Disruptive campus protests strand students who came to hear conservative speaker

Disruptive campus protests strand students who came to hear conservative speaker

Hundreds of angry protesters made it difficult for students to enter the location for a speech by conservative Matt Walsh, and temporarily blocked them from leaving the location after the speech ended. This impaired access to Walsh’s “What is a Woman?” speech and discouraged students from attending any future speech by a conservative on campus.

The College Fix reports that “Demonstrators chanted and screamed at attendees waiting in line for more than an hour for the event to start, repeatedly clapping and yelling “f*ck you fascists” and other slogans in their direction, according to videos posted on Twitter. They also threw massive piles of marbles on the floor in an attempt to trip Walsh supporters. Later they blocked the exit and street outside the venue after the talk was over. A pro-LGBTQ supporter who documented the entire protest on Twitter stated ‘Event is over and protestors are blocking the only way out for most of them. Cops can’t do shit. Hundreds of people in the way. Matt Walsh attendees are extremely mad that they’re stranded. Crying to the cops who are powerless.’”

Another observer noted that “a protester dropped thousands of marbles near one exit and forced all the angry chuds to file through one exit and through a gauntlet of screaming protestors,” posting a photo.

The College Fix says there was “a massive throng of protesters blocking and shutting down the street and front of the building where Walsh spoke.” Protesters accused Matt Walsh of being in favor of pedophilia, and “held aloft rainbow flags, all the while rhythmically chanting slogans like ‘trans rights are human rights.’”

The speech itself was insulated from the protests, enabling students who managed to get in to hear Walsh’s speech and his documentary, which was screened at the event. He spoke a standing-room only crowd of more than 500 people inside a campus auditorium.

“The speech went amazing,” said Jasmyn Jordan of Iowa Young Americans for Freedom, which hosted the event. Nobody inside the auditorium shouted Walsh down or walked out.

However, when Jordan and fellow members of her group set up a table on campus the day prior to the event, one protester slapped coffee out of her peer’s hand, and another person threw a ton of water over their entire table, dousing their sign-up sheet and other equipment.

Many University of Iowa students claimed Walsh’s presence on campus was harmful, according to the Daily Iowan:

Leading up to Walsh’s event … students, and citizens chalked supportive messages for transgender people on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway and released multiple Change.org petitions against Walsh which garnered almost 4,000 signatures.

The UI Undergraduate Student Government wrote in a statement Wednesday that its members will continue to work with campus stakeholders to address an increase of transphobia and queerphobia on campus.

“We recognize that recent local and nationwide events are targeting transgender individuals and may cause distress and/or harm to members of our student body,” USG wrote.

UI second-year student Greyson Durian said as a transgender individual, Matt Walsh’s rhetoric is harmful.

“I think something needs to be done about it, and I think it’s awful that the university has allowed him in,” Durian said.

Iowa Young Americans for Freedom, which hosted Walsh’s speech, has had its members doxxed, harassed, and threatened, according to The College Fix.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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