Milo Yiannopoulos is a British reporter and public speaker who is currently touring colleges and universities to spread his alt-right messages.
He visited University of Colorado Springs on Jan. 26. In response to his event, the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists planned a protest in the exact form Yiannopoulos proclaims to hate the most—with chanting protests and lack of conversation.
Yiannopoulos is openly gay, but against gay marriage and gay rights. He argues that gay people today have all the benefits of marriage through civil unions, and says that a change in the traditional term “marriage” could have unknown ramifications.
Yiannopoulos claims to be in support of gender equality, yet actively opposes feminism. Last April in a debate he said, “It was certainly true that women had all kinds of structural disadvantages in society. That simply isn’t true anymore. It’s not true, for example, when women go for jobs in science, technology, and mathematics.”
Furthermore, he is avidly against the immigration of both Mexicans and Muslims into the U.S. He argues that Muslims are hateful and Mexicans steal jobs from legal Hispanics and black Americans.
Yiannopoulos is a supporter of stop and frisks, which have been shown to disproportionately affect black people, yet only dates black men.
There have been liberal protestors at many of Yiannopoulos’ stops along “The Dangerous Faggot Tour.” He largely mocks them for their lack of logic-based responses and for their futile chants.
Planned chants outside of the event included: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” and “No Justice, No Peace, No Nazis on our streets.”
Protesting an alt-right movement in a conservative city like Colorado Springs can be dangerous, and Yiannopoulis’ events have been known to turn violent. During his visit to the University of Washington last Friday, a protestor was shot by one of his supporters. The Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, though acknowledging that risk, protested with the goal of showing solidarity with the victims of Yiannopoulos’ words in the hope of, in their words, “shutting down” Yiannopoulos and making it clear that Colorado Springs is not a “safe space” for his message.
When specifically asked what the group would say to Yiannopoulos outlining their dislike for his opinions, the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists responded, “Milo Yiannopoulos doesn’t deserve a message from us. His opinions do not come from a place of ignorance, and he knows exactly what he is saying. The time for debating the far right is ending, and the time for smashing it is now.”
Yiannopoulos adamantly disagrees. On June 1, 2016, during a tirade about the most effective ways to oppose him, he said, “No position is impervious to criticism or to challenge. If you don’t like something that I say about Black Lives Matter… If you don’t like something that I say about feminism—come to me with facts, with reason, with logic.”
In fact, Yiannopoulos makes it clear that a large part of what he hates about “liberals” is their opposition to free speech.
UCCS itself, in fact, debated shutting down the event, but ultimately decided to allow it. The chancellor, Pam Shockley-Zalabak, advised the student body to ignore his rhetoric, but respect his legal right to voice his opinion. She said recently, “The statements that Mr. Yiannopoulos has made at other campuses are clearly in opposition to the values of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and its commitment to creating an inclusive community that welcomes all.”
Yiannopoulos says that as a journalist it is important to push back “against the people who want to control what you say, what you think, what you do, who you read, what video games you play, what language you can use, how you can dress, who you can hangout with.”