Berkeley protesters assault CRs, destroy Trump cutout
After being subjected to heckling and vandalism at a tabling event Wednesday, the University of California, Berkeley College Republicans have now had a Donald Trump standee torn to pieces.
“A group of protesters with a megaphone confronted our table and proceeded to snatch and attempt to rip up our Donald Trump cut-out,” CR president Jose Diaz told Refined Right following the initial incident.
“The group of protestors then circled us and began yelling slurs at us in reference to Donald Trump. Slurs such as ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ and ‘pieces of sh**’ were yelled out by the protestors,” he recalled, saying, “they demanded that the cutout be removed due to the perceived offensive nature that it represents towards them.”
Protesters then ripped the Trump cutout after telling the College Republicans that they “couldn’t have that [Trump cutout] here; it represents hate,” and that they “don’t understand how any Latino could vote for Trump; he will disrupt the community because he will deport families.”
According to the CRs’ Facebook page, the group’s antagonists only succeeded in ripping the cardboard likeness during Wednesday’s confrontation, but returned the following day to finish the job.
“There is absolutely a bias in terms of treatment rendered toward UC Berkeley’s CRs,” Diaz asserted, claiming that there have been several similar instances in the past, though he insists that the group will continue its tabling and activism routines as normal.
CR member Jack Palkovic, who was attempting to film the disruption Wednesday, was even assaulted by a female protester who pushed him and forcibly grabbed the phone from his hand.
“This is the result of the total hegemonic control by the Left and their visceral hatred and disdain for the traditional American nation-state and self righteous disgust that anyone would dissent from this or hold to an opinion that is contrary to theirs,” Palkovic said.
Campus police arrived at the scene shortly thereafter, and collected Palkovic’s phone as part of an incident report that was filed.
Anthony Limon, another member of the club, complained that the campus police officers on the scene were otherwise unhelpful, saying they merely “sat around” while the group was attacked.
“The guy who damaged the cutout was right there and the police didn’t do anything. The guy was boasting about it, he said, ‘yeah I did it,” Limon recalled, predicting that “it will happen again; they’re going to keep doing it. They said that ‘there’s just four of you all [College Republicans] and we will come back with 1,000 of us.’”
“If the College Republicans had done the same thing to them, there is no doubt that we would have been escorted off campus, but nothing will happen to the people who interrupted us today,” he speculated.
“With each passing attack on the right from those that would identify as liberal, the establishment is silent or, at most, becomes an apologist for the aggressors,” Limon told Campus Reform. “Those that would label themselves Republican, conservative, etc. know that academia and most of the mainstream media isn't welcoming to our ideas or beliefs. We know this and accept this dilemma; however, it does not and will not deter us from pursuing our goals for our nation and fellow Americans.”
“I never really feared for my physical safety on campus until yesterday, when the Berkeley College Republicans were assaulted while tabling,” Troy Worden, another CR member, added in a statement to Campus Reform. “In fact, I no longer feel entirely safe on campus after this event. I now know that UC Berkeley—the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement—is not a place I can safely exercise my constitutionally protected right to free speech.”
Worden also noted that while he was not present during the confrontation, the accounts he received from two friends who were on hand (both of them military veterans) reinforced his perception that conservatives are the only true defenders of free speech on today’s college campuses.
“I will not feel safe until UC Berkeley can demonstrate in both words and actions their commitment to protecting all speech, whether that means hosting a cardboard cutout of Donald J. Trump on Sproul Plaza or wearing clothing bearing that man's name,” he declared. “Conservative students across American college campuses are not pleading ‘safe spaces’ or ‘trigger warnings’—they are requesting plain and simple fairness from administrators.”
Worden reiterated those sentiments on his Facebook page in response to the complete destruction of the Trump standee on Thursday, saying the incident highlights the need for a revitalized free speech movement.
“Bigotry and intolerance lie not with the right but with the left,” he asserts. “We will not relinquish our right to free speech at the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement. It is time for a New Speech Movement—this time protecting conservative students' right to freedom of expression.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AutumnDawnPrice