- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The University of New Mexico has told its College Republicans organization it must pay a security charge for a scheduled campus appearance by far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos (yuh-NAH’-poh-lihs).

The school’s College Republicans have been ordered to pay $3,400 for the Jan. 27 event, The Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/2j9lJnx ).

UNM College Republicans President Marina Herrera called the charge a “free speech fine” and accused to university of attempting to censor the controversial speaker. She said the group was notified of the fee too late to gather the funds.

“To wait this long to inform us is either poor management or a deliberate attempt to silence speech at a public university,” Herrera said. “Neither possibility is acceptable and we continue to hope that we can come to a workable solution.”

UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said the group was given an estimated cost Jan. 10. She denied claims that this is a censorship issue and said all student groups are responsible for the security costs of their events. She could not immediately provide security charges for other speaking events on campus.

Anderson said additional security could be needed for the Yiannopoulos event because there are planned protests at UNM and were previous protests at other campus speaking events he has attended.

Yiannopoulos writes for right-wing Breitbart News and is permanently banned from Twitter after leading a harassment campaign. He is speaking at colleges nationwide as part of a tour.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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