Republican students at a New Hampshire Ivy League college say the school’s administration has deserted them and has made false and embarrassing allegations against them in order to avoid bad publicity by canceling an event under heavy protest by far-left extremist group Antifa.
The live event scheduled at Dartmouth College was called “Extremism in America” and was to feature conservative personality Andy Ngo, who has been violently attacked by Antifa in the past.
Antifa and its sympathizers made several threats against the event, including offering money to anyone who assaulted Ngo. A local group known as Dartmouth Anarchists also posted violent insinuations about the event on social media.
“So long as we stand, Dartmouth will never be a safe space for [right-wingers] to spew their misinformation. Wear black to show your solidarity and hide your identity!” one member of the group wrote on Twitter.
The event was hosted by Dartmouth College Republicans. Club President Griffin Mackey told The Epoch Times that local and state police were well prepared for any violence from the group and had a SWAT team in place before the event began.
“Moore Hall may have been the safest place in all of New Hampshire,” Mackey said.
Just hours before Ngo was about to take stage, school administrators ordered the live event to be transitioned to a virtual-only event. The university later issued a statement blaming the move on failures by the College Republicans.
“In light of concerning information from Hanover police regarding safety issues, similar concerns expressed by the College Republican leadership, and challenges with the student organization’s ability to staff a large public event and communicate effectively (including dissemination of the visitor policy and a prohibition of bags in the building), the College has requested that the Extremism in America panel be moved online,” the university said in a statement.
However, emails exchanged between Anna Hall, senior assistant dean for student life at Dartmouth, and the College Republicans show that the student group had sent out emails to registered attendees days before that emphasized that backpacks wouldn’t be allowed at the event and that student ID would be strictly required. The group also posted notices on the college’s online bulletin and around campus, the emails show.
Mackey told The Epoch Times that he believes the real reason the college canceled the event was to avoid “bad publicity” and any potential fallout from it.
Chloe Ezzo, vice president of the Dartmouth College Republicans, noted that Hall made an arbitrary last-minute request for the group to provide additional staffing, as if she was trying to create “reasons” to cancel the event.
After the cancellation, members of Dartmouth Anarchists took to social media and declared “victory.”
“By going virtual on such a short notice, they seriously disrupted our event, embarrassed our organization, and created a roadmap for derailing these kinds of activities,” Mackey told the Epoch Times.
New Hampshire State Police, Hall, and other college administrators didn’t respond to requests for comments.
In a 2021 evaluation of free speech on college campuses, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), gave Dartmouth College a “C” in Free Speech.
Despite protests, the school didn’t cancel a scheduled live appearance in 2021 by Madison Cawthorn, who would later become the youngest U.S. Congressman to be elected. During his speech, the Democratic Socialist Club at Dartmouth College chanted obscenities at police.
However, Antifa and its sympathizers made it clear that it was prepared to wage an aggressive protest against Ngo.
A couple of days before the event, the Green Mountain John Brown Gun Club posted on social media that it had “called up reserves” of “Antifa super soldiers” to be present for it.
And in a Twitter post just a few days earlier, Antifa member Jonathan Dylan Chase offered money to anyone “who managed to assault Ngo” during his Dartmouth appearance.
Chase is a member of the Portland, Oregon-based Rose City Antifa, charged with violently attacking Ngo in 2019. In a video captured by a local reporter, a group of demonstrators can be seen dousing Ngo with a milkshake, punching him, and yelling at him in an unprovoked attack.