Student protesters call Michael Knowles a 'grown a** man acting so immaturely'
Ahead of Michael Knowles' recent speech at Washburn University, students organized a protest against the Daily Wire host.
Organizers used GroupMe to coordinate the protest with one student calling Knowles a 'grown a** man' in the group chat.
Jeter, an “activist” and “world changer” according to her profile on Twitter, announced Knowles’ speech to the wider student body on Twitter. In her announcement, Jeter noted she, “along with a large sum of the student body[,] have organized a protest” of Knowles’s speech on “ending transgenderism madness[.]”
DEAR WU STUDENTS!
if you didn’t already know, a speaker by the name of Michael Knowles will be speaking here at Washburn this Thursday about “ending transgenderism madness”
i along with a large sum of the student body have organized a protest pic.twitter.com/LU2c2DScdu
— #BLM (@sierraljeter) March 29, 2022
Framed as a “solidarity gathering,” the event was organized by Washburn University students to show “transphobia has no place on Washburn’s campus” and to “keep Washburn a safe space for all students[.]” A poster for the protest bearing the words “enough is enough” described the protest’s goal to “End Transphobia on Washburn Campus[.]”
Claudia Fury, the Chairman of the Washburn College Republicans, told Campus Reform that her organization “did not anticipate this response from the students” and that the group “asked them to remain peaceful as we will be.”
“Given that we live in the greatest country in the world, where freedom of speech is protected, we strongly believe that we should be able to exercise that right on campus along side [sic] of our fellow classmates even if they disagree with us," Fury said.
The protest organizers communicated using a GroupMe chat group.
In the group chat, organizers lamented Knowles’ behavior, with one student stating “[i]t's kind of pathetic seeing a grown a** man act so immaturely” and another claiming Knowles’ “job [is] to make as big of deal as he can about as small of things[.]”
In the same chat, an organizer emphatically stressed “this protest will be PEACEFUL we will NOT antagonize or become violent in any sort of capacity.”
Later in the chat, the organizers of the protest discussed defacing flyers for Knowles’ events, with one organizer posting a picture of a poster she vandalized and another posting a picture of a ripped-up poster.
A third organizer questioned the wisdom of “defac[ing] their posters” because it “can reflect badly on us[,]” to which another responded “its not defacing, its modifying!”
In a statement to Campus Reform, Patrick Early, the director of public relations at Washburn University, characterized the organizers' protest as a "gathering in support of Trans students and of the International Day of Transgender Visibility."
Campus Reform reached out to Michael Knowles and Sierra Jeter. This story will be updated accordingly.
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