Around 100 protesters disrupted a peaceful event organized by the Turning Point USA chapter at the University of California, Davis. The event, which was headlined by conservative personality Charlie Kirk, was attended by around 500 students.
The protesters, who were mostly wearing black, clashed with law enforcement officers and attendees of the event, as they smashed windows, hurled eggs, used pepper spray, and blocked people from entering the University Credit Union Center, where the event was held. There were at least two arrests.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk called out the protesters, saying “Not a peaceful protest at all” after photos and videos of the protest surfaced on social media. Several people agreed that the protesters were violent and some even compared the incident to the Jan. 6 Capitol protest.
UC Davis said in a statement after the event that one police officer was injured during the incident. The school admitted there were “minor incidents” and that protesters near the northeast entrance broke 10 glass window panes in the doors. However, they did not gain access to the building and eventually left the area.
The protesters held signs supporting trans and queer people and used umbrellas to cover their identities. Other protesters threw eggs and other objects. There were some reports of people being pepper sprayed by others in the crowd.
Charlie Kirk, who has faced criticism at UC Davis and around California, addressed the protesters during the event, applauding security and his supporters for defying their attempts to shut down the event.
The University of California, Davis, remained committed to free speech, stating that it must uphold the right to free speech even when that speech may be hateful, offensive, or abusive.
The violent disruption of a peaceful event by protesters is never acceptable. While everyone has the right to express their opinion and protest peacefully, violent protest is never the answer.
It’s time for these violent protesters to be held accountable for their actions and for civil discourse to be prioritized in our society. We must uphold the right to free speech eve nwhen we don’t agree with the speech being expressed, and we must find ways to respectfully engage in dialogue and exchange of ideas.
The incident at UC Davis highlights the need for civil discourse and respectful exchange of ideas, rather than violence and aggression. While disagreements and differing opinions are inevitable, we must work towards finding common ground and understanding.
The University of California, Davis, has shown its commitment to free speech and the pursuit of deeper understanding through the free and civil exchange of ideas, and we must all strive to uphold these values. Let’s come together and work towards a more respectful and peaceful society.