One man shot at University of Washington


Will Sieracki, Reporter

January 20th was not only Inauguration Day for President Donald Trump. It was also a day for protests, some peaceful, some violent. One of the more violent protests occurred at the University of Washington, where a man was shot, and bricks, fireworks, and paint were thrown at Seattle police officers. The reason for all of this was because of the person that was speaking at the university that night; Breitbart News editor and notable Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos.


     The event was started by the university’s College Republicans club, who invited Yiannopoulos to the university as part of his speaking tour. Outside of where the speech occurred, there was a confrontation between protesters and attendees. Authorities reported that a man had been shot, and he was taken to Harborville Medical Center with potential life-threatening injuries, according to the Seattle Fire Department. Yiannopoulos left the stage briefly and came back a few minutes later to confirm the shooting. He said, “If we don’t continue, they have won.” to a cheering crowd. The event was free but sold out by reservation. His speech, which mocked the Democrats and was given a standing ovation, began just after 8:00 P.M. Pacific Time.


     Earlier in the day, the president of UW College Republicans said she feared that people wouldn’t be allowed into the auditorium due to various confrontations. Police were called to help people get in safely, but protesters surrounded them. Once the speech was over, audience members were asked by the police to remove all their pro-Trump gear before leaving, and they were escorted out through a parking garage underground.


     Gayle Hammersley, a student at UW, stood with friends outside holding a sign that showed her opposing Yiannopoulos’ appearance, saying that “We’re not ok with fascism and racism. I don’t think this should be allowed.” Other students that came up to hear the speech said that everyone has a right to speak their mind, and criticized protesters for attempting to censor free speech. Other students called the controversial news editor a “breath of fresh air.”


     This incident wasn’t the first time that there has been trouble surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking tour. He was supposed to speak at University of California-Davis before protesters blocked access to the hall. The event was cancelled, citing safety reasons. Last month, he was speaking at the University of Wisconsin and displayed a student’s name and picture on screen. Yiannopoulos, who is openly gay, has criticized college professors in the past, described “rape culture” as a myth, and was banned from Twitter permanently for making fun of a movie. The president of University of Washington’s College Republicans club, Jessie Gamble, was targeted by a campaign that published her private information and linked her to white supremacists. After the shooting, Ed Murray, the Mayor of Seattle, had this to say:

Seattle has a long, proud tradition of speaking up and speaking out, but we will not tolerate violence of any kind, against any person. Thousands of Seattleites, including myself, will speak up and march peacefully throughout this weekend.”