USM students protest as state legislator speaks on campus

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Protests took place Thursday night at the University of Southern Maine, as a state legislator openly opposed to immigration spoke at the Portland campus.

Protestors say their frustration is just as much with State Legislator Larry Lockman's views, as it is with the school for giving him a platform to share them.

The event is held jointly by the USM Young Americans for Freedom and the College Republicans.

It's titled, “Alien Invasion: Fixing the immigration crisis."

Lockman discussed issues involving illegal immigrants in the United States. While protestors are angry that the school is hosting the event, the Maine GOP is applauding the decision.

USM Public Affairs Executive Director Bob Stein says the school's president doesn't share the views of the speaker, but he is owed the right to speak by the constitution.

"We do expect it to be peaceful outside or inside and if it's inside certainly protesters certainly have a right to challenge the content of Representative Lockman says they will be question and answer and that certainly appropriate," Stein said.

Along with the protests outside, the school is hosting a discussion on free speech at the Woodbury Amphitheatre.

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