On Christmas Eve, Providence mayoral candidate Chris Young opened a letter from Brown Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Mark Porter. Just a week before his arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct stemming from November's health care forum in Andrews Hall, the Democratic candidate learned he was also banned from entering Brown's campus.
Young, a Narragansett man who drew the attention of television crews earlier this year with his vocal disruption of October's rally against "Fall Weekend" on the Main Green, used "threatening, disruptive, and loud language" at November's health care forum when he refused to relinquish the microphone during the question-and-answer session, according to a Providence Police report.
Young also threw a video at Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., one of the panelists, according to the report. Young said the video was "Maafa 21," which features graphic scenes of abortions. A video Young's girlfriend took of the incident shows Kennedy nodding at him, accepting his request to see the pro-life video, Young said.
"He wanted the video," Young told The Herald. "The Brown security Nazi came to try to take it away from him, but he wanted it."
Young also said the mainstream media has greatly sensationalized the incident, which he said his video shows to be relatively calm. He cited one Providence Journal article stating that police "scrambled to intercept him" when he approached Kennedy, which Young said was not what his video showed.
Despite warnings from forum officials to curtail his remarks and give others a chance to speak, Young "continued to be disruptive for approximately 30 or more seconds," according to the police report, at which point the forum's moderator, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Edward Wing, asked the police to remove Young.
The report said Young resisted officers' attempts to "gently escort him" from the forum, instead sitting down on the floor while continuing to yell. Young said his video of the incident shows that his legs were in fact pulled out from below him by police.
Brown and Providence police forces then arrested and removed Young forcibly from the forum in handcuffs.
Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn said that though "the free and open exchange of ideas" is a "core value of the University," Young was infringing on those same "rights of others to participate in this public, open forum."
Young said in an interview that his right to free speech had been "repressed."
The notice not to trespass that he received on Christmas Eve was dated Dec. 4 and prohibits him from entering "the campus of Brown University" and "any Brown University building and property owned or leased by Brown University."
"They have restricted my ability to go on federal highways, public roads, and on any properties that — I have no idea what properties they own or lease," the Providence mayoral candidate said. "I am literally afraid of entering the city of Providence because of this letter."
"How do you campaign in a city you can't enter?" Young said.
Quinn said Young is not prohibited from traveling on public streets.
She also said the restriction will continue "until the Department of Public Safety deems that the individual is no longer a threat to the safety and security of the campus."
According to Quinn, if the University were to host an event for candidates for public office, he would be allowed to enter the campus. If he had other business on campus as a mayoral candidate, he could contact DPS, and they would evaluate his request to be on campus.
Young said Brown's restriction was motivated by political reasons due to his outspoken stances on taxation of universities, armament of police and President Simmons' seat on the Goldman Sachs board of directors.
In the meantime, Young has pleaded not guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct. At his trial in three weeks, Young will be defended by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based pro-life law center. Young said he plans to appeal the case if found guilty.