CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — At least 100 protesters walked out on former congressman Tom Tancredo as he spoke Monday night on the values of Western culture at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The group stood in unison, yelling, "No human is illegal," before moving outside the Student Union and into the Pit, a concrete courtyard at the center of campus activity.
Kevin Deanna, founder of Youth for Civilization, the national group that sponsored Tancredo's speech, laughed loudly at the group's statement.
As the demonstrators filed out of the union auditorium, Tancredo said fear of debate was driving them away.
"No one here is afraid of you," one yelled.
But most were silent.
"They're welcome [to leave], but there's nothing democratic about this," Tancredo said. "Believe me, this is a lot better than last time."
Of the fewer than 100 left behind, most shared Tancredo's pro-Western perspective. But when he suggested that conservative student activists never behave as badly as those who broke a window and disrupted his speech last spring, another protester shouted, "No, you lynched people."
"I'm glad that they showed what they really do believe in, and that's censorship," Tancredo went on.
Thirty-six UNC public safety and Chapel Hill Police officers guarded the auditorium, four times as many officers as those who forced about 30 protesters out of Bingham Hall last spring.
Last year, officers threatened demonstrators with a Taser weapon and dispersed them with pepper spray.
After the protesters left, Tancredo continued his speech and answered questions from a supportive audience.
"I kind of wish some of the opposers would have stayed around and had some ideas exchanged with him," said Daryl Ann Dunigan, YWC's campus leader.
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