Former Trump Manager Corey Lewandowski Greeted By Protesters At UChicago

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 16, 2017 3:28PM

More than a hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the Quadrangle Club at the University of Chicago Wednesday afternoon to protest an appearance by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

The protest came after a coalition of groups at the school asked former Obama campaign manager and Institute of Politics Director David Axelrod to rescind Lewandowski’s invitation to speak, saying that apperances by Trump surrogates such as him and Sean Spicer, who spoke at the school last month, incite hatred and violence towards the most marginalized members of their community.

“Nothing about a firm commitment to free expression obliges us open our doors to (much less to provide platforms for) those who incite hatred and violence against refugees, immigrants, and minorities—that is, against our students, teachers, co-workers and neighbors,” read a letter the groups sent earlier this week.

Flanked by a Donald Trump-inspired piƱata and carrying signs that read “solidarity trumps hate” and “bigotry is not normal,” they chanted “shame on U of C, sold out for publicity,” and “no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”

A few students said they managed to briefly get inside the speech, where they were quickly ejected for holding up signs in protest.

protest organizers argue that Lewandowski’s appearance, which was closed to the public and the press, also emboldens white supremacists who have been more active on campus since election season.

“It would be bad enough for them to be hosting these figures at all,” said Anton Ford, an associate professor of philosophy. “But to have this event as a private, off-the record ‘conversation’ means that Lewandowski is even less likely to be challenged and questioned publicly.”

“The U of C has failed to take meaningful action against the presence of white supremacist hate groups on campus,” said Kylie Zane, a graduate of the university. “When you view that alongside inviting someone like Lewandowski to campus, it sends a clear signal that racists are welcome at this University.”

Representatives from the IOP told Chicagoist on Monday the institute is non-partisan and hosts speakers from across the political spectrum.

“In Wednesday’s seminar, students will have the opportunity to question Corey Lewandowksi on these and many other topics related to the Trump campaign. Consistent with the values of the University and the IOP, people are free to contest, criticize, and protest views expressed on campus so long as they do not obstruct or interfere with the freedom of others to express their views."