Protesters Chant – Hold Signs Opposing Mike Adams UM Appearance
‘No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here'!
That was just one of the slogans chanted by a small group of protesters outside the Dennison Theater on the UM campus on Tuesday evening, as they opposed the appearance of conservative speaker Mike Adams.
Adams is a professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Adams, the 10th anniversary Cole Lecture Series speaker, was denied a forum at the UM School of Journalism by Dean Larry Abramson, but was allowed by Interim President Sheila Stearns to speak on campus at the Dennison Theater.
Maria Cole, widow of Jeffrey Cole, for whom the lecture series was named, said before the event that she hoped an open and honest dialogue could be achieved.
“I’m hoping that this sparks really great conversations,” said Cole, as attendees began to trickle into the theater. “That what happens tonight, the good, the bad or the ugly, that we walk away and really begin talking to each other, even though we may have very distinctly different points of view. I think what’s most important is civil discourse, respect, open debate and the ability to really converse with each other and have an open dialogue.”
One of the protesters outside the venue was first year UM law student Austin Wallis, who was adamant in her opposition to Adams’ appearance.
“Today, we’re here to protest Mike Adams because he is a renowned homophobic, racist, misogynist columnist and professor who has a history of writing incendiary and inflammatory, derogatory, the list goes on,” said Wallis. “He has made statements and written columns about hating women, he’s very anti Muslim, and he really is antithetical to the values that we have here at the University of Montana.”
There was an extraordinary law enforcement presence both outside and inside the event, with UM Police officers, bomb-sniffing dogs, and attendees being wanded with their bags and backpacks checked.
Adams spoke about the death of liberalism on college campuses, and held a Q and A session afterwards.