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How to Deal with Alt-Right “Free Speech” on Your College Campus

With instances like what happened Charlottesville becoming an increasingly terrifying reality in this country, how we respond is important. Although the debate remains lively around whether or not to engage in order to defend those oppressed but the alt-right, there are ways to make your voice heard without shouting it at those who disagree with it.

After many universities have turned away Milo Yiannopoulos and his alt-right propaganda, he’s not about to back down. He’s hosting “Free Speech Week” September 24-27 at UC Berkeley with Ann Coulter and Stephen Bannon. With a list of known right wing agitators set to speak, it’s sure to ignite waves of backlash from minority groups on campus.

In response, Southern Poverty Law Center has put together a guide for students, which they will present on September 19 at Berkeley’s MLK Jr Student Union. They’ll also be hosting a larger event on November 28 that focuses on “free speech and hate speech.”

The comprehensive guide, “The Alt-Right On Campus: What Students Need To Know” (https://www.splcenter.org/20170810/alt-right-campus-what-students-need-know) lays out everything from the brief history of the alt-right, their major players and why they’re targeting college campuses. It also lays out some safe and smart steps for students who wish to respond. Instead of fueling the

Plan Ahead
Know when the alt-right is coming to your school. Keep tabs on groups that would invite an alt-right speaker.

Research
Get to know the movement beyond its social media façade. Learn the meaning behind their message.

Organize Support
Approach campus minority groups to help raise awareness and perhaps tell their own stories of being targeted. Reach beyond to other groups (athletic, political, faculty, etc.) for support and come up with a plan of action.

Open Dialogue
Approach the group hosting the speaker, go to their meetings, take notes, and voice your concerns. Make it clear that your movement is not anti-Trump but anti-bigotry. Have minority groups express their fears, and ask them not to host the speaker.

Raise Awareness
Visit professors, specifically of diversity courses. Offer them brochures, and help them create a class assignment on the topic. Have your group go to the classes to speak.
Read the full guide as Southern Poverty Law Center (https://www.splcenter.org/20170810/alt-right-campus-what-students-need-know).

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