Billionaire libertarian iconoclast Peter Thiel was reportedly chased off stage Wednesday evening at UC Berkeley. He was giving a presentation organized by The Berkeley Forum, a student-run organization that brings experts form a diversity of fields to speak at the college, when protesters began banging on the auditorium doors about 20 minutes into his Q&A.
At one moment when the auditorium was rather quiet, a man shouted "F--k you!" at Thiel, rose from his seat and left. Thiel was his usual cool self, saying, "This is really a classic Berkeley event today — this is so cool!" Shortly thereafter, protesters overtook the stage, and Thiel was forced out. The protesters held signs from stage touting Ferguson-related slogans and "Black Lives Matter," even chanting "NSA's got to go!"
— Douglas Lucas (@DouglasLucas) December 11, 2014
I almost guarantee protestors shutting down Thiel will be world news by tomorrow am. #berkeleyprotests
— luasol38 (@luasol38) December 11, 2014
Thiel doesn't have anything to do with the racially tense killings of black people at the hands of police, but area protesters have been going strong in Oakland since Nov. 24, when Darren Wilson went unindicted for shooting Michael Brown to death. When the officer who killed Eric Garner similarly went unindicted a few days ago, it stoked protester ire again, and they likely saw Thiel's event as a high-profile happening where they could draw attention to the issue.
— Adrienne Shih (@adrienneshih) December 11, 2014