DEPAUL — DePaul University has banned another conservative speaker over concerns about violence on campus.
The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider announced in a letter to students, staff and faculty this week that the university was rescinding its permission for Gavin McInnes to speak May 30 in an event organized by the College Republicans.
Calling McInnes "a Canadian entertainer and provocateur," Holtschneider accused him of advocating violence through "his recently formed group, the Proud Boys" and its so-called military wing known as the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights.
Holtschneider charged that after clashes outside an appearance at New York University in February that McInnes was quoted as saying: "We're the only ones fighting these guys and I want you to fight them, too. It’s fun. When they go low, go lower. Mace them back, throw bricks at their head. Let’s destroy them. We’ve been doing it a while now and I gotta say, it’s really invigorating. Even when you lose, you feel great about yourself."
"DePaul University works to ensure that student organizations can host speakers and events of their choosing," Holtschneider wrote in his letter. "The encouragement of violence, however, has no place here. This is not about the content of McInnes’ speech, but about his public endorsement of violence and the establishment of a military division of his own group, the Proud Boys.
"Our students’ well-being remains our highest priority," Holtschneider added, "and therefore DePaul is rescinding McInnes’s invitation to speak on campus."
DePaul's College Republicans posted a response on their Facebook page saying the university "is once again resorting to their tried and true anti-free speech tactics." The post attempted to explain McInnes' remarks by saying that "rather than a call for violence, they were calls for self-defense."
A year ago, Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a talk by former Breitbart commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. Holtschneider initially said the protesters were "wrong," but then said Yiannopoulos' intent was to "ignite racial tensions."
DePaul banned an appearance by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro later last year, also citing violence concerns.
McInnes has his own TV show on Compound Media and has appeared on Fox News.
McInnes tweeted in response: "My talk was canceled because the only thing worse than being willing to fight back is enjoying it."
My talk was canceled because the only thing worse than being willing to fight back is enjoying it. pic.twitter.com/1xfDyNDFEw— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 17, 2017