Peaceful pro-Kavanaugh demonstration met with violence
Students at the University of Texas-Austin (UTA) held a demonstration in support of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But their attempts to protest peacefully on campus were met with resistance.
The Young Conservatives of Texas at UT Austin (YCT) held a pro-Kavanaugh demonstration on Tuesday as counter-protesters aggressively tried to stop the event from occurring, yelling “this is a fuck you to survivors” and claiming that the demonstration threatened “the safety of students on campus.
“[A counter-protester] was definitely the instigator for the violence, and she really kind of got up in our faces and even accidentally hit one of our members in the eye as she snatched the poster away."
[VIDEO: RELATED: VIDEO: Protesters try to kick Campus Reform out of protest]
The Senior Associate Dean of Students, Douglas Carrard, attempted to defuse the situation, telling the protesters “you guys can express your views, and they can express their views.” Carrard was met with opposition from the counter-protesters, one of whom stated that the YCT demonstration was “a threat to minorities everywhere.”
The YCT members held signs saying “#MeToo Gone #TooFar!,” “Kava-Not Guilty,” “Kavanaugh Did Nothing Wrong,” and more, but some of the signs were torn apart by counter-protesters at the event. When one YCT member asked the protesters if they wanted to talk about the Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations in a civil way, a counter-protester shouted at him “do you think we give a fuck about your views?"
Saurabh Sharma, chairman of the YCT chapter at UT-Austin, told Campus Reform that the group held the pro-Kavanaugh demonstration because campus culture influenced the way that Congress has handled the situation involving Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
“It was also very clear that this started on the campus,” Sharma said. “This ethic of guilty [until] proven otherwise, and evidence being the accusation. That culture started on the college campus, so we thought it was really important that we take it back to the campus and stand with Judge Kavanaugh.”
Sharma said that the demonstration started around 11 a.m. and that counter-protesters quickly arrived. Eventually, the counter-protests escalated tensions to the point where the protesters and counter-protesters had to be separated from each other.
“[A counter-protester] was definitely the instigator for the violence, and she really kind of got up in our faces and even accidentally hit one of our members in the eye as she snatched the poster away,” Sharma told Campus Reform, later describing how a separate protester snatched a Make America Great Again hat off the head of a YCT member.
Sharma went on to criticize the associate dean of students for not shutting down the counter-protesters.
“[The university] didn’t do anything about the people that were smashing the signs. That girl should have either been escorted away or arrested,” Sharma said. “That did not happen.”
Sharma added that if he could give the counter-protesters one message, he would have expressed that he wanted to have a conversation.
"We have a First Amendment in this country for a reason," he said. "We wanted to engage in civil discourse, you know, we modeled our style after Steven Crowder’s 'change our mind.' We came to have an open session, but the left decided that they weren't interested in that.”
Sharma further told Campus Reform that YCT members are “looking into the options” of pressing charges.
"As the nation watches the Supreme Court confirmation process, many of our students are sharing their strong views about the ongoing events," UT-Austin spokesman J.B. Bird told Campus Reform on Wednesday.
"We encourage a robust debate on campus in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions," Bird added. "We want to remind students to be respectful, even of those whose views they disagree with. The Dean of Students will follow up with some of the students involved in today’s protests."
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