Johnson Heckled and Booed During University Speech

( – Columbia University is the site of massive protests against the war in Gaza. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) decided to jump into the fray and hold a press conference at the New York City school recently. During his speech, protesters made it very clear they did not want him there, going so far as to tell him to “get the **** off our campus.”

On April 24, Johnson traveled to Columbia University to meet with Jewish students. The speaker called on the school’s president, Minouche Shafik, to step down. He blamed her for not getting the protests under control. She previously authorized the New York Police Department (NYPD) to arrest Jewish protesters and others who’d set up an encampment at the school. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) daughter was detained as a result.

The protests have continued despite the arrests. They’re also taking place at campuses in Florida, California, Texas, and elsewhere. Police in Texas and California have taken an aggressive approach to stop the demonstrations. They have been compared to the Ohio Army National Guard troops who fired on anti-war protesters at Kent State in 1970, killing four. The 54th anniversary of that shooting is a week away on May 4.

Johnson called the protests “dangerous” and dismissed allegations that stifling the protesters was an attack on the First Amendment. He said he and the Republican lawmakers who accompanied him respected free speech and differing ideas, “but there is a way to do that in a lawful manner,” and that’s not happening.

The House speaker’s remarks were repeatedly interrupted by boos and jeers from the crowd. At one point during a question and answer portion of the presser, people interrupted him and chanted, “Mike, you suck!” Johnson responded to them by telling them to “enjoy [their] free speech.”

During an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, he said he wasn’t surprised that the protesters didn’t want to hear what he had to say. He explained that he was “calling out their activities,” and that upset them.

The congressman said he met with Shafik and told her that she needs to “take immediate action and stamp this out” to restore order.

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