On Monday, a man allegedly affiliated with Antifa attempted to chain members of the University of Washington College Republicans into a room, but was chased off before he could complete the job.
According to mynorthwest.com, suspect Ezra Benner ended up “failing miserably” at his task. Emerald City Antifa had called upon members to disrupt the CR meeting, but apparently only one person bothered to show up.
Benner, who attends a “special high school” on the campus, yelled “Find the law that it is illegal to dangle a chain over a door!” before being arrested.
“Dangle,” indeed. What reason was there for the CRs to fear being locked into a room, especially with Antifa behind it, right?
Why is this not a bigger story? On Tues a masked person attempted to chain lock everyone inside a @UW_CR event. He was stopped by men watching door. Antifa had earlier called for action. Read the shocking report. It was caught on camera by @RealColdFront. https://t.co/7VoYkr4ErZ pic.twitter.com/INuKjHICDW
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) June 5, 2019
Claudia Yaw of the UW student paper The Daily took a rather interesting angle on the incident: She actually managed to turn the College Republicans into the aggressors.
The very first paragraph of her story reads “An end-of-quarter picnic put on by a queer student group was violently interrupted on Monday afternoon when a group of MAGA-hat-wearing men sprinted through the HUB lawn, attempting to perform a ‘citizen’s arrest’ on an 18-year-old man.”
Yaw insinuates the CRs and their guests, Dion Thompson and Saleem Juma, deserved what transpired. After all, Thompson and Juma are “the personalities behind ‘Operation Cold Front,’ a conservative anti-feminist YouTube channel that specializes in provoking liberal reactions.”
Yaw adds that the pair are “local trolls’ [whose] exploits are not confined to the internet … they frequently come to the UW campus to conduct and film ‘social experiments.’”
In response [to the attempting chaining], many UWCR meeting attendants pursued the individual through the HUB lawn, eventually catching up to him in the HUB lobby. In the process, the mob ran through a queer RSO’s gathering. According to Paige Gedicke, the RSO’s president, the mob consisted of about 20 men, 35 to 40 years old, yelling about making a “citizen’s arrest.” Other RSO members recalled hearing the men yell that they were “going to kill” the individual. …
Andy, another [gay] RSO member who witnessed the event, described how the queer students reacted to the incident.
“We were just trying to hide any gay pride pins or anything we had on us so they wouldn’t see it,” they said. “I mean, some of us were crying by the end of it all.”
After hearing the group make threats of violence against the individual, the RSO followed the conflict. One RSO member, who chose to remain anonymous, engaged with the men, demanding that they stop hurting the individual while others called the police.
“He was trying to cover his face, and they pinned him onto the ground by twisting his arm around his back,” they said in an email.
Members of the gay organization “expressed frustration” at the campus police handling of the situation, saying they felt “brushed off.”
“They were acting like our fears are less important than the fears of these huge men,” Kathrine Hardman said.