Home Social Justice Kaitlin Bennett’s open-carry walk was met with hundreds of police officers and Antifa

Kaitlin Bennett’s open-carry walk was met with hundreds of police officers and Antifa

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Photo by Ben Peters.

Four people were arrested for disorderly conduct at the walk; one person was additionally charged with assault of an officer.

Kaitlin Bennett, the student group Liberty Hangout, and private gun owners were met by counter-protesters, Antifa, and hundreds of police officers Saturday at an open-carry walk across Kent State University.

KSU administrators prepared a large police force, fearing that controversial public figures, such as of Millie Weaver of Infowars, would create an unsafe environment. The police force was a joint operation between several local, state, and university police departments — including the Ohio University Police Department — Director of External Media Relations Kristen Anderson said at a university press conference.

Four people were arrested for disorderly conduct at the walk; one person was additionally charged with assault of an officer. None of those arrested were students; all were counter-protesters and there were no serious injuries reported, Vice President for Student Affairs Shay Little said.

Hank Steward came from Marietta, Ohio, to support Bennett. He is the commanding officer of the Ohio chapter of the Three Percenters militia, which is a defensive paramilitary group that stands for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and mobilizes when they feel the government has curtailed constitutional rights. Steward carried a loaded Glock 41 and AR-15. He and his militia protected Bennett from counter-protesters during the walk.

“We’re not here for any kind of problem,” Steward said. “We don’t want to see any problems, but if there are problems, that’s why we’re here.”

Photo by Ben Peters.
Photo by Ben Peters.

The counter-protesters, specifically Antifa, carried blunt weapons like baseball bats.

Photo by Ben Peters.
Photo by Ben Peters.

A masked, 35-year-old male Antifa member spoke to The New Political, but wasn’t willing to disclose his name or where he was from for fear of others harming him.

Photo by Ben Peters.
Photo by Ben Peters.

“It’s harder to kill people when you don’t know who they are,” he said.

Antifa supports the Second Amendment, he said, but they came to KSU to protest the presence of Infowars and speaker Joey Gibson, who was originally scheduled to be at the walk. Bennett publicly announced on Facebook on Friday that Gibson wouldn’t be at the open-carry walk. At the walk, she told TNP that he was absent due to “family stuff.”

“It seemed like — you know — exactly the thing that we should try to shut down,” the person from Antifa said.

At one point the crowd came to a halt due to a small bout of violence, the details of which are unclear. The police then created a human barricade to separate the gun carriers from the counter-protesters.

Photo by Ben Peters.
Photo by Ben Peters.

After several minutes, the police separated and allowed both groups to continue walking. There was also a second standstill, the cause of which was unknown.

Once the second standstill ended and the walk concluded, the counter-protesters cheered at the the gun-carriers’ exit. The police force created a human barricade around the perimeter of the parking lot where the walk ended, to keep the counter-protesters out.

Photo by Ben Peters.
Photo by Ben Peters.

After the open carry walk, a few protesters walked into the parking lot to talk with the gun owners, before Bennett and the Liberty Hangout members left.

“(The open-carry walk) showed how violent and disgusting the left is,” Bennett said to TNP in a text message, noting the actions of some counter-protesters.

The attitude on KSU’s campus was not positive toward Bennett’s walk. Hannah Dibb, a freshman studying biology, said she and several of her friends went home on Friday because they were afraid the walk would get out of hand.

“I don’t want to be on campus if they’re going to have actual rifles,” Dibb said.

Robert Morris, an independent attendee of the walk, came to KSU on Saturday to provide an alternative perspective.

“What is it going to take to bridge this gap that we have in this country?” Morris said. “What are we going to do to fix this right-left paradigm?

“Whether they recognize it or not … (they) probably, in a lot of respects, have more in common than they do disagree.”

WATCH: “Kent State Gun Girl” rally met with opposition. 

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