Penn State cancels Proud Boys founder’s speech, citing the threat of violence


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By Bill Chappell, NPR

A man wearing a Proud Boys shirt fights with protesters ahead of an event featuring far-right group Proud Boys’ founder Gavin McInnes at Pennsylvania State University. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Citing “the threat of escalating violence,” Penn State University canceled a campus event featuring Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes Monday night. Pepper spray hung in the air as protesters and counter-protesters confronted each other and helmeted police wielded batons on the campus.

The event had an 8 p.m. start time, but by 7:15 p.m., the university said its police department deemed the event too dangerous to proceed.

It was an abrupt reversal for the school, which had condemned the views of McInnes and another far-right figure, Alex Stein, even as it said free speech concerns required it to host them for a student-organized event in State College, Pa.

Learn more about this decision change.

This extremist group became known during Trump’s presidency, and they have resurfaced time and again.

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