Fox News personality Tomi Lahren visited the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque on Thursday to address the students of the campus Turning Point USA chapter but was escorted to a safe place by New Mexico State Police after an angry mob entered the Student Union and pushed past the campus police, who were protecting the doors of the auditorium where she was speaking, and almost to the auditorium itself while yelling, “F**k Tomi Lahren! F**k Turning Point!”
Lahren, her father, and other participants of the TPUSA chapter were confined in a room of the university's student center for about 45 minutes, while police on campus brought in reinforcements from the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico State Police, according to an Instagram Live video Lahren posted shortly after getting out safe able.
Turning Point officials confirmed Lahren's account and sent a video of TPUSA chapter members to RedState.
Lahren's speech was promoted through the organization for several weeks and, as often occurs, the anti-free expression/anti-free thought group declared their displeasure publicly and threatened to take action. On the video, Lahren claimed she had heard whispers of a protest, however she believed it would be much less.
Usually it’s small, it’s manageable, just some rowdy people, disgruntled liberals, you know, the standard.
So, a protest started. We were in a room. They were outside, of course, screaming and chanting the F word, disgusting things. And then it turned violent. They started pushing the officers that were guarding the door, trying to bust in the door. I don’t know what they were trying to do to me and to the others that were there listening to the speech, but they tried to bust through the doors. Then at one point they almost made it through the door….
Not nearly enough officers were present. I don’t think anybody knew it was going to be this bad. But then somebody pulled the fire alarm. Alarms were going off everywhere and we’re all basically barricaded in this room, can’t leave. I was escorted away for my safety by officers. Then we heard reports of shots fired. apparently no shots were fired, so thank goodness for that.
Lahren's concern wasn't for herself, but rather for the students.
University of New Mexico, apparently they don’t care. They don’t care that students’ lives were endangered, guests lives were endangered. Like, never mind me. You do have your tuition-paying students that were in that room to listen to a speaker, and they were in danger. We were all in danger.
As the compilation of video clips of UNM Turning Point USA chapter members illustrates, campus police who were outside the auditorium nearly weren't able to stop the crowd from getting inside.
Then the state police had to be called. The emergency unit had to be called in because that’s how bad it got. We were barricaded in the kitchen for probably about a half an hour to 45 minutes. My dad was with me, and with the TPUSA people, a couple of the college people, barricaded in a back room having to wait for State Police to get there to be escorted away and get out of this city.
The protests themselves are one thing, but the uncontrollable anger and total disrespect for school officials displayed by protesters (Not all of the protesters were student protesters because some of the reporters who covered the protests have stated that community groups were involved in helping create the protests with the campus organizations) elevated it to the highest stage. As Lahren says:
I am dumbfounded that people could be so disgusting, so violent, so evil to their fellow classmates. Never mind me, if you don’t like me… but the fact that they were doing that and threatening violence and trying to not only push, shove officers, but also, you know, hurt their fellow classmates, that’s disgusting and disturbing on a whole other level. And what’s even worse is that these people feel that they can get away with that. They are so emboldened because they know that the university isn’t going to do anything.
They had to call in Albuquerque Police and New Mexico State Police. That’s how bad it got. But the university doesn’t give support to their officers, doesn’t make sure that people that are at the university are safe.
But if somebody did get hurt, that is on — certainly on the head of University of New Mexico, who quite frankly doesn’t care, apparently, about their students if they’re conservative….I am so disgusted.
They believed that because Lahren's speech occurred in the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, that the speech was planned as a sort of insult at Hispanic or “indigenous” students. One man, who was previously part of the school newspaper, chose to invade the speech to earn some sort of badge of honor.
Another student, during the first time she protested as an adult, thought that chanting “Black Lives Matter” was the ideal method to get the point that “Tomi Lahren is not welcome on indigenous land” across.
The self-described organizer boasted about how it “kicked Tomi Lahren out of UNM campus and it took less than an hour of disruption,” but appeared to add more of a threat with “Get your a** back to the airport tonight. F**k you. Go home. You are not wanted here, you racist f**k. Get out!”
UNM student, and Turning Point USA supporter Zach Moore stated:
As a student and long-time supporter of Turning Point USA, I am saddened at how this event turned out. For the safety of our speaker, club officers, and attendees our event was cut short after a group of protesters attempted to violently enter the room. I am all about free speech, but threatening a group of fellow students and individuals is unacceptable.
I would like to thank the University of New Mexico Police Department for protecting all attendees at the event, as well as Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico State Police, and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. This event showed the power Turning Point USA at UNM has in affecting a deep blue state as New Mexico in fighting for what we believe in.