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2 arrested as protesters clash at event on UC Davis campus

Protesters clash at event on UC Davis campus
Protesters clash at event on UC Davis campus 02:43

DAVIS — Hundreds of protesters converged on the UC Davis campus Tuesday night as a highly-charged speaking event brought out conservatives, liberals and what appeared to be Antifa activists.

The field outside the University Credit Union Center was cluttered with people protesting ahead of the event, including what appeared to be members of Antifa.

The crowd was face-to-face with a heavy law enforcement presence as event-goers snuck their way in.

"They did a barrier where you couldn't walk past them. They were being physical, too," attendee Levi Delello said.

Charlie Kirk, the night's speaker, is a conservative podcaster who the university says is a proponent of misinformation and hate.

"UC Davis stands with our transgender and non-binary Aggies in opposition to this hateful and divisive messaging," said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May.

Chancellor May also noted that the student chapter of Turning Point USA has the right to reserve facilities and invite speakers of their choice.

"There's a lot of lies being spewed out there that it's a White supremacy convention over here, supposedly, but I'm Mexican, bro," an attendee named Jose said.

Some eventgoers said they were upset over the university's message.

"Colleges used to be the bastion of free speech," one eventgoer who wanted to remain anonymous said. "You used to be able to have a debate, to have two sides."

Early in the evening, an event held by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, said this kind of speech goes too far.

"There's a line that's crossed, I think, when it becomes weaponized to oppress other people and, frankly, put other people in danger," said Gloria Partida with the Davis Phoenix Coalition.

Back at the pavilion, students like Kaden Valesquez said events like this can be complicated for a university to facilitate.

"That's difficult, the chancellor is in a very difficult position because Davis is a very liberal school," Valesquez said.

Valesquez says the university should have the responsibility to shut it down if students' lives are in danger.

"In all honesty, shut it down. That's the last thing we need is to have someone hurt," Valesquez said.

We reached out to Turning Point USA for comment, but we have not yet received a response. As for the protest, we did learn two people were arrested for spray painting a building on campus. 

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