The MSA had planned to fill up several rows in the school’s Freeborn Hall when Shoebat spoke (this they did -Chanman) in order to chant and drown him out. Using a cell phone, they intended to phone a member stationed outside the building to start a fire so as to empty the auditorium. What’s more, they had ample to reason to think that they could do so without penalty. Organizers and sponsors of the Shoebat speech, who included the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the UC Davis College Republicans and campus Hillel, were initially informed by the UC Davis campus police that were the MSA to interfere with the event, there was nothing to be done. It would be considered “freedom of speech.”Now I know why many of those Muslim students had red duct tape over their mouths with the word "SILENCED" written on the tape: they didn't get to shout down the speaker and set fires! If yelling the word "FIRE!" in a crowded theater is not considered to be free speech, then I doubt that setting a fire in order to stop someone from speaking would be considered free speech either. So why didn't the MSA students go ahead with their disruptive plan? Thank Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement:
That’s when the organizers decided to take action. They demanded that the MSA students be warned of the consequences if they did disrupt. An attorney and organizer also informed the university of legal statutes in California, upheld by the Supreme Court in a similar case that involved disruption of Martin Luther King Jr. while speaking during the Civil Rights Movement, and which provided the basis for arrest and prosecution. They further informed the school’s administration that the same rules applied in the university’s codes of conduct. Just prior to Shoebat’s speech, a student organizer notified the MSA that any intentional disruption would result in actual ar rests and prosecutions and would not be tolerated. The MSA remained silent throughout the entire speech and question period, choosing to walk out later midway through the event.So in the end, not only did the MSA students not walk the walk, but judging by their silent protest, they didn't talk the talk either. Fine by me.
Good Day to You, Sir