The on-campus Trump table was attacked…again
This time, there was a crowd cheering on the disrupters
Yesterday afternoon, the second Trump table hit Pitt’s campus. It set up outside of Hillman Library around 1pm. This follows the incident last week in which a couple of students flipped the Trump table over in protest.
According to the Trump volunteers, they immediately attracted a crowd. Some members of the crowd began yelling as others clapped. They “clearly had malicious intent” according to one of the volunteers. Another volunteer, Lindsey Hern, said that some people “called us racists and some were yelling. We just tried to calm down the situation.” One protester ripped down their sign and broke a tree branch in the process.
A female Trump volunteer told the Pitt Maverick that she “felt unsafe when there was a hoard of people clapping and cheering along with the girl screaming at me for being a woman behind a Trump table. It was as if, because I was a woman, I don’t have the choice to choose who I support for president and have to succumb to some mold. I was horrified and scared for my safety because of my views.” She called campus police twice.
As we were speaking to the Youth for Trump volunteers, we received many disapproving looks from passers by, reinforcing the hostile environment that Pitt provides for anyone even merely associated with Trump.
Police were seen taking statements from at least two of the Trump volunteers. Two officers stayed to ensure that no crowd was forming.
According to a bystander, the crowd dissipated after most of the protesters returned to their school bus.
According to a Clinton volunteer, the harassment had nothing to do with Hillary’s campaign and they do not condone the behavior. “We are not going to force any violence against them,” she told us.
“I got here around 2:45 and I noticed a large crowd around the Trump table, about 30 people and six cops.”
One student expressed on Facebook that although she was not part of the attack or campaign, she was assumed to be associated with the protest. A police officer allegedly asked for her ID for the Trump volunteers to review, although she had only arrived at the library minutes before. She posted the following on Facebook.
“I just happened to look like some of the individuals protesting based off of my choice of clothing. Afterwards, my ID was given to the Trump supporters to ‘review’; my photo, full name, student number, etc. was accessible to these individuals, individuals that I consider (not just as a woman, but a human) potentially unsafe to my well-being.”
We also reached out to the woman in the video who wishes to remain anonymous.
“All I had hoped for by speaking up is that maybe the woman who felt attacked by me would see a woman in front of her who is scared of what may happen to both myself and her if Trump were to be elected.
“I regret using profanity towards them because it’s clear it made them feel unsafe which wasn’t my intention, but my goal was to just put myself in front of them and try to get through that this isn’t a game. The right to our bodies on the line in this election.
“Also the video shows me saying ‘you guys are the fucking worst’ after I said my piece which wasn’t the case. It happened before and I regretted doing that so returned to speak up on why I felt that way instead of just throwing that quip at them.”
Dean Bonner sent out a message to students shortly after the incident.
“Much of the energy and vibrancy of our campus stems from the intersection of so many unique experiences and viewpoints among our students, faculty, and staff. This diversity is what brings richness to our community and depth to the educational experience we offer.
“We are often reminded, however, that presidential elections have the unique ability to intensify our emotions and heighten our passions. Indeed, the 2016 presidential election has proven to be particularly provocative for some. Our responsibility as an institution is to encourage our students to engage in the political process—while cultivating an environment that allows them to do so within the standards of our democracy.”