Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Emalee Egelund, center, joins other protesters chanting and yelling as they march toward the building where conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was to speak at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.
SALT LAKE CITY — More than 200 marched on the University of Utah’s campus and rallied outside Ben Shapiro’s speech Wednesday evening with chants of “Stand up, fight back” as the conservative commentator spoke to a group of 400 in a university auditorium.
Speakers through a megaphone urged students and others to stand up against racism, bigotry and hatred.
“U. of U., let’s be clear, Shapiro is not welcome here,” the group chanted during the three-hour protest that was spirited, largely peaceful although at times tense.
Critics and supporters of Shapiro chanted over each other outside the auditorium, with cries of “Black lives matter” met by “All lives matter.” Officers led at least three people in handcuffs toward a half-dozen police cars bordering the venue.
Some who spoke at the rally said Shapiro never should have been allowed to lecture at the public university. Others implored the group to answer Shapiro’s speech with messages of inclusion aimed at racial minorities, LGBTQ people and others.
“His speech has no place on our campus,” student Dean Mathews told the group. “We cannot allow our campus to become a platform for his ideas.”
“We will not allow them to silence us,” added Lex Scott, with United Front Civil Rights Organization.
Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire and former editor-at-large of Breitbart News, ignited protests that led to several arrests when he spoke at the University of California, Berkeley two weeks ago. University of Utah administrators traveled to the northern California campus to research on how to handle the speech hosted Wednesday by the U.’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
Officers in groups of a half-dozen stood along the march route, outside the auditorium and on the building’s roof. Several had badges indicating they were from West Jordan, Cottonwood…