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SDS and Black Lives Matter confronts Ben Shapiro on Utah campus

By Gabriella Killpack |
September 29, 2017
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Protest confronts Ben Shapiro on Utah campus.
Protest confronts Ben Shapiro on Utah campus. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Salt Lake City - 400 people gathered to protest Ben Shapiro’s speaking spot, Sept. 27, on the University of Utah Campus. The protest was led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Black Lives Matter-SLC with the demand that hate speech has no place on campus and would be met with counter-protest. Ian Decker of SDS wrote a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune and said, "We have no shame in saying that we intend to shut down Ben Shapiro."

Ben Shapiro is an infamous right-wing conservative and a former editor-at-large of Breitbart News. He has called transgender people mentally ill, he is against marriage equality, and recently defended conversion therapy targeting gay people.

Lex Scott of Black Lives Matter commented, "Racism in 2017 looks very much like a white man rationalizing the death of a black man at the hands of police…Ben Shapiro is a racist and to you he may look like a more subtle racist, and therefore you excuse it. We won’t."

The rally marched through the University of Utah campus to where Shapiro was speaking. The protesters were met with dozens of police surrounding the building, protecting Shapiro. The rally continued and people chanted, "U of U let's be clear, Shapiro is not welcome here!" as hundreds gathered to hear speeches.

Shapiro watched the rally while guarded by police behind a barricade. Later he started his speech defensively reading SDSer Ian Decker's letter and poorly responding to it. Half way through his event, Shapiro’s microphone cut out and the chants from outside could be heard clearly.

Decker wrapped up the rally saying, "Ben Shapiro represents the status quo of war, racism and poverty. We don't owe the status quo a respectful discussion and platform. That's why we're here today." The attendees marched back together to President's Circle and ended the rally on a high note.