White House correspondent for the Gateway Pundit Lucian Wintrich was arrested for breach of peace on $1,000 bond at the University of Connecticut during a speech Tuesday night.
Wintrich was arrested by UConn Police after grabbing the shoulders of a woman who seized his speech sheet from his desk halfway through the presentation.
Police surrounded Wintrich and escorted him out of the room. A man wearing a head-to-toe “Make America Great Again” outfit also began to get physical against protesters. Police then grabbed the man, pressed him against the podium and escorted him out of the room.
The event, called “It’s OK to be White,” was sponsored by the UConn College Republicans and was met with criticism from hundreds of attendees, the majority of which were UConn students, who came out to the speech to protest.
Throughout the course of the event, protesters stood up and yelled chants such as “Go home Nazis,” “Black lives matter” and “F*ck you,” and shattered a window. Following Wintrich’s arrest, police herded the crowds out of the building, saying that the event was over.
Outside, protesters mobbed at the rear of Schenker Hall, chanting. Police again herded the crowd back when escorting out the man in the “Make America Great Again” outfit and several other UConn College Republicans members from the building at approximately 9:05 p.m.
Later on, a smoke bomb was set off, causing the fire alarms to go off in the hall. The UConn Fire Marshal was brought to the scene so that Wintrich could stay in the building.
Wintrich was escorted out of the west entrance of the building at about 9:57 p.m., where he was swarmed by students and escorted into an unmarked car by the police. Police blocked off students attempting to bombard the car.
Crowds grew at the front of the building and proceeded to chant at the police inside the building long after Wintrich left.
While many students joined in on the protests, some students, like third-semester environmental studies major Wawa Gatheru, were appalled by all aspects of what took place.
“His whole stance was that the left was very childish and he was doing the exact same thing back,” Gatheru said. “Honestly, I think there’s a whole demographic on campus where people don’t know where they fit in with social justice issues. But racism is not a partisan issue.”
Third-semester women’s, gender and sexuality studies major Sara DeFazio said she felt sickened by the situation.
“For me, what did it was when he sipped milk,” DeFazio said.
During the speech, in between each angered interruption made by the audience, Wintrich took a sip from his glass of milk. Milk has been used as a motif for white supremacy since over half of the world cannot digest milk, DeFazio said.
Sporting a black and white tuxedo, Wintrich discussed how he disliked the negativity society puts on Trump supporters and white men in general.
In his speech, Wintrich claimed that Africans were being wrongfully applauded for wearing their native garb, illegal immigrants were negatively affecting the economy and that being white does not correlate with Nazism. Members of the audience chanted negative comments to which Wintrich replied with a smile.
While addressing one protester, Wintrich said he could not tell if the individual was male or female and made a comment about an individual being a “transi [sic] communist.”
“I don’t want to see future Americans looking like that,” Wintrich said as he pointed to a group of protesters in the crowd waving “Make Fascists Afraid Again” posters.
Seventh-semester economics major Marc Moshe, a member of the College Republicans, said he did not expect such argumentation from Wintrich.
“I wish he was more logical in showing arguments. It was very provocative,” Moshe said. “I like that he answered back, but he was getting too annoyed.”
Moshe said that while he does not defend Wintrich, he does believe the speaker could have gone about the situation differently.
“I don’t think what he did was illegal, I think it was just really unwise,” Moshe said. “I know the media is already twisting it.”
Despite the negative reaction to the events, Moshe said he does not fear for his safety on campus following the protests.
“I don’t feel scared, but I do feel cautious in political talks,” Moshe said. “I’m cautious about the words I say and my conversations.”
Despite being amongst the chaos, UConn alumna class of 2017 Kyle Harrington said she hopes the community can learn from the events that took place.
“(Students) need to be actively resistant to racism each day,” Harrington said, “not just when a white supremacist shows up on campus.”
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.