Both the University of Connecticut College Republicans and College Democrats have released statements regarding Gateway Pundit writer Lucian Wintrich’s arrest on Tuesday.
The College Republicans, who invited Wintrich to campus for the speech “It’s OK to Be White,” released their statement on their Facebook page late Thursday afternoon.
“As Americans, the UConn College Republicans share the beliefs that our nation’s founders enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution,” the statement said. “The right to free speech should be protected for all-- especially in university and academic settings.”
The statement said that though the College Republicans do not share all of Wintrich’s beliefs, they brought the speaker to campus “to have a conversation about identity politics” and that “heckling and and disrupting an event is not appropriate.”
“We are disappointed in those that took action to prevent Mr. Wintrich from speaking because they simply disagreed with what he had to say,” the statement said. “There are civil way to express dissatisfaction towards a speaker.”
The College Democrats released their statement on their Facebook page earlier on Wednesday. The group stated that the Wintrich’s invitation by the College Republicans was an action that “sought to create discord with the risk of a violent outbreak ensuing.”
“The UConn College Republicans chose to endorse a branch of their party that is on the wrong side of history,” the statement said. “The speaker did not discuss pertinent issues but instead chose to bait the audience members with racially charged and sexit language, including slides featuring Hitler.”
The College Democrats stated that the College Republicans encouraged the violence seen on Tuesday, including Wintrich’s attempt to grab a woman who stole his speech from the podium.
“We are alarmed that people who are our peers and our classmates brought someone to campus simply to stir the pot,” the statement said. “This is the antithesis of our responsibilities as the arms of two major Americans political parties here at UConn.”
The Democrats expressed hope that the Republicans would “have a conversation” about future speakers at the university.
Marlese Lessing is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.