Posted on April 17, 2019

Penn Waives Security Fee for Candace Owens Event After College Fix Report

Christopher Tremoglie, College Fix, April 16, 2019

Philadelphia’s Antifa movement and Twitter trolls tried to spook the University of Pennsylvania when conservative student groups invited a prominent conservative activist to campus.

They threatened to throw “coyote urine” and an “overripe tomato” at Candace Owens, the “Hitler admiring” communications director for Turning Point USA. Flyers advertising the event were removed or covered by antagonists.

A research scholar at Penn’s prestigious Annenberg School for Communication, Sébastien Mort, called the black activist a “[r]acist propagandist, white [nationalism] enabler & viral deception agent.”

An unofficial Twitter account for Philadelphia’s Industrial Workers of the World said “the community has organized to shut down this engagement early” and called a “large-scale confrontation … inevitable. We consider TPUSA to be a threat to our city.”

The account posted phone numbers for President Amy Gutmann and Chief Diversity Officer Joann Mitchell. The school initially obliged to the heckler’s veto, telling Owens’ student hosts to pay security fees.

The heckler’s veto worked as planned. The protest presence was small, but the UPenn Statesman and College Republicans were poorer, for no reason.

That changed on Wednesday, when the College Republicans confirmed the administration wouldn’t charge a security fee.

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{snip} 20 to 30 Antifa protesters showed up.

Students in the sponsoring organizations weren’t so lucky. A member of one of the groups told The College Fix Sunday that some members “have started getting doxxed” by protesters.

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A spokesperson for Penn did not respond to a Fix request Tuesday for the exact figure, or whether Penn was still negotiating with the sponsor, after Gwinn said the $800 fee was incorrect. The College Republicans informed The Fix Wednesday that the fee was waived.

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Owens spoke to a maximum-capacity crowd in College Hall that was, surprisingly, mostly filled with supportive students. They gave her a standing ovation as she entered the hall.

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Owens plans to have “a conversation about what it is I actually believe in – which the media does not want anybody to know.”

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She riffed on a protest sign that she saw outside the venue that said “Racism still exists.”

“Of course racism still exists,” Owens said, but it comes from all ethnic groups against all people. It’s not exclusive to any one race, ethnicity or group against any other.

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She also told the Penn audience about her Blexit movement, which encourages African Americans to leave the “political orthodoxy” of leftism, as well as her talk show on PragerU.

Owens spent much of her speech emphasizing that she wants to have conversations with her detractors. She asked audience members who disagreed with her to raise their hands, then offered them a round of applause for showing up to hear an unfamiliar political side.

The few hecklers who tried to interrupt were foiled when Owens defused their intentions with her assertiveness.

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When a group of students started to boo her, Owens attempted to de-escalate. “Don’t do that,” she told the group. “We are trying to have a conversation. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, but ask me a question. Be respectful of everyone in here.”

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{snip} Additionally, Penn had “free speech” monitors who informed protesters that Owens was allowed to speak freely.