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UMemphis students disrupt Rittenhouse event, school accused of creating chaos

Protesters tipped off to last-minute ticketing change, gobble up seats only to leave

Kyle Rittenhouse’s speech at the University of Memphis began with confusion and continued with disruption.

The university made a last-minute change to ticketing, causing confusion for people who had signed up days prior. Though Rittenhouse ultimately delivered his speech, it included a walkout and harassment of Turning Point USA members after the event.

Outrage had been building prior to the speech by Rittenhouse. He came to notoriety after shooting and killing two violent protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during Black Lives Matter riots in 2020. A jury found him not guilty.

The campus Turning Point USA group hosted Rittenhouse. Members faced “doxxing” and were also harassed after the event, social media posts show. Doxxing is the posting of private contact information or residency address, often used to encourage harassment.

Protesters screamed during Rittenhouse’s speech before walking out, with one yelling “free speech.”

“Chaos breaks out at the University of Memphis after BLM protesters chased down @TPUSA people who were leaving the Kyle Rittenhouse event,” reporter Julio Rosas posted on X. “Police had to prevent the hostile crowd from physically attacking them.” Rosas is an independent journalist who previously worked for TPUSA.

TPUSA CEO Charlie Kirk criticized the university’s handling of the event, which reportedly included not removing disruptors.

“We had thousands of people register for tickets to this event, but the school would only give us a venue with 330 seat,” Kirk wrote on X. “No overflow. No larger venue.”

“Protester groups were somehow tipped off about the school’s new ticketing system and the timing of when they’d be made available, allowing them to reserve large numbers of tickets to stage a walk out,” Kirk wrote. “We know this because our students are also in those group chats and alerted us. This also has never happened before.”

He said administrators “shrugged their shoulders” when the campus TPUSA president was doxxed.

Protesters also tried to block Turning Point USA members from leaving the parking garage after the event.

Afterwards, Rittenhouse called it a “great event” and said there were “interesting people to say the least.”

He is scheduled to speak in April at Kent State University in Ohio.

MORE: University Instagram post falsely claims Rittenhouse killed two black people

IMAGE: Julio Rosas/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.