Controversial speaker at UM met with protests

Mike Adams a professor and columnist sits and answers questions during a one on one interview 

Protesters lined up outside the Dennison Theater at the University of Montana to protest conservative speaker Mike Adams.

Adams is a professor at University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a columnist for

Adams was originally invited by the founder of the Jeff Cole Legacy Fund to speak at the journalism school, but faculty objected to him being chosen, and the journalism school chose not to sponsor the event.

Austin Wallis was one of the protestors. “I’m here to protest his inflammatory and hateful rhetoric,” said Wallis, a first-year law student at UM.

Adams understands the protests but feels he is being targeted at times.

“What is hate speech? I honestly think a lot of the opposition to me better fits into the category of hate speech, and a lot of it promotes prejudices and stereotypes that are ugly,” said Adams.

During his lecture he had as many as five people escorted out. Adams wasn’t sure if the protesters were going to make it into the auditorium.

“It has happened before, but that is certainly the exception, so we haven’t had a lot of hecklers veto issues, so we’ll see. I think that they will be there; I would expect protesters outside -- a number of them -- and not sure if they will participate in the question and answer, I would hope they would,” said Adams.

Wallis knows it’s freedom of speech, but she still doesn’t support Adams’ stance on women.

“He has a history of pretty inflammatory and hateful remarks, but he has the right to believe. I just stand vehemently opposed to what he’s said and what he’s done putting down immigrants and women,” said Wallis.

This was the 10th anniversary of the Jeff Cole Distinguished Lecturer. Founder Maria Cole is contemplating if she is going to continue this next year.

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