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11 arrested during NYU protest over Gavin McInnes event

By Andrew V. Pestano

Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The New York City Police Department said 11 people were arrested outside New York University on Thursday during a protest against conservative comedian Gavin McInnes.

The incident occurred outside of NYU's Kimmel Center for University Life where McInnes was scheduled to speak following an invitation from the NYU College Republicans.

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Those arrested face charges including drug possession, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration, police said.

The NYU Anti-Fascists group organized an event titled "Disrupt Gavin McInnes at NYU" prior to the incident.

"Come to Kimmel, Rosenthal Pavilion to let NYU know that we will not stand for bigotry, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny on our campus," the group wrote in a Facebook post.

Authorities said a scuffle occurred outside the building between protesters and police. Once McInnes entered the building, protesters followed him in attempts to interrupt his speaking engagement.

McInnes, co-founder of Vice who left the company in 2006, said he was hit with pepper spray.

"Thanks for asking if I'm OK guys. I was sprayed with pepper spray but being called a Nazi burned way more," McInnes wrote on Twitter.

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The NYU College Republicans said it was "disappointed that many students on this campus are so disrespectful when it comes to hearing opposing speakers."

"Our intention was not to advocate for McInnes' views, in fact many of us differ with him when it comes to certain ideas," the group wrote in a statement. "The purpose of this event was to promote free speech and NOT to promote certain ideas."

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