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Skip Milo Yiannopoulos talk and gather for community potlucks instead, SLO mayor says

As the community prepares for right-wing pundit Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk at Cal Poly on Tuesday, January 31, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon calls on the community to hold potlucks.
As the community prepares for right-wing pundit Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk at Cal Poly on Tuesday, January 31, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon calls on the community to hold potlucks.

As the community braces for controversial conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos’ talk Tuesday at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon is urging residents to spend the evening gathering for neighborhood potlucks instead.

“Milo is known for misogynistic, racist, hateful speech, and his goal is to divide people and communities,” Harmon wrote in an email. “But we know that unity and showing up for each other is more powerful.”

Yiannopoulos, a right-wing pundit, is a leading voice in the so-called “alt-right” movement — an offshoot of conservatism that mixes racism, populism and white nationalism. He is scheduled to appear from 7 to 9 p.m. at Spanos Theatre as part of his national “Dangerous Faggot” tour across college campuses.

At the same time, Cal Poly is holding an event called “Unite Cal Poly,” featuring sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell at the Performing Arts Center.

In the email, Harmon asks community members willing to host potlucks to create an event on social media or personally reach out to others.

“Let’s build a bigger table, not a higher wall,” she said. “Please consider reaching out to someone you don’t know, or someone who could use the extra support and solidarity right now.”

The email was sent out Saturday, in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban that blocked entry into the United States for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations. The ban has sparked widespread protests at airports across the country.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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