KGOU

Boren To Protestors: 'Get Off This Campus Immediately'

Nov 17, 2016

More than 100 students, faculty, and staff members gathered on the University of Oklahoma's South Oval Wednesday in opposition to an anti-Black Lives Matter and anti-Islamic protest. OU President David Boren ordered the group to leave campus, or face arrest.

A small group of so-called street preachers have come to the campus before. This time, the group took aim at sensitive issues around the country, holding signs reading “BLM Are Racist Thugs” and “Muhammad is the devil.”  

Through the day students began getting agitated at the group, and campus police had taped off an area to separate protestors and students. By the time Boren arrived, over 100 people had gathered.

With a bullhorn in hand, OU President David Boren stood on a bench surrounded by students, less than 20 yards from the protestors. 

"You have no place to be here, you have no right to incite violent acts," Boren said.

WATCH: Boren's full remarks. The video does contain graphic language.

Boren ordered the protestors to stay on the sidewalk, threatening arrest by campus police if they stepped on to university property.

He pleaded with students to not become violent with the group's leader, James Gilles. He told the crowd Gilles has traveled to other campuses trying to start physical altercations.

"We are not going to fall for people, in a time in our country when we need to have people love each other, accept each other, know that they are brothers and sisters, know that we are all created by the same God," Boren said. "So get off our campus, stay off."

Gilles told the students that he has sued 30 other campus for civil rights violations after being removed from campus.

After Boren spoke, OU Police and staff members linked arms to escort the group off of campus.

The university's spokesman, Corbin Wallace, said the protestors left campus voluntarily and their return will be contingent on them not creating a dangerous situation.

"The university is a place which upholds and protects free speech within public forums under the first amendment," Wallace said. "But it will not allow non-student outside agitators  to create a potentially dangerous situation." 

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.