Keep Far-Right Agitator Milo Yiannopoulos Out Of Seattle

Trump fanboy Milo Yiannopoulos, a far right ideologue and mouthpiece of the “Alt-Right”, is bringing his hate-filled speaking tour to the University of Washington on January 20th, 2017 by request of the College Republicans at the University of Washington:

In light of the resurgence of racist and fascist activity on campus and around the udistrict, the university’s decision to provide a platform for such unbridled bigotry is one we as a community cannot ignore. We are announcing our intent to shut this event down and inviting our allies to join us in making the UW a fascist free zone!

Yiannopoulos is one of the many online trolls who successfully capitalized on the Trump campaign to bring fascist and racist ideas into the mainstream. While his presence on the web can be traced back to the GamerGate controversy, Yiannopoulos rose to cult fame through his work at Breitbart, where he used his identity as a gay man to express overtly islamophobic views under the facade of queer interests. Similar to Trump, the core of Yiannopoulos’ support has come from places like 4Chan, Reddit, and other online bastions of the “Alt-Right”. However, since being banned from Twitter for his anti-black harassment of actor Leslie Jones, Milo has been searching for a new platform off the web for his hateful ideology. In fact, on his current book tour Yiannopoulos has used the frame of “anti-political correctness” to push dangerous narratives about a wide array of marginalized groups. Some examples of his hatred on tour so far includes such spectacles as dressing in drag to mock a sexual assault survivor; calling to keep trans folks out of the LGBT movement and encouraging their harassment; and calling BlackLivesMatter a terrorist group.

In this context, his college speaking tour should be recognized as an effort to embolden “Alt-Right” internet trolls into real world political organizing on college campuses. In fact the College Republicans at the University of Washington acknowledge that they want this event to “raise the stakes” of the “historic meltdown” that will take place on inauguration day. In light of the success of the Trump campaign, the “Alt-Right” is looking for opportunities to turn their momentum into an organized political front. This event is a particularly important as an opportunity for Yiannopoulos to connect with a large audience, and for a large number of Far Right supporters to connect with him and others at the event. This is an opportunity that we cannot give them.

As the last year has demonstrated, in practice, this kind of free speech and discussion has meant near impunity for racists and sexists to target marginalized students on and campus with little recourse for those who are harassed. We believe that an educational community should not accommodate fascist ideologies. We believe it is the responsibility of on-campus, and surrounding communities, to shut down this kind of organizing in order to ensure that there is no platform for fascists in Seattle! This is a call to action to stand against fascism, the militarization of campuses, and in solidarity with those communities who are most at risk from this kind of neofascist “Free Speech”! We encourage those interested in taking a stand now to use the letter template below to demand the UW not host Yiannopoulos.

Feel free to draft your own message or use the letter script provided below however you choose to contact the University. For those interested in delivering their message over the phone or via mail we have provided that info below.

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my anger and frustration at the University’s decision to host notorious racist, sexist, transphobic speaker Milo Yiannopoulos this January 20th. I am also notifying you of a growing inter-community coalition to keep Milo off campus and of my support for them. In light of the increasing hostility towards marginalized groups on campus, the continued inaction from the University to protect the interests of these students, and the recent cancelling of a similar event at Portland State University for the same reasons stated here, it should be beyond clear that this event must be cancelled. At this point it is well within the University’s control to stop this event from happening and issue an apology to the community at large and prevent students from being forced to take the initiative to keep their campus safe.

President: Ana Mari Cauce

Phone: 206–543–5010
301 Gerberding Hall Box 351230 Seattle, WA 98195

Provost: Gerald J. Baldasty

301 Gerberding Hall Box 351237 Seattle, WA 98195

Chief Diversity Officer: Rickey Hall

Phone: 206–543–2441

Media Relations & Communications: Norm Arkans

Phone: 206–543–2560