2 arrested, officer injured at UC Davis protest
SACRAMENTO — About 100 protesters picketed and clashed with police Tuesday evening at the University of California, Davis in a demonstration against a far-right radio show host speaking on campus at a conservative student group event.
The event — organized by the UC Davis chapter of Turning Point USA — featured keynote speaker Charlie Kirk with his thoughts on “American values,” according to information posted online by the group. Turning Point USA is a nationwide nonprofit that advocates for conservatism on higher education campuses.
The Sacramento Bee was not given access to listen to the speech by Kirk — who founded and leads Turning Point, a nationwide group of 250,000 student members — but in previous talks he has discussed the challenges faced by conservative youth attending college and has criticized universities that he argues have been taken over by the “totalitarian left.” He has argued that there is no such thing as white privilege, calling it a “racist lie,” and has furthered conspiracy theories about election fraud, COVID-19 and climate change.
UC Davis Police Department officers carrying batons and wearing tactical gear, including helmets with face shields and protective body armor, stood in lines at spots around the University Credit Union Center, where the event was held.
Two people were arrested during the demonstration, UC Davis officials said in a news release, both of whom allegedly painted graffiti on an exterior wall of the building.
University officials also said one campus police officer was injured “when he was jumped on from behind and pushed to the ground.” The injuries were not serious, according to the news release.
The university did not identify the two people who were arrested, but said at least one of them was not affiliated with UC Davis.
There were reports of eggs thrown and pepper spraying, but aside from pepper spray, “no major physical injuries were reported, and no one requested treatment for injuries,” university officials said.
The protesters moved around the building; at times going face to face with officers. They repeatedly chanted “Trans lives under attack, what do we do? Fight back!”
Video posted on social media by an attendee and Kirk showed demonstrators kicking in windows at the center’s northeast entrance in an attempt to disrupt the event.
“I don’t know if you saw, but they broke some windows, the terrorists did outside, people had things thrown at them,” Kirk later told the audience. “We’re not going to put up with force of trying to shut down people you don’t like ... and tonight is a statement to them that they’re the losers.”