“Our rights don’t end where your feelings begin.”
Kent State alumna Kaitlin Bennett – best known as the “Kent State Gun Girl” – returned to her former campus Saturday afternoon with hundreds of activists including gun-owners and militiamen. The group, affiliated with right-libertarian organization Liberty Hangout, wanted to draw attention to Kent State’s ban on students carrying firearms on their campus, despite the general public’s ability to do so.
The group was confronted by hundreds of activists with Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other groups.
“We don’t need police, because we are gun owners obviously. But it’s helpful that they’re here just to keep them under control,” Bennett told News2Share, pointing at the counter-demonstrators.
“We just don’t think fascists should be welcome, basically. If you’re using hate speech, we’re not ok with that,” one activist with antifa told News2Share. “We think it’s distasteful to have a gun rally at a school that had a gun massacre.”
The antifa specifically noted the participation of The Proud Boys to brand Kaitlin’s group as “Hate Speech.” The Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists” and deny claims of being a hate group.
Hundreds of police officers, many in riot gear, kept the two sides separate. As the march moved into campus, counter-demonstrators frequently attempted to block their path. Violence occasionally broke out, leaving at least one injured and four arrested.
“The police had no choice but to escort the group back to the parking lot and protect them so they could leave unharmed,” said Ezry Bennett (no relation to Kaitlin Bennett) who contributed his video reporting to News2Share.
“I think what the counter protesters have done is show who the left really is, and what their goals are. It’s to silence the right-wing voice,” she said.