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DePaul cancels conservative’s speech

DePaul University has revoked its invitation for conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro to address students on campus.

The private university in Chicago told the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter that Shapiro, 32, will not be permitted to enter the campus due to “security concerns.”

“Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Ben Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time,” wrote Bob Janis, DePaul’s vice president of operations.

Shapiro responded with a post on Twitter Monday morning that called those in power at DePaul “cowards.” He also invited those opposed to the decision to write to DePaul’s dean of students, David Miller.

Last February, California State University attempted to block Shapiro from speaking on campus, but the former Breitbart columnist showed up anyway. Angry protesters pulled a fire alarm and blocked doors to the event, which led police to escort Shapiro off campus for his own safety.

The Young Americas Foundation released a statement late Monday morning that blamed the left for DePaul’s decision to cancel Shapiro’s speech and warned it would limit constitutional freedoms.

“For the past six months we have worked with Ben on a high-profile tour of college campuses and witnessed with our own eyes the vicious and threatening behavior of tyrannical leftists who have been programmed by progressive administrators to silence all speech they disagree with — If DePaul cannot trust its delicate liberal snowflake students and administrators to allow Ben to speak his mind safely and freely, it has utterly failed in its mission to ‘[foster] a community that welcomes open discourse.’

“If DePaul does not reverse its decision to ban Ben, it must immediately remove any claim to support free speech and expression from its website and marketing materials or become a fraudulent laughingstock,” the statement concluded.

DePaul recently blocked Breitbart commentator Milo Yiannopoulos from attending a College Republicans event, arguing that his presence would lead to a “hostile environment.”

In an earlier visit in May for a speaking event, Yainnopoulos’s podium was stormed by protesters and his microphone was stolen.

The Hill has reached out to Shapiro for further comment.

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