Local News

UNC student group plans to protest speaker again

Posted April 21, 2010 8:25 a.m. EDT

— A student group plans to protest a second speech by former Congressman Tom Tancredo at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next week.

Students for a Democratic Society planned to announce their protest plans Wednesday for Tancredo's speech for the student group Youth for Western Civilization.

Tancredo will give his speech, entitled "Why Western Civilization is Worth Saving," in the Student Union auditorium at 7 p.m. Monday.

SDS issued a statement saying they oppose statements made by Tancredo, an outspoken critic of current immigration policies, at recent tea party events.

Last April, SDS organized protests during speeches by Tancredo and Virgil Goode, a former independent Virginia state representative, at Youth for Western Civilization events.

Protesters disrupted Tancredo's speech by shouting profanities and unfurling banners, and police had to use pepper spray after demonstrators broke a window. A UNC student was arrested at the protest, but charges of disorderly conduct against her were dropped.

SDS blamed police for escalating the incident. UNC System President Erskine Bowles and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp denounced the incident and apologized to Tancredo.

Youth for Western Civilization opposes what it calls mass immigration and radical multiculturalism. SDS says that the group promotes hate speech that should not be tolerated.