The forum met this week in Agate hall. At least one hundred demonstrators marched from the EMU to Agate Hall to attend the forum. The room was at capacity by the time I arrived, so my information is all second hand and somewhat sketchy at best. More details and photos will be added soon.
What we know so far:
- A number of people (8ish?) were escorted from the building by the department of public safety for disturbing the event.
-Presenter Jimmy Mar left before he was able to speak. Him along with another man sieg heiled while leaving.
While the the debate went on inside, a crowd waited outside the "full" hall. A class of middle school students joined the rest of the crowd (comprised mostly of college students) to show their disproval of hate. The middle schoolers engaged other protesters to learn about why the older students cared about having Nazis on campus. Erika, a soft-spoken demonstrator, explained she was embarrassed that the UO served as a home to Nazis. The middle schoolers responded that they too did not understand why someone would hate their Jewish friends. (To be fair, I don't understand either and I'm about to graduate college.)
"Why don't we just ignore them?," read a flier that magically appeared in my hand while wandering through the crowd. "Ignoring hate groups allows them to expand unchecked, threatening our freedom and safety. So, by not dealing with hate group sympathizers, we only allow their negative thoughts and ideologies to permeate our communities and society." <---- Just something to think about.