LINCOLN PARK — DePaul University president Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider said the protesters who shut down a talk by conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos Tuesday evening were "wrong," and apologized to Yiannopoulos supporters.
In a letter to students Wednesday, Holtschneider said he sympathized with the DePaul College Republicans group, which hosted the talk, saying the group "deserved an opportunity to hear their speaker uninterrupted, and were denied it."
"On behalf of the university, I apologize to the DePaul College Republicans," he wrote.
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Holtschneider also said the protesters were "wrong" for crashing the event.
"I was ashamed for DePaul University when I saw a student rip the microphone from the hands of the conference moderator and wave it in the face of our speaker," he wrote.
"Yesterday’s speaker was invited to speak at DePaul, and those who interrupted the speech were wrong to do so. Universities welcome speakers, give their ideas a respectful hearing, and then respond with additional speech countering the ideas."
Those remarks came after he said speakers like Yiannopoulos are generally "more entertainers and self-serving provocateurs than the public intellectuals they purport to be." He admitted that he and Yiannopoulos share "very few opinions," slamming his opinions on women's and gay rights.
DePaul erupted in chaos when protestors stormed the stage Tuesday, stealing the microphone and shouting things like "dump the Trump." The event was cut short, but hundreds of students continued to protest outside of the venue. No students were arrested, but Chicago police arrested one person who is not a DePaul student, officials said.
Yiannopoulos, an editor for Breitbart who is known for his anti-feminist stance, has been known to elicit protests at other colleges and universities.
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