UCLA student claims 'civil discourse' promotes fascism
A UCLA student with a history of disrupting campus lectures recently defended her actions by arguing that shouting down speakers is a form of “nonviolent protest.”
Tala Deloria, a University of California, Los Angeles student who is also an organizer for the group Refuse Fascism, contends in an op-ed for The Daily Bruin that since one “cannot have civil discourse with fascists,” that “nonviolent protests” are paramount.
Whereas most people think of “nonviolent protests” as rallies or holding signs up, Deloria takes a different approach. To her, shouting down speakers, disrupting events, and blocking highways are her form of “nonviolent protests.”
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Citing groups like Young Americans for Freedom and the Family Research Council, Deloria asserts that attempting to engage in civil discourse with conservatives merely “serves to fan the flames of fascism.”
Deloria has a history of shouting down speakers. Just last week, Deloria played a prominent role in shutting down a panel on free speech, stealing the microphone during the Q&A and refusing to give it back, according to The Jewish Journal.
“This panel is bull—-,” she said. “There is a fascist in the White House, and you’re normalizing it by talking about [hate speech] in the abstract. People are dying in the streets.”
When Deloria refused to stop talking, event organizers had to cut off the microphone, and campus security guards intervened, urging her to leave. Instead, she sat down in the auditorium aisle to resist being ejected from the theater, and allegedly had a small physical altercation with a guard.
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In addition, The Daily Bruin reports that Deloria was arrested by the California State Highway Patrol in 2015 for blocking traffic on the 405 Freeway in California. At that time, she was leader of the school’s UCLA Revolutionary Club, which supports the Revolutionary Communist Party, an American communist group founded in 1975.
“Sometimes civil disobedience is necessary to send a message,” Deloria remarked after her arrest.
In her recent op-ed, Deloria defends her role in disrupting the recent panel on free speech at UCLA, adding that she was “proud” to do so.
“These people make no distinction between those advocating for and those opposing reactionary ideas with state backing, and make the harmful argument that we need to hear each other out,” she declares.
Deloria ends her op-ed by asserting that “civil discourse” is not sufficient to oust Trump out of the White House, saying, “Pretending civil discourse will solve anything in this context only serves to put people on the defensive while the regime steamrolls over people’s lives and rights.”
Campus Reform reached out to Deloria for comment, but did not receive a response.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen