Carolina Chancellor Apologizes for Speech Disruption

April 16, 2009

Protesters disrupted a speech Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by former Rep. Tom Tancredo, a leader of the movement to limit benefits to those who do not have the legal right to live in the United States. Video posted on YouTube shows the incident, which led Tancredo to stop his talk. Holden Thorp, chancellor at Chapel Hill, called Tancredo to apologize for the incident Friday. Thorp issued a statement Wednesday strongly condemning the protest for blocking the talk, and vowing that the incident would be investigated. "We expect protests about controversial subjects at Carolina. That's part of our culture," he said. "But we also pride ourselves on being a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard. There's a way to protest that respects free speech and allows people with opposing views to be heard. Here that's often meant that groups protesting a speaker have displayed signs or banners, silently expressing their opinions while the speaker had his or her say. That didn't happen last night."

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