More than 300 people – including both students and non-students – protested an event last night organized by the University’s chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom called “Terrorism: The World’s Greatest Threat.”

Billed as a lecture by three ex-terrorists, the event drew opposition from several student groups and the Michigan office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

A large crowd gathered outside of the Rackham Building an hour before the event’s scheduled 7 p.m. start. Flashes of yellow shirts worn by the protesters showed through the winter coats of many in the crowd.

A half hour before the event, YAF Chair Andrew Boyd shouted “We’re ready!” and the doors to the auditorium opened. The aisles filled immediately with people in yellow shirts, who had gathered early for the event.

As the protesters rushed to fill seats, already-seated YAF members stuck their feet out into the aisles.

After the initial surge, seats continued to fill steadily.

By the time the event began, protesters make up about a quarter of the audience.

Once the auditorium reached capacity, YAF Vice President Ryan Fantuzzi took the microphone.

“I ask those who would like to disrupt this event to leave as soon as possible,” he said. “There are many who support peace and freedom who would like your seat.”

But the protesters didn’t get up.


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