VIDEO: Antifa thugs attack free speech rally at Evergreen State
Even police officers in riot gear were not enough to prevent masked antifa thugs from assaulting peaceful demonstrators at a free speech rally at Evergreen State College Thursday night.
The event was organized by a pro-Donald Trump organization called Patriot Prayer in direct response to appeals from students concerned by the recent disturbances on campus, which Campus Reform has documented extensively.
“Political Correctness and Hatred has taken over the campus. Several students have reached out to Patriot Prayer—they are upset that professors and students have been spreading lies and threats to try to control the behavior of the students at the school,” the group declared on Facebook. “[If] no leadership in the school will step up then the civilians will.”
Organizer Joey Gibson was a major presence at the rally, explaining his motives in a video statement included on the Facebook event page.
“Evergreen State College: you guys need to wake up...You don’t understand what the real world is like,” he says. “And you need to understand how lucky you are. You are at a university, getting an education. You don’t have to be running around complaining and screaming and acting like victims.”
Patriot Prayer clashed with local counter-protesters and armed, masked antifa members during the event. The Puget Sound Anarchists made an announcement soliciting support for its protest efforts through a post on its website, as did several other Anti-Fascist chapters.
“This is a call out to antifascists, radicals, artists, anarchists, anti-racists, queers, feminists, and others to oppose the patriot prayer rally at Evergreen and drown out, embarrass, and expose them as the bigoted pathetic fools that they are.”
Police arrived on campus at around 5:30 (Pacific time), fully clad in protective gear and carrying batons as they marched in formation to their positions, a development that the counter-protesters who were already on the scene took as an indication that Patriot Prayer’s demonstration would soon begin.
Violence ensued shortly thereafter when a member of the Patriot Prayer chapter was attacked by one of the antifa protesters. The attacker was removed by police, but this failed to dissuade another antifa member from assaulting the leader of Patriot Prayer, Joey Gibson, by macing him in the face.
In an interview with Campus Reform immediately after the attack, Gibson described being maced and punched by protesters as he attempted to “shake their hands.” His face is visibly red and there appears to be a cut above his right eye where he was allegedly punched.
“I know there are a lot of students here that are good people, and I don't want them to suffer because of some kids running rampant on this campus,” he told Campus Reform. “The leadership needs to take a stand against all this racism and all this hate, otherwise we have no choice but to pull the funding.”
A student who was present at the rally concurred, describing a feeling of exasperation with the level of hostility on campus.
“I think that socially we should come to an understanding of what is and isn’t appropriate, but it is not for the government for decide what is or isn’t hate speech,” the student opined. “If the school can be held hostage—if the students can take over like they are an insurgency force and hold the president hostage and if they can preach ideologies that promote segregating an entire population of the school because of their ethnicity—then the best way to shut down that kind of stuff is to defund the schools that act that way.”
State legislators in Olympia are proposing various ways of doing just that.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MrDanJackson
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the student interviewed by Campus Reform as attending Evergreen State. The article has been updated to reflect the fact that the student did not indicate which school he attends.