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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
15 Apr 2023

NextImg:Protester Arrested for Harassment at Riley Gaines Event in New York

Authorities arrested a protester on April 13 outside an event at the University of Buffalo (UB) where Riley Gaines, a former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimmer, gave a speech on protecting women’s sports.

John Della Contrada, a spokesperson for the New York-based university, told Campus Reform that police arrested a 22-year-old protester and charged the Buffalo resident with harassment and disorderly conduct.

“The individual has no affiliation [with] UB,” Della Contrada said, adding the protester “was released with an appearance ticket.”

Rebecca Brannon, an independent photojournalist who attended the event, said in a series of Twitter posts that she was near the incident when it happened and commended Buffalo police for doing “a tremendous job.”

“A Trans Rights protester was just arrested for assaulting a photographer outside Riley Gaines speaking event,” Brannon wrote in the caption of a video showing the arrest. “He initially ran away but officers cornered and caught him in a nearby parking lot.”

Campus Reform, the parent organization of Leadership Institute, suggested that the protester might identify as a transgender woman after Della Contrada said, “[t]here was only one person arrested.”

Judging from the protester’s appearance in the video shared by Brannon, this seems a possibility. However, there has not been any official confirmation if this is the case.

A video shared on Twitter shows the events leading up to the protester’s arrest. In the 30-second clip, three people are seen to be following and intimidating camerawoman Sofie Salmon, the deputy director of Leadership Institute.

Salmon told Campus Reform that one protester—who appears to be the 22-year-old “transgender” activist—”tried to block [her] camera with his poster” before shoving it into her lens as she “stumbled back.” The short social media clip shows police immediately intervening as the protester is seen running away.

Authorities eventually caught up to the protester and placed the individual under arrest—which can be seen in the publication’s exclusive video. Salmon, meanwhile, said she’d be pressing charges against the person who shoved her camera.

Sarah Clark, a coordinator at Leadership Institute, told the publication that approximately 25 to 30 people gathered outside the event to protest Gaines’ speech.

The “Young Democratic Socialists of America,” an organization describing itself as students fighting “for democratic socialism” and seeking “more radical and structural changes” in the United States, advertised the protest and asked students to sign a petition demanding the University of Buffalo to “stand up for its LGBTQ+ community.”

Unlike last week’s event at San Francisco State University (SFSU)—where Gaines was physically assaulted after speaking about the ethical problems with allowing transgender males to compete in women’s sports—there were no disruptions to the 23-year-old athletes’ speech at the University of Buffalo.

“In the event itself, there were no disruptions,” even though “there were definitely people in the crowd who were watching and … didn’t agree with her,” Clark said, according to Campus Reform. “The ones who wanted to be vile were outside.”

On April 6, Gaines was attacked by a transgender activist after giving a speech on protecting women’s sports at SFSU. After the assault, transgender activists surrounded her and backed her into a room where she was barricaded for almost three hours.

“I was held hostage for three hours. I missed my flight home because it was not safe to leave,” Gaines told The Epoch Times in a text message last week, noting she was “physically and verbally” assaulted.

Brannon, meanwhile, said in her series of posts on social media there was “a heavy presence” of police “both inside and outside” the venue where Gaines held her speech, adding that the group of protesters “were barricaded well away from attendees leaving” the event.

From NTD News