NDSU event with controversial Breitbart writer canceled over security concerns

The writer for "alt-right" website Breitbart was due to appear at NDSU on Dec. 16.

A planned appearance by controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos at North Dakota State University has been canceled over security concerns.

In a post on the North Dakota College Republicans Facebook page, vice chairman Jamal Omar announced the group didn't have enough money to cover the cost of extra security.

There were concerns there could be protests at the event by those supporting the "No DAPL" North Dakota Pipeline protests in southern North Dakota.

Yiannopoulos, a provocative public speaker and the technology editor for the "alt-right" news site Breitbart, was due to appear at the college on Dec. 16.

"We came to this conclusion on the grounds that we don’t have adequate funding to cover the cost of safety as well as time conflicts that were overlooked," Omar wrote.

Breitbart is seen as one of the major news providers for the so-called "alt-right" movement, which has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism, according to The Associated Press.

Omar told the Fargo Forum there had been "a lot of harassment" received since Yiannopolous' appearance was announced, and said that while "we were able to afford five officers ... we couldn't afford more."

Breitbart itself reported the event was canceled because NDSU had implemented a "large security fee increase" after apparent threats, but NDSU disputes this, telling the Forum: "The security fee that was presented to the organizers is standard for these types of events."

Omar, who himself said NDSU had been helpful arranging the event, told the newspaper he disagrees with most of Yiannopoulos' views, and had invited him to serve as a "cautionary tale" about intolerant speech.

Yiannopoulos, a British national who has courted controversy for his views on homosexuality (he, himself, is openly gay), Islam and feminism, commented on the cancelation on Saturday.

"Normally I have no problem being shot in the face by masked assailants but in this case we couldn't risk student safety," he wrote on Facebook. "I might have to go and visit these ridiculous troublemakers at the pipeline itself. Anyone know where I can buy a water cannon?"

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