Skip to main content

What happened at Ben Shapiro's University of Minnesota speech?

The controversial conservative speaker spoke in St. Paul on Monday.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

What's happening?

Conservative speaker Ben Shapiro spoke before students at the University of Minnesota on Monday night.

His sold-out appearance stoked some controversy before his arrival, with organizers of the Young America's Foundation (YAF) accusing the U of M of relegating his speech to a "cow campus" venue in St. Paul.

It even threatened to a lawsuit against the U of M over the choice of venue.

Shapiro is a former Breitbart writer turned editor and founder of the right-wing site The Daily Wire. He's a prominent conservative speaker and author of multiple books.

What did Shapiro say?

Among the areas he touched upon was discussing the virtues of capitalism versus the evils of socialism, attempting to debunk transgenderism and a suggestion that America's poverty issues are small relative to the rest of the world.

You can watch his full speech here.

The event was protested outside

Shapiro's appearance led to dozens of students picketing the event in opposition, though it was a modest demonstration with students outnumbered by police.

There were few problems like those seen when controversial conservative speakers have appeared notably at the University of Berkeley in California.

The Pioneer Press reports there was little conflict "beyond chanting and the occasional heated chat."

Around 80 people were in attendance, where they were monitored by 100 members of law enforcement.

FOX 9 reports students claimed Shapiro had previously made racist and homophobic remarks and his views aren't representative of their diverse student body.

Protesters were called 'snowflakes'

Yes, the protest outside prompted a rather inevitable reaction from officers of the national YAF.

Next Up


Lawless Distilling in south Minneapolis abruptly closes its doors

The company stated "the wear and tear of the pandemic has taken its toll."


Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.


What happened at the Minnesota Capitol last night?

The legislative session came to an end – here's how things stand.

What was Paul Ryan doing in Minnesota?

The House Speaker from Wisconsin paid a visit across the border on Monday.

YouTuber Lauren Southern's University of Minnesota event met with 200 protesters

Lauren Southern is considered a conservative commentator by fans – and an alt-right troll by critics.

doctor, blood work, needle

What is Minnesota's provider tax and what happens if it goes away?

The tax is due to sunset, and Democrats want to keep it, but Republicans don't.

What happened at Rep. Erik Paulsen's town halls?

The 3rd District Congressman has been criticized for not meeting constituents in a town hall setting.

What Donald Trump said about Minnesota during his rally

The president spoke to a packed house at the Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

What happens if a missile is heading toward Minnesota?

How you'd be warned, and what you should do afterward.