On Thursday, conservative students affiliated with the College Republicans and Turning Point USA (TPUSA) at Binghamton University in New York were harassed and intimidated by a massive mob of activists.
The groups were “tabling” side-by-side in a public space on campus, according to John Restuccia, president of the College Republicans.
While the College Republicans were handing out flyers for an upcoming speech by famed economist Dr. Arthur Laffer sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the individuals at the TPUSA table were handing out buttons and posters pertaining to conservative political ideology.
Restuccia left to attend a class, but was later called back to the site due to the burgeoning protest. He dialed the State University Police and headed over.
According to Restuccia, as well as Jon Lizak, vice president of Binghamton’s TPUSA chapter, the number of activists grew over the course of the protest until there were roughly 200 people haranguing the conservative students and disrupting their property.
Lacey Kestecher, chapter president of TPUSA at Binghamton, recorded approximately an hour and a half of footage from the frightening encounter, seven minutes of which can be seen below.
In the video, one activist attempts to dismantle the College Republicans/TPUSA set up, throwing buttons and posters to the ground, and flipping the table.
“Pack this s*** up. It’s time to go,” she says, grabbing and tossing property from the table.
As a conservative student wearing a gray and red sweater places new objects on the table, the activist grabs them and throws them to the ground. “Pack this s*** up. Let’s go. Let’s go,” she repeats, once again flipping the table.
Another activist wearing a black jacket with a brown fur collar asks a conservative student: “Do you want to suck my d*** now or later?” She then leans in toward him, repeating, “That’s my question. That’s my question. That’s my question.”
The same activist then screams at Kestecher: “Look at you shaking, you little b****! That s*** is f***ing crazy!”
Yet another activist tells the conservative students: “I just want to say that the fact that y’all are comfortable to even do this means that we’re not doing enough – and every single time [they try this s***], we’re packing it up. Period!”
“So you’re never gonna be able to table again,” adds a person wearing a blue beanie.
When a campus security officer comes over, and begins asking the activists if material was being torn up and thrown to the ground, the activists appear to deny that they were participating in such activity – even the woman who had previously flipped the table.
The officer then states that he just wants to make sure everyone is “safe.” At this, the activists blow up, and begin screaming at him.
The activist wearing the black jacket with fur then approaches Kestecher, and says: “Why are you shaking still?! Why are you shaking still?! Look at you laugh! Why are you shaking still?!”
She then tells Kestecher that she’s a “f***ing p****!”
When two other female activists walk over and begin to encroach upon Kestecher, a State University Police Officer intervenes, stepping between the women.
An activist wearing a bright blue jacket asks the officer: “Why are you protecting her?!”
At various points, members of the mob start chanting: “F*** Trump,” and “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
At the very end of the recording, an Asian woman with salmon-colored hair engages in the following exchange with a man who’s off camera:
WOMAN: Who are they protecting?! People like you?
MAN: You don’t even know me. You know nothing about me.
WOMAN: You’re white!
The man then told the salmon-haired woman that she was an “idiot” and a “fool” because she would define him by his skin color alone.
According to Restuccia and Lizak, the State University Police advised that the situation was becoming dangerous, and that they should leave.
Lizak told The Daily Wire: “We followed the police into a building, then we went down to the basement, which led to a garage. Then a couple cars pulled up, we got into them, and they drove us to the other side of campus.”
Lacey Kestecher said the experience was troubling. “I was extremely worried for my safety. I was extremely uncomfortable as well,” she said.
A male activist even grabbed Kestecher’s hat from off of her head, and tossed it away.
While Restuccia and Lizak were taken away in vehicles by the police officers, Kestecher went a separate way because she had to go back to her dorm. She and a male friend walked on the “outskirts, hood up” in order to make sure they weren’t being followed.
The College Democrats have issued a statement placing the blame for the near-riot on the conservative students, and calling for the suspension of the College Republicans, and the banning of TPUSA entirely.
Their statement reads:
Binghamton University College Democrats condemns Turning Point USA and College Republicans’ joint affair yesterday on campus advocating for gun rights only three hours after a school shooting in Santa Clarita. It was a tasteless demonstration, and we are in full support of the protesters that stood up against the blatant disrespect of the Student Association’s rules and student safety.
We call on Binghamton University’s Student Association to take the following steps to ensure students’ safety and that all chartered organizations follow the rules set in place by the Student Association:
1. Immediately suspend Binghamton University College Republicans for putting the lives of students in danger and violating the SA rules by tabling with a non-chartered group as per the following from the SA chartering document:
“As a non-chartered group, you cannot reserve a space on campus, but you can use public university spaces or, in many cases, rooms that have not been booked and are unlocked. If you choose to meet in the dining hall or other public university spaces, your meetings cannot be obstructing traffic, nor can they interfere with the employees who work in those areas.”
2. Enforce a ban on Turning Point USA to prevent them from tabling in the future.
We also condemn the actions of University Police. Rather than removing the organizations in violation of these rules, they chose to not only let them remain on the spine, but protected them over the protesters. Allowing College Republicans and Turning Point USA to remain on the spine during the protest created a more hostile environment and further endangered the protesters.
According to Jon Lizak, the “gun rights” claim coming from the College Democrats is a false narrative. He told The Daily Wire that TPUSA, which represented only one of the two organizations tabling, had “a couple of pro-gun posters” on display, and that there were other posters at the table as well.
John Restuccia told The Daily Wire that TPUSA was simply “promoting their organization,” and the College Republicans were promoting economist Dr. Arthur Laffer.