Conservative Groups Practicing Free Speech Draw Angry Leftists at SUNY Binghamton

Frenzied group of young people pushed hard against those on the Right

About 200 far-Left agitators showed up to protest aggressively against conservative students on campus during a display at the State University of New York’s campus in Binghamton, New York, this past Thursday.

The school’s College Republicans chapter and Turning Point USA had both set up tables on campus.

The College Republicans were sharing flyers for an upcoming speech by economist Dr. Arthur Laffer sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF) — while the individuals at the TPUSA table were giving out buttons and posters about conservative political ideology, as several outlets noted, including The College Fix.

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Supply-side economist and Laffer Curve designer Arthur Laffer is considered one of the most prominent economists of the last century; his Laffer Curve is credited with the Reagan economic boom. His supply-side ideals have highly influenced conservative economic theory and practice for 40 years.

But early on after the conservatives had set up tables with pamphlets and marketing materials, a frenzied group of young people descended on the tables — this, on the site of an institution of higher learning whose ostensible mission is to promote free thought and thorough inquiry.

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But these young liberals were having nothing of it as they repeatedly shouted obscenities, got physically close to the tables and also to the conservative students, and demanded the groups leave the campus.

The professors at SUNY Binghamton seem to be a bit less than stringent in teaching the concept of free speech, it seems to me.

When campus law enforcement was called to restore order, officers were met by chants of “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”

Yet the situation got so out of hand — as the crowd of people grew more agitated at any view that did not completely correspond with their own — that campus police had to escort the young conservatives off the premises for their own safety.

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No actions are planned against the 200 or so students, as of right now, it appears. Many were caught on video spouting vulgar language as they disrupted the free exchange of ideas.

A SUNY official — a vice president for student affairs — said on Monday, in part, in a statement, “The groups’ [the College Republicans and TPUSA] display included provocative posters with gun imagery, this being the same day as the Saugus High School shooting. Self-evidently from the nature of their display and their refusal to comply with procedures for reserving the space in question, the groups intended to be provocative.”

See the trick there?

Change the subject. Attack the victim.

This is standard crisis communications practice when you’re in a hole. It seems, in fact, the College Republicans themselves could be sanctioned.

So the college’s thought police win the day.

The university, in its statement, said the conservative groups who showed up with tables did not follow “proper procedures” for securing space on campus.

It also admitted that “counter-protesters [meaning those protesting against the conservatives] began pulling down the tables and sweeping the political literature and materials of the tabling groups into boxes in an attempt to close down the tabling activity.”

The college’s statement also said this: “There were also protesters who acted in a manner that may have violated University rules. In the context of the incident and in keeping with the principles and values noted above, the University did not seek to identify or charge any protesters. To do so would have escalated an already volatile situation and run counter to the primary interest in safely de-escalating the situation.”


It also said, “We will continue to work within our community to facilitate the expression of the many diverse viewpoints that are present on our campus, to encourage members of our community to respect one another through disagreement, to maintain a safe campus community, and to exercise professional judgment fairly to achieve those ends.”

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David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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