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Hundreds of student protesters at historically black Dillard University in New Orleans faced pepper spray and tasers as they attempted to enter the auditorium where Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke debated in the race for the U.S Senate in Louisiana.
The protests were led by student activist group Socially Engaged Dillard University Students, who sent a letter to university administrators after the announcement of Duke’s participation in the debate. “His presence on our campus is not welcome,” it read.
As the event was set to begin, student protesters surrounded the auditorium as police held them back with pepper spray and tasers.
A student journalist Nick Reimann from Loyola University of New Orleans said he saw “at least 50, maybe 100” protesters at one of the building’s entrances.
“Guys were jumping all over the place, just mace, pepper spray,” he said. “I literally can still taste the pepper spray.”
After the protests, the university tweeted that it respects students’ rights to protest, and that its primary focus would be the safety of the student body.

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