UC Davis College Republicans pulled the plug on a Jan. 13 speaking event featuring far-right firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, following protests against the duo’s appearance that overwhelmed campus security.
Yiannopolous, an editor at Breitbart News, is a vocal opponent of feminism and was banned from Twitter for conducting a harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones. Shkreli came to prominence in 2015 for raising the price of a lifesaving drug that combats parasitic infections from $13.50 to $750 per pill in one day. He is currently out on bail for alleged securities fraud.
The College Republicans and UC Davis brass tell different versions of the day’s events. Capitol Weekly sat down with Davis College Republican President Nicholas Francois and Executive Director Andrew Mendoza to talk about what happened — and why they wanted to bring such controversial figures to speak on campus.
(Ed’s Note: We conducted this interview on Friday, Jan. 20; hours later a man was shot at a protest against Yiannopoulos’ appearance that night at the University of Washington in Seattle.)