A bunch of angry protesters stormed through the doors during a speech by Peter Thiel on Wednesday at UC Berkeley, ultimately shutting down the lecture halfway through the evening’s event.
Thiel was speaking at an event hosted by the Berkeley Forum, a student organisation at UC Berkeley.
But after about 20 minutes, protesters came banging on the doors, interrupting the speech multiple times. A sense of panic seemed to be overtaking the surprised audience, but Thiel went on and continued through the Q&A.
At about 7:30 p.m. PT, the sound of protests and door banging got louder. The entire crowd at Wheeler Hall turned eerily silent — until one male student suddenly rose up and yelled at Thiel.
“F–k you!” the guy shouted as he walked out of the hall.
After a few seconds of silence, Thiel, in his quiet, calm voice, said: “This is really a classic Berkeley event today — this is so cool!”
Although Thiel insisted on going on with the Q&A, the protests got too loud at that point. Moments later, the doors finally gave in and protesters took over the stage.
The protesters held signs of “Ferguson” and “Black lives matter.” Some shouted, “NSA’s got to go!”
The crowd booed the protesters and shouted “Peter Thiel matters!”
By then, Thiel was already gone.
Protests in Berkeley, California, and nearby Oakland have been going on since Nov. 24, when a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, in Ferguson, Missouri. They picked up again a few days ago after a similar decision not to indict the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner while trying to arrest him. According to InsideBayArea, Wednesday’s protest started at Berkeley High School at about 2:30 p.m.
Here are some photos from the event: