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Protesting At Milo UCLA Event and Speaking at Reason Rally

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Published on Ora TV on June 9, 2016:

I had a couple big events last week and want to share my experiences with you:

Last Tuesday I interviewed Milo Yiannopoulos as part of his Dangerous Faggot Tour.Yes, everyone's favorite gay, bleached blonde British conservative and I did an hour long sit down in front of about 400 students at UCLA.Several hundred more showed up but couldn't get in, and there were about 100 student protestors outside. Now as I've said dozens of times, you should use your free speech to counter speech you don't like. This means that in and of itself, the people who came to protest Milo and his event were doing the most American thing you can do -- exercising their right to free speech by countering speech they didn't like with use of their own. The problem here was many of the protesters weren't there to voice protest, they were there to stop people from entering the venue, toss garbage cans, spit on people, call in bomb threats and more.A group of these protesters created a human wall to stop people from getting inside. Apparently they opposed to Trump building a wall, but not opposed to building one themselves.

These protesters, all college aged, were screaming in the faces of cops, who did a remarkable job of staying calm and collected.People were smashing on the doors of our building and trying to force their way into the room where we were speaking.It was pandemonium, but the type of pandemonium that has become totally acceptable on today's left. And by the way, to be absolutely clear, these LIBERAL protestors are not embracing TRUE liberal ideals in any way. Liberals should be welcome to debate and are open to critical thought and reasoning. These people had their minds made up before they even heard what Milo was going to say.He was the enemy, he was a hateful, sexist, racist, bigot, and his right to free speech was to be quashed by their right to be immature children. It was clear that some of them didn't even know who Milo was, but had succumbed to group think, which made them feel like they were part of something instead of really standing for something.

Once the event actually started, Milo and I had a wide-ranging discussion on many hot button issues, from feminism to free speech to the rise of Trump.The audience was filled with people of every color, sexuality and walk of life. At one point two protestors who managed to get inside started screaming and interrupting our productive conversation. I explained to the protester Milo would probably welcome some discussion if she waited for the Q&A at the end, but she didn't want to do that. Instead when pressed on what she doesn't like about Milo, she simply screamed, "I hate you!" It was exactly the type of typical response is based on emotion, not logic, and is utterly useless in the real world.

We had an interesting, honest discussion and agreed to disagree on a couple of points, such as Milo's casual dismissal of trans rights. Even though we were rushed out after the Q&A due to a bomb threat, the night was a total success because two people who don't agree on everything had a civil, and perhaps more importantly enjoyable conversation. Actually, the most inspiring part of seeing so many people exercise their right to free speech was the amount of people who came up to me after to tell me that they were actually liberals who have seen the growing regressive attitudes on the left. A few people told me that they agree with Trump about nothing, but felt voting for him was the only way to break this backwards illiberal ideology. True confirmation of what I've been saying for months -- if they left won't deal with issues like immigration and Islamism honestly, they'll hand voters right over to Donald Trump. A couple weeks ago Bill Maher did a piece on Real Time about how the rise of Trump has nothing to do with the left, and his popularity is only a creation of the right. While I totally disagree with him, note how I can disagree with him without slandering him. See, it isn't that hard.

After Milo's event, I headed to Washington, DC for The Reason Rally, were I spoke at the National Mall in front of thousands alongside Bill Nye, Penn Jillette and my friends Kelly Carlin and Paul Provenza .We talked about the need to science and reason to be inserted in our public policy. I spent most of my speech talking about the free exchange of ideas and how we, as free thinkers, must be more tolerant than the people who would silence us. While I saw plenty of tweets saying that the event had been taken over by Social Justice Warriors, I didn't see anyone shouted down or silenced for sharing their view. What I did see what a great mix of people sharing their ideas on how to make the country a more reasonable republic.

Throughout the weekend I met tons of people who watch this show and much like the Milo fans I mentioned, see the ideas of illiberalism growing on the left. Also like Milo's event, the people at The Reason Rally were from every walk of life imaginable. And that's when something hit me....

We are officially onto something massive here. Something that sparked in my head after that fateful battle between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris and continued through Charlie Hebdo and now our election season, sparked in so many of your heads as well. Some of you beat me to the punch and some of you are just coming around now. That's exactly what it's all about...ideas out there in the ether to be picked up by us when we're ready to accept them.

I've sensed this awakening for awhile now and seen it grow and take form, but right this very moment we are on the precipice of a legitimate movement. The ideas of true debate, honest discussion and fact based reason are crossing the political divide in a way nothing else is doing right now. It may not translate into this election the way we want it to, or it may not stop regressive attitudes from corrupting young minds tomorrow, but have no doubt, the game is on.

Some Trump supporters see it. Some liberals see it. I see it and you see it. It's too late to be silenced by those who won't let you speak up in the first place. All of us who have been abandoned by the extremes on both sides are coming together in a whole new way.

I'm proud to say we've had a little of something to do with a movement that is going to shock the world. We've built this while they've been fighting and stammering and silencing. Our moment is coming and it's only a matter of time before mainstream wakes up to our message of conversation instead of condescension. Our work is cut out for us, but I've never been surer that we've on the right path...

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