Identity of Speakers
Invited for non-academic lecture
Michael Strickland is a conservative blogger and for the Progressives Today blog and shares videos on his YouTube channel called "LaughingAtLiberals."
Recognized student group event
University administration not protective of speech
- Incident Protested
- Did not involve Speech Codes
College Republicans at Portland State University (“PSU”) invited conservative journalist Mike Strickland to give a presentation on the criminal convictions that stemmed from Strickland’s interactions with Black Lives Matter (“BLM”) members in 2016. Strickland was convicted of several felonies for unholstering his gun and pointing it at BLM members who were allegedly threatening him. Strickland has appealed these convictions, but the Oregon Appeals Court has not issued a decision at this time. At the PSU event, protestors from the Cascadian Resistance and Anonymous Underground Activist groups prevented Strickland from giving his presentation when a primary protestor started ringing a cowbell every time Strickland attempted to speak. The other protestors appeared to be there strictly to film the protest. This primary protestor claimed that he was one of the BLM members who Strickland had pointed his gun at in 2016. The protestor also announced that several transgender people were attacked the last time Strickland gave a speech at PSU. After Strickland responded that he had never been to the PSU campus before, the protestor yelled “Oh weird. That’s so weird. I wonder what gave me that source. Oh yeah, I just f**king made it up, ‘cause I can make sh*t up if I want.” This disruption continued for an hour—the event’s scheduled run-time. Throughout the protest, campus police present from the beginning of the event did nothing to stop the heckler or encourage him to leave. Eventually, the protestor left on his own and the PSU Conferences and Events team agreed to extend the event by thirty minutes. Although this allowed the presentation by Strickland to resume, it cut the time for the event in half as Strickland had not been able to speak during the hour originally allotted for the event. In the ensuing controversy, PSU issued a statement justifying the campus police officer’s inaction since the officer had “determined not to threaten or restrain the individual so as not to escalate a potentially unsafe situation.” Allegedly, the protestor was never cited by campus police for his disruption.