLA said it was “misinformation” that the event was canceled.

“The event took place in the designated location after it shifted to a closed, recorded event as proposed by the organizer and agreed to by UCLA,” Mary Osako, vice chancellor of strategic communications at UCLA, said in a statement to The Daily Wire.

YAF pushed back on the university’s characterization, saying the event never took place.

“The statement from UCLA is not correct. To be clear, our event did not take place,” YAF told The Daily Wire.

YAF’s president, former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, warned that YAF is prepared to take UCLA to court over the issue.

“Conservative students should have the same rights as the pro-Hamas students who have routinely obstructed and violently disrupted the UCLA campus,” Walker said in a statement to The Daily Wire.

“UCLA canceled YAF’s access to the lecture hall while allowing protestors to freely roam the campus. Like we did against UC, Berkeley, YAF will prevail against UCLA in court!” Walker said.

Weinberg, the YAF chapter student chairman, expressed disappointment at the university’s move.

“Our chapter harbors profound disappointment towards the administration for permitting unlawful pro-Hamas encampments to flout both legal statutes and school policies, thereby enabling these agitators and students to perpetrate physical harassment and assaults against Jewish students,” Weinburg said. “Our sole intent was to host a Pro-Israel event welcoming individuals of all backgrounds and viewpoints, aimed at fostering dialogue often absent from college campuses. This is not only a double standard, but a clear infringement upon our First Amendment rights.”

“As a result, we have chosen to pursue legal recourse,” he added.

Spencer, the event’s speaker, had strong words for the school, accusing it of indoctrinating students with leftist ideology.

“UCLA and other universities today are not institutions of higher learning; they are radioactive wastelands of hard-left indoctrination,” Spencer said

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.