Young Republicans and protestors clash, three criminal charges filed

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Young Republicans and protestors clash, three criminal charges filed

Chico State responding to the Chico State Young Republicans and protest on Wednesday. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

Chico State responding to the Chico State Young Republicans and protest on Wednesday. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

Chico State responding to the Chico State Young Republicans and protest on Wednesday. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

Chico State responding to the Chico State Young Republicans and protest on Wednesday. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

Danielle Kessler, Melissa Joseph, and Ricardo Tovar

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On Wednesday, tensions rose to an all-time high as students began protesting outside the Chico State College Republicans table following a physical altercation that happened on Tuesday in front of Butte Hall and Plumas.

The debate between student Republicans and protesters evolved into a mob of people outside Glenn Hall, with further alleged altercations occurring.

At around 1 p.m., protesters began gathering outside the Chico State Republicans table and chanted mostly anti-Trump speech directed toward club members. People also joined in singing lyrics from the anti-Trump anthem, “FDT.”

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Young Republicans and protestors start bickering in front of north Meriam Library on Wednesday. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

Sociology major Angelo Gabriel was one of the protesters and was one of the most vocal about concerns with students promoting Trump.

“I’m tired of the oppression. I’m going to a university as a person of color,” Gabriel said. “I’m tired of being silent, I’m (going to) stand out here, use my freedom of speech before Trump revokes that too.”

 

Vice President of the Chico State College Republicans, Lizzy Terpeming, also added what happened according to club members. She explained that the protesting was continuing from Tuesday, and students had begun rallying with microphones outside their table.

“We know people don’t like it, but it is our viewpoint, and we have the right to express our views,” Terpeming said. “We don’t care for protesting, they have the right to do that, it’s just when they get aggressive.”

“We need to engage in dialogue, and right now, that’s not happening,” AS President Trevor Guthrie said. “I don’t think sectioning people off is effective, but what was taking place before the barricades was not effective either.”

As both sides continued to voice their opinions, protestors moved around the barricades and pursued. Campus faculty and university police watched closely as tensions grew higher.

As protestors stood on a bench to voice their beliefs, members of Chico State Republicans recorded from the ground and accused protestors of spitting on them.

“No matter what happens today, we will be back tomorrow,” one member said through a megaphone.

Chico State University Police ultimately reported three crimes. One battery charge was reported at 1:45 p.m. from a reporting person standing on the north side of Meriam Library watching the protest. This reporting person’s friend was allegedly being yelled at by a student wearing red clothing — the suspect in red clothing spat on the reporting person friend’s face and arm.

The second incident was reported at 2 p.m.; the reporting person was also standing on the north side of Meriam Library and watching the protest. During the demonstration, a student wearing red clothing allegedly went up to the reporting student and began making indecent statements regarding their genitalia. The suspect then exposed their genitalia to the reporting person. The case is going to be treated as an indecent exposure case.

The last charge was a battery charge at 2:30 p.m. The reporting person was walking on the north side of Meriam Library during the protest. They were holding a “Trump 2020” flag and had a college-aged female approach them and grab the flag. She also allegedly hit the reporting person’s arm with an open hand. The flag fell to the ground during the incident.

President Gayle E. Hutchinson released a statement at 1:55 p.m., not explicitly mentioning the protest from the last few days by name.

“At Chico State, we work diligently to find ways to balance our values and commitments to diversity and inclusivity and the right to freedom of expression, Hutchinson said in the email. “We live in politically and emotionally charged times, and our campus is not isolated from these challenges. Frequently, I hear from students who say they feel unsafe or unsupported because of who they are, how they identify, or what they believe.”

She goes on to say that Chico State condemns violence, harassment and demeaning actions of any kind for any reason and any failure to abide by this policy would be dealt with swiftly.

Altercations that occurred are currently under investigation, and students, faculty, and others were concerned after Chico State began trending in California on Twitter as a result of videos surfacing from the protest.

Danielle Kessler, Melissa Joseph and Ricardo Tovar can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups,@Melisstweetz,@rtovarg13 on Twitter.

 

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