A lecture by an anti-feminist YouTube star at King’s College in London was broken up by violent masked Antifa thugs who assaulted security guards, smashed windows and lanced smoke bombs while setting off a fire alarm.
Free speech on university campuses are under siege from leftists worldwide who want to “no platform” individuals or groups whose views they deem “offensive”. Violence and aggression to shut down meetings and intimidate audience members have sadly become increasingly common.
Up to fifteen masked activists clad in black stormed into a meeting on Monday evening where King’s College Libertarian Society was hosting an panel event with guest speakers Carl Benjamin and Yaron Brook.
Benjamin, who uses the pseudonym Sargon of Akkad for his YouTube channel, is known for his anti-feminist views, and has been described as an “alt right” personality. Brook is chair of the Board of Directors at the Ayn Rand Institute.
The speakers were engaged in a discussion about Objectivism when the chaos ensued.
A group of people calling themselves London Antifa stormed the meeting. Danny Al-Khafaji, the president of the Libertarian Society who chaired the event, said the attack to disrupt the speakers had been well planned.
“This was an extremely well organised protest. They jumped over the barriers, smashed windows and a door. The security guards on the door were attacked, two were hospitalised,” he explained to The Daily Telegraph.
“They stormed in, went straight to the stage, up to me and the speakers and started harassing us and the audience. Fire alarms went off – they had dropped smoke bombs. The security was nowhere to be seen”.
The masked thugs had some support from sympathisers planted in the audience, who stood up and began chanting “No fascists on campus”. Antifa unfurled a banner while shouting into a megaphone and physically attacking security guards, but their surrogates claimed that there had not been any violence.
Before the lecture, the organiser attended a meeting with a students’ union representative and a university official who told him they had carried out full risk assessment. “They told me I had to announce to the audience that a safe space policy exists at the start of the event. They said there will be several ‘safe space’ marshalls present,” he said.
“Safe space” marshals are paid by the students’ union to observe speaker events on campus to stop speakers from hurting the feelings of audience members. These officials are expected to hand out leaflets detailing their policy and take “immediate action” if anyone expresses opinions that breach the policy.
Comments about age, disability, race, religious faith, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic status are taboo.
“The main failing of the university is that they did not provide adequate security, and they have created an environment that legitisimises this kind of strike.” The paid officials are required to put up posters noting that ‘This is a Safe Space’ and record any instances of offensive behaviour reported to them by members of the audience.
Instead, a threatening note was left by one of the thugs, reading: “The guy moderating the talk is on my course and he’ll have a difficult time once the strike is over.” The Daily Mail printed a screenshot of the note.
North London Antifa later hailed the intervention as a victory on their Facebook page.
The university’s president and principal, Professor Edward Byrne, expressed his “shock” with the “aggressive and violent” behaviour by Antifa which left staff “traumatised”, and some attendees physically assaulted.
“Some of the attendees and our security staff were injured when demonstrators – some of them masked and hooded – forced their way into the lecture hall,” he said.
“These events should absolutely be able to take place without fear of violence and intimidation. The injuries sustained by our security staff and the physical violence on display are totally unacceptable in any university community.”