The University of Alabama abruptly forced its College Republican chapter to pay an exorbitant security fee in order to host internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on campus next week.
On Thursday, university officials told the UA Republicans that they would have to fork over nearly $7,000 to cover security for the event set to take place Monday. If the group cannot pay the fee in time, the event will be canceled.
The conservative group found this action to be a dubious way of suppressing speech administrators don’t like.
According to a press statement released Friday, College Republicans claim there is no way the group can raise that kind of money in such a short amount of time and that the school knows this fact. The group has had Yiannopoulos booked for several weeks, yet the university just recently made its decision to force the Republicans to pay a hefty security fee.
“Whether the University just shuts us down or forces us to pay a prohibitive security fee, they deny us our freedom of speech, and they deny the entire student body the right to hear Milo’s message,” CR treasurer Gerald Fraas said in the press statement. “No matter your opinion on the speaker, this is an act against our liberty, a Heckler’s veto on speech.”
The fee’s imposition comes in the wake of the numerous disruptions and threats that have plagued Yiannopoulos’s college appearances, but the conservatives who wish to host him find it to be hypocritical for them to pay the price for the bad behavior of leftists.
“We follow the rules of civil discourse, Milo’s opponents threaten violence, so we get assessed an exorbitant fee and get shut down,” Fraas continued in the statement. “It seems to me it’s the University’s responsibility to provide an environment in which civil discourse is encouraged and the rights of all are protected, not just those with whom they agree.”
Lawyers representing the College Republicans have appealed the decision to assess the security fee, but officials have not responded to the rebuttal. A member of the group told The Daily Caller that a legal challenge would take too long and would not prevent the cancellation of Yiannopoulos’s Monday speech.
While security is often provided for the Breitbart Tech editor’s campus appearances, they have at times done nothing to stop violence. In May, Yiannopoulos was forced to pay a $1,000 security fee in order to speak at DePaul University. He did pay it, but security did nothing when demonstrators charged the stage, threatened the right-wing writer with violence, assaulted passer-bys outside the auditorium and forced the event to shut down. (RELATED: DePaul University Descends Into Chaos Over Milo Yiannopoulos Visit)