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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Kenosha shooter at Kent State

Kyle Rittenhouse met by protesters at KSU

On Tuesday, April 16, over 200 protesters and counter-protesters gathered at Kent State University’s Kiva Auditorium to hear Kyle Rittenhouse speak to students on campus about free speech and the right to bear arms clauses of the First and Second Amendments.

Glaringly apparent was the presence of anti-event protesters, some even getting tickets to attend the event. This later led to Kent State’s private security pulling away more vocal protesters from previous events. These usual suspects were congratulated with approval from their fellow activists and insults were hurled at the security.

Though things were tense around the admission line, on the other side of the auditorium, above the Kent State Library, police officers were scanning the protests, armed to neutralize any threats.

Two anonymous protesters with their artworks

Patrick Field ‘25, who traveled to the event pointed this out, and commented that he had only seen such measures “when the president is in town”. Field did make a note of enjoying the protest art, such as the one he photographed above.

Though police were serious about monitoring the event, some protesters were quite silly. Only identifying themselves as ‘Sir of Dafodile’ and ‘Azorath;’ two KSU students dressed as wizards and held up a board professing “WIZARDS AGAINST UNLICENSED WAND USE.” Though students could get a laugh from these comedians, when asked what their role at the event was, Azorath described his position as “bringing a light-hearted conversation to this harsh event” as “you can’t change people’s minds by yelling at them.”

Taking a similar approach, Molly, one of the faculty marshals, is part of an observer group, meant to keep the peace at protests inspired by the May 4 Kent State Shooting and the protests of the 1970s. She stated, “Overall, we want to make sure that everyone’s safe, and so we’ll be providing neutrality, as we have been shocked… by May 4.”

Though for the most part events were peaceful throughout the event, tensions became fiery hot as the crowd left. At 6:45 p.m., audience members attempting to march from the auditorium, organized by the Black Students United chapter at Kent State, left to protest. This was confirmed to The Carroll News when talking to students streaming out of the auditorium’s exit, but none provided official statements.

As 7:00 p.m. came, and the event ended, conservative attendees were met with chants and taunts. They responded in turn with their own taunts, including thumbs-up photo opportunities gawking at the “rainbow-haired losers.” Protesters were no kinder when screaming back at the “murderer” and pig, as can be watched here.

In the end, despite the tensions, according to Sergeant Tina Knowles“We have had a relatively safe event – people are just hyped up since he’s such a high-profile character.”

Reflecting on this ordeal, Field expressed the same thing, stating “I came because [Rittenhouse] was such a deal, and when I saw it was going to be this big, I thought there would be violence.”

He was happy that he was wrong, as was seemingly everyone in the end. Perhaps this event is a positive example of how to protest in the wake of arrests across the nation regarding Pro-Palestine protests, despite the vitriol present at the non-violent event.

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