'Trump Wall' triggers pro-Hillary students at Penn State
A pro-Trump rally at Penn State University went south when counter-protesters harassed their Trump-supporting classmates and vandalized their campaign signs.
The school’s “Bull Moose Party” student group held a pro-Trump demonstration on campus Tuesday, during which members built a wall around a flagpole to express their support for the candidate, but several counter-protesters showed up to disrupt the event, calling Trump “a rapist” and mocking their peers for supporting his presidential bid.
“We built a wall around the American flag to show our support for Donald Trump,” Bull Moose Party President Chris Baker told Campus Reform. “Our club wanted this to symbolize our goal to protect our land, our nation, and our flag.”
A video of the event shows protesters tearing down pro-Trump campaign signs and tearing them to pieces while Trump supporters explained that they were simply trying to peacefully promote their candidate.
One self-described gay Trump supporter was holding a pride flag at the demonstration, which sparked the temper of one protesters, who asked “what does [Trump] do for gay people?”
When pressed on the issue and asked that same question of her own preferred candidate, though, she could only assert that “[Hillary] at least pretends to do stuff for gay people.”
Baker told Campus Reform that the Students for Hillary club actually helped organize the counter-protest, even coming equipped with a megaphone with which they attempted to drown out the Bull Moose members.
The antagonism was not entirely unexpected, however, as Baker noted that the “Bull Moose Party” was previously named Students for Trump, but had to change its title because his school prohibited him from using Trump’s name.
He also claimed that school officials attempted to shut down Tuesday’s event, saying “they told us we were not allowed to demonstrate.”
“They told us we could not [erect a] building on campus,” Baker recounted, but asserted “our protest was peaceful, and we were discussing issues with people and wanted people to write whatever they wanted on the wall.”
He explained that the administration allowed the event to continue after he and his peers refused to take the wall down, telling school officials that “if you want to [tear it down] you will have to do it.”
WJAC TV reports that Penn State released a statement in response to the incident, saying administrators had warned both groups against violating school policies regarding expressive activity, but took no further action after each agreed to comply going forward.
“The university respects students' right to free speech and will not interfere when ideas are expressed in a peaceful manner,” the statement asserts, but adds that “Our policies do prevent people from building structures on University property or using any amplified audio devices like megaphones. After being alerted, both groups agreed to abide by University policies as they continued their demonstration.”
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