In a never-ending battle of freedom versus authoritarian censorship, Evergreen College took center stage once again Thursday as the lawless Antifa gang faced off with the pro-Trump group Patriot Prayer and officers in riot gear.
Even the presence of riot gear-clad officers wasn’t enough to keep lawless Antifa anarchists from attacking the peaceful free speech demonstrators and assaulting the event’s organizer, Joey Gibson, with pepper spray.
The free speech rally came on the heels of a tumultuous few weeks at Evergreen College which started with an email from biology professor Bret Weinstein who responded he would not leave campus for its annual “Day of Absence,” where whites were expected to vacate the campus for the day.
The event was prompted when a number of students reached out to the pro-Trump group Patriot Prayer over the political correctness, hatred and behavior-control practices that ramped up with the rioting over the email and have inundated the campus ever since.
Although Patriot Prayer members tried to open dialogue with the masked protesters, Antifa’s primary focus was to shut down civil discourse and attack with silly string and in some cases knives and mace. Gibson was a major player at the free speech rally and suffered an attack of mace and a gashed eye after being hit in the face.
On its Facebook page, Patriot Prayer asserted, “You can not ask students and professors to leave campus because of the color of their skin. 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. No leadership in the school will step up then the civilians will. NO MORE FUNDING FOR EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE.”
When Antifa got wind of the rally, they sent out an alert through its different chapters. It’s clear through the message sent out by the Puget Sound Anarchists that their purpose is one of rebellion and mayhem.
“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,” the alert read.
Campus Reform attended the rally and captured the scene as the rally was set to begin:
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.
It is unclear whether Gibson was punched in the face or was hit in the face with a can as he stated numerous times after the pepper spray attack when medics are seen helping him on video.
The violence and turmoil engulfing Evergreen College finally prompted President George Bridges to speak out against student rioters Wednesday after nearly a month, calling their behavior “unacceptable” and noting their “lack of tolerance and respect.”
Prior to that statement, he allowed the anarchy to go unchecked and instructed campus police to stand down and allow the student protesters to hold the campus and staff hostage. It’s easy to understand why students would reach out to a group like Patriot Prayer for help; however, difficult to understand why parents or the school district didn’t put an end to the zoo-like environment.
A student at the protest told Campus Reform, “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.”
Gibson also spoke to Campus Reform in a message to Evergreen College students, but through the lens of wisdom that comes with age.
“Evergreen State College, you guys need to wake up. You don’t understand what the real world is like,” he said. “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.”
There was one arrest made of an antifa protester carrying a knife. He was taken down by members of Patriot Prayer before the police arrived at the scene.
Rep. Matt Manweller is introducing a bill to defund the school and privatize it so taxpayers are not paying for a school that allows five percent of the student body to overrun it and victimize the majority.
It is not expected to make it past the Democratic legislature.
Manweller described the bill as a “figurative shot across the bow” to school administration and protesters “that says ‘Hey, the people that are funding you are watching and they’re not happy.’ ”