It was supposed to be a civilized discussion about the 1st Amendment, which you will find was very apropos considering what happened. Read articles by Mesa Examiner and Arizona Republic for late breaking news articles. It won’t be difficult to find many other videos of the event if you Google for it. KTAR posted a complete video of the forum while CBS5, ABC15, and most other local TV stations had coverage.
I joined the pro Arpaio and anti-illegal immigration protesters outside the Cronkite building. We weren’t allowed inside for reasons not explained. However, hordes of radical lefties were allowed to enter the event even though they were holding signs and looking for trouble.
What a knuckleheaded decision it was to allow them in!
Most of the protesters allowed inside were na??ve ASU students (almost all white) and plenty of snarling Latinos who were orchestrating the whole thing. Outside there were some communists like Salvador Reza, more angry Latinos, and young Mexican kids. Lately at protests there has been a trend for the Latinos to bus in young Mexican kids from Catholic elementary schools. Some of them even came with their screaming mothers.
We were greatly outnumbered and the Phoenix police weren't prepared to handle the crowd if violence broke out. I disagree with the ASU student journalist Derek Quizon who claims there was only 20 of us — I estimate we had at least 25.
Fortunately except for a few minor skirmishes and lots of yelling nothing really bad happened. The Latinos were slowly forcing us backwards towards the street by crowding us. When it was obvious we weren’t going to be pushed anymore the police lined up to form a barrier to keep the Latinos from advancing further. This face to face confrontation shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. Police had no visible riot gear so I wasn’t sure what they would do if the crowd got unruly. I started looking around for an exit plan but noticed the Latinos were gathering behind us until the police made them move.
Watch this video to see the last several minutes of the forum at the ABC15 TV website, or go to the 45 minute mark of the KTAR video for a higher quality copy. It's the best part of the event but unfortunately the video quality is lousy and the noise from the audience is not miked properly so it’s not easy to hear the complete mayhem the protesters were causing even before their main outburst.
The three professors managed to waste a lot of time by asking very mundane and bland questions for about 45 minutes of the scheduled one hour event. The discussion started to get more heated towards the end and that’s when the jeering audience got out of control.
Be sure to notice what happens when the Cronkite Dean, Christopher Callahan [email], tries to reason with the noisy crowd — and also notice there was so many of them they were hanging off the stair railings.
Dean Callahan’s pleas for civility were ignored by the Arpaio hecklers. Arpaio was about to leave the circus but was convinced to stay there while the professors and the Dean tried to get control.
The next mistake was made by Callahan who tried to reason with the crowd. Sheriff Joe made a snide but true remark that most of them weren't students, but that didn't stop Callahan from trying.
I’m not sure why the Dean didn’t assert control by having police eject the troublemakers. Maybe by that time he thought it was too late, or maybe it was his decision to invite them in. Whatever his reasoning, he looked like a pestered parent that couldn’t control their bratty kids.
Many journalism students weren't happy with the situation either because they got ripped off their big chance become famous by outwitting Arpaio — not that their fantasy could ever happen. Na??ve open-border academics at ASU learned what street politics on immigration is really like. One could only hope that they got a good lesson on what the 1st Amendment really means. I doubt they are smart enough to learn from their mistakes however, because ASU has been taken over by open-border liberals and ACLU sympathizers.
A student quoted in the Arizona Republic thinks Arpaio got off the hook. The toughest sheriff in America didn’t need any help because he had was doing just fine before the interruptions.
"I felt that the protestors were really out of place by not allowing the journalists to finish questioning him," said Gabrielle Abrams, a Cronkite student. "In protesting Arpaio, they helped him out by letting him leave 20 minutes early."When the event ended the radicals streamed out of the building while chanting, ”We won! We won!” What a slap in the face towards the saps at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism who allowed them into the building!
Standing on the sidelines, us Arpaio supporters thought the victory chants from the ungrateful attendees were poetic justice at its finest because Dean Callahan and his professors got a big tamale pie thrown in their face.