'SMOKE BOMB' disrupts pro-life speaker at UT Austin
A "smoke bomb" disrupted a pro-life speaker's event Monday night at the University of Texas at Austin.
The school's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter was hosting Radiance Foundation President Ryan Bomberger to give a presentation, titled, "Should Have Been Aborted," KTBC-TV in Austin reported. Bomberger attempted to address what the Radiance Foundation deemed a "broken worldview" that the worth of some humans outweighs the worth of others, according to a Facebook post by the group.
UT Austin Police reported a criminal investigation into the triggering of what it called a "smoke device" outside Bomberger's lecture hall at 8:32 p.m. EDT and announced that the building could be reentered less than an hour later.
UTPD responding to Gearing Hall (GEA) where smoke device used to interrupt student event. Building evacuated. No injuries. Criminal investigation underway. If you saw anything call 512-471-4441, ext. 9.
— UT Austin Police (@UTAustinPolice) April 30, 2019
"We were hosting a speaker by the name of Ryan Bomberger, the President of Radiance Foundation. a pro-life advocacy group, called 'Should Have Been Aborted,'" Young Conservatives of Texas chairman Saurabh Sharma said, according to KTBC-TV. "The event was going normally and then we heard the fire alarm and evacuated, as we were leaving we saw smoke. Shortly after evacuating, the police informed us it was a smoke bomb. We went to a nearby lecture hall to complete the event."
Bomberger said after the speech, "it just reminds me that there are some students who would rather fear than think. And it's a shame because they could have come in and they could have learned a lot and they could have asked all kinds of questions. It's a non-threatening sort of environment where you get to ask questions even if you're on the other side ideologically."
— Young Conservatives of Texas at UT Austin (@TexasYCT) April 30, 2019
"So....leftist cowardice strikes again. If you can't (intellectually) beat 'em, smoke 'em out," the Radiance Foundation said on Facebook. "The entire Gearing Hall had to be evacuated and our event moved to another building. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But freedom is injured every time liberal activists try to shut down #freespeech."
If politically motivated, this disruption may not be the first time radical left-wing activism has reared its head at UT Austin.
The Revolutionary Student Front at UT Austin hosted a "Revolutionary Mental Health Program" to "address the mental health needs of students in a way that would primarily serve to politicize and strengthen them, to become more committed to revolution and more capable of carrying it out," according to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter suspended the group, which UT Austin said is not a registered student group and is not affiliated with the school after it tweeted "bricks belong best thrown at pig heads."
"UTPD is investigating this crime," UT Austin spokesman J.B. Bird told Campus Reform. "All members of the university community and their guests must be able to express their views without interference. Fortunately, this event was able to continue. Attempts to disrupt speakers not only violate university rules but also go against the values of free expression that are vital to our campus."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ShimshockAndAwe