Images: Dan Marcel, Cleveland.com
On Saturday, September 29th, Kaitlin Bennett returned to Kent State to lead an open carry walk at her alma mater. The walk came just months after her graduation photos with an AR-10 rifle went viral, sparking a national conversation about gun rights on college campuses.
She announced the walk as a rally in early August, but the university’s poor communications with Kaitlin and student group Liberty Hangout at Kent State led to some changes. After the university attempted to charge the student group more than $14,000 in security fees to host the rally, Bennett and the group decided to cancel the planned rally and instead hold a walk around campus.
As the walk proceeded on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of counter protesters swarmed onto the scene, rushing to the front of the walk to bombard Bennett. Many masked Antifa were present and were immediately pushing police officers to try to get to Bennett. The walk came to a standstill just a few minutes in, after the left-wing agitators linked arms in front of both the police and gun rights activists to prevent them from walking any further. Soon after, one counter protester hurled a fake grenade at the walkers to elicit a reaction, but everyone remained calm. Brawls with the police broke out during the standstill, as members of Antifa attempted to thwart the police line to get to the walkers. Four left-wing protesters were arrested, one for assaulting a police officer.
The university boasted that no students were arrested, however countless more were seen on video assaulting both the police and gun owners, some of which were Kent State students. Leading the charge of violent Antifa was Ethan Comeriato, the co-chair of Kent State’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter.
He can be seen on footage here urging the masked menaces to run to the front of the walk to agitate the group of gun owners. At the 3:30 mark in this video, Comeriato can be seen yelling “Get to the front” alongside the violent Antifa group. The fake grenade can been seen being hurled from his general direction as well.
Once the group got to the front, Comeriato can be seen linking arms with masked Antifa thugs to prevent the walk from continuing.
— Dan Marcel (@Marcelevision) September 30, 2018
Shortly after, Antifa began a violent brawl with the police.
An altercation just occurred in a shoving match between protestors and police. At least one person was arrested pic.twitter.com/LpkhtSB9uX
— Henry Palattella (@HellaPalattella) September 29, 2018
Alex Thornhill, the President of Kent State YDSA, can be seen forming a human chain to hold the police back.
An unidentified member of Kent State YDSA was also captured on film assaulting a police officer, and was not arrested.
Ethan Comeriato can be seen attacking police officers in the following footage.
An unidentified woman seen with members of YDSA was also captured on film assaulting a police officer. She too was not arrested.
After the violent leftists drove the walk back to the parking lot, a gun owner stood proudly in front of the crowd to display his American flag. The man had his flag stolen from the left-wing group.
Kent State YDSA president, Alex Thornhill, and YDSA co-chair Ethan Comeriato can be seen violently shoving the peaceful gun owner. Comeriato nearly knocked the gun owner to the ground. Despite assaulting the man, neither student was arrested.
Prior to the open carry walk, Kent State University put out a statement addressing the events on September 29th. In the statement, the school said:
“All laws and policies of the university remain in full effect during this walk. Individuals found in violation of the law will be subject to citation or arrest. Students may also face student conduct sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Similarly, faculty and staff who violate the law or university policies could face criminal charges and other consequences governed by university regulations.”
It is presently unclear if the university is aware of YDSA’s involvement in the violent activities on September 29th, and whether or not the students will be charged, and/or expelled as they stated. After the walk, the student group sent out two tweets of support for the counter protests, saying that it “necessitated a large, coordinated effort to make clear that white nationalists have no place speaking without people there to defend the oppressed that they attempt to trample.” Bennett repeatedly stated that the walk had zero affiliation with the alt-right or white nationalism, yet YDSA promoted this falsehood to justify their violence against peaceful people that day. Bennett came hoping to speak to students about gun rights, but the YDSA members had zero intention of talking.
This is not the first time Thornhill, Comeriato, and YDSA chose to run away from dialogue about gun rights with Bennett. In April of this year, the socialist group marched around Kent State campus with ductape over their mouths to protest an earlier open carry demonstration Bennett held.
We will update this story if any additional arrests are made in light of this information.
Support Kaitlin and her #CampusCarryNow movement by ordering a tshirt here