Students rail against Matt Walsh speech at Illinois campus
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students protested conservative speaker Matt Walsh as he screened his new documentary 'What is a Woman?' on-campus.
The protest was organized by Campus Union for Trans Equality and Support.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) students protested conservative speaker Matt Walsh as he screened his new documentary “What is a Woman?” on-campus.
Campus Union for Trans Equality and Support, a UIUC student group, organized the protest. Students held transgender flags and various signs supporting gender transitioning, student newspaper The Daily Illini reports.
The Oct. 6 event was hosted by the UIUC Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter. Flyers advertising the screening were reportedly torn down by protesters ahead of the event.
“The protesters last night were vastly outnumbered by supporters…people who support objective truth and rationality,” Walsh said in an Oct. 7 YouTube video.
Walsh reported the room reached capacity at 350 attendees, and 400 more supporters were turned away at the door.
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Protesters were confined to the hallway during the event, and resorted to “chanting” and “singing” after being unable to enter the room. Students also swarmed Walsh’s vehicle as he left campus, chanting “trans rights are human rights,” according to Walsh.
“I find it terrifying that we are populating society with people who are this fragile, this helpless and dependent, people who can not function, who are reduced to tears and paralysis if their internal conception of reality is contradicted in the slightest way by anyone, anywhere,” Walsh said in his video.
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Bailey Parks-Moore, UIUC YAF chairwoman, told The Daily Illini that the event was intended to ”bring about another set of ideas.”
“We want to talk to students on the other side because, in my personal experience, I just get shut down for saying something that people disagree with,” she said.
The event was part of Walsh’s campus-wide tour that also included visits to Catholic University of America, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Houston. His presence sparked protests from leftist students at the latter two campuses.
Walsh will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Oct. 24 and the University of Alabama on Oct. 27. Additional dates may be added through the remainder of the fall semester.
Campus Reform contacted Walsh, UI, the YAF chapter, and the protest group for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.