A large crowd of protestors had gathered outside the event
Conservative Michael Knowles’ talk criticizing feminism Thursday evening at the University at Buffalo drew a full room, a large crowd of protesters, and attempts to shut it down with chants by several people who were promptly escorted out by security.
The talk took place less than a week after his CPAC call for the eradication of transgender ideology, which had led to unsuccessful demands for the university to cancel his talk.
Knowles once again refused to back down from his earlier comments, opening his March 9 talk by reiterating them and criticizing those whom he said deliberately misstated his beliefs.
The Daily Wire commentator spoke largely without interruption except for a pair of audience members who immediately began chanting “trans lives matter,” according to a video posted to Twitter by Young America’s Foundation.
— YAF (@yaf) March 10, 2023
The video shows security escorting the disruptors out of the auditorium.
“For the good of society, and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to that confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life—the whole preposterous ideology—at every level,” Knowles stated at the beginning of his talk, echoing his CPAC comments word-for-word.
“I am not quite sure how one could hear those words and conclude that I was calling to murder all the transpeople,” Knowles said. “There could have been no way for a reasonable person to interpret what I said as anything other than an attack on an idea.”
“So how did these liberal news editors come up with their headline that I want to commit a genocide of transgender people? The only answer that I can come up with is that they were lying,” he said.
The talk addressed his objections to feminism, stating the ideology “has made everybody miserable, especially women.”
The Spectrum, an independent university student paper, tweeted a video of university police taking into custody a protester who refused to walk. The police did not comment on the basis for arresting the protestor.
“A Spectrum editor observed the protestor trying to jump a barrier earlier in the evening,” the news outlet tweeted.
University Police have just taken a protester into custody. One officer carried the individual out of the crowd. Four officers put them in handcuffs after they tried to rejoin the crowd. pic.twitter.com/oPqAoZpHRl
— The Spectrum (@UBSpectrum) March 9, 2023
A sizable crowd of protestors had also gathered outside the event, according to a video tweeted by Young America’s Foundation. Protestors prominently displayed a banner stating, “Unite to Fight Racist, Sexist and Anti-Trans Violence.”
Crowd gathers at @michaeljknowles event at University of Buffalo
— YAF (@yaf) March 10, 2023
In anticipation of a large protestor presence, university police had announced they would have a “significant” presence at the event, according to The Spectrum.
Additionally, “the UB chapter of Young Americans for Freedom [Young America’s Foundation] also hired outside security,” The Spectrum reported. “The group has used approximately $2,544 from their club budget to hire Excelsior Security to staff the event, according to the SA general ledger.”
The group Our City Action Buffalo organized the protest of Knowles’ talk, according to notices it posted to Twitter (pictured) March 8.
“SUPPORT TRANS STUDENTS,” one image read. “MARCH TO SLEE HALL FROM THE BLAKE CENTER THURSDAY, MARCH 9 5:00 PM.”
— Our City Action Buffalo (@ourcityaction) March 8, 2023
SUNY Board of Trustees and chancellor condemned Knowles speech in advance of event
The Daily Wire commentator’s talk had elicited a vigorous response from students and other stakeholders, including the SUNY Board of Trustees and chancellor.
“It is extremely dangerous to delegitimize and stigmatize transgender people by arguing they have no right to exist. References to ‘eradication’ are horrifying when leveled at any group of people,” the board and chancellor stated, according to a news release.
“It does not reflect well on the @SUNY system that its trustees and chancellor apparently don’t understand the basic meaning of words,” Knowles responded, quote-tweeting the statement.
— Michael Knowles, falsehood eradicator (@michaeljknowles) March 9, 2023
“The language in my speech at CPAC was clear as day,” Knowles told The Fix in an email March 7. “I referred explicitly to transgenderism as an ‘ideology’. . . . No even mildly reasonable person could have interpreted my words as insinuating any sort of violence.”
The Fix reached out to Knowles and Our City Action Buffalo on March 9. Neither has responded.
IMAGE: Twitter/Our City Action Buffalo