2 arrested at university Shapiro speech protest
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Taking a page out of Berkeley’s book, the University of Utah ramped up security Wednesday for an appearance by conservative provocateur Ben Shapiro that drew vocal but largely peaceful protests.
Two people were arrested from a crowd of about 300 outside the venue as scuffles broke out between protesters and counter-demonstrators, said university police Chief Dale Brophy.
Though Utah doesn’t have a history of free speech protests and violence like the University of California, Berkeley — a liberal bastion and the birthplace of the American free speech movement — officials at Utah’s flagship college didn’t want to take any chances amid a climate of heightened political tensions.
The University of Utah leans more liberal than the rest of the conservative state, much like Salt Lake City, where it’s located. The city has had some unrest during protests in recent years against police shootings and white extremism as well as at a Donald Trump campaign rally.