Protesters gather on UW campus for Matt Walsh speaking event
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On Monday, protesters demonstrated outside Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus ahead of an event featuring conservative commentator Matt Walsh.
Walsh is an author, podcast host, and contributor to the Daily Wire. According to his critics gathered outside the building, he has an “anti-trans and misogynistic agenda.” Protesters chanted for an end to trans hate ahead of Walsh taking the stage.
“Speech is meant to communicate hate speech is meant to take the life out of people it’s meant to oppress and put them down it is not communication, and that is why it doesn’t count, and that is why we are ok saying no to this,” said protester Sunny Tummala.
While dozens stood outside with signs and bullhorns, a line gathered inside Memorial Union for the event. People waited in a line that went down all four flights of stairs in the building, with people on standby. The reaction was not a surprise for the group that organized the event, Wisconsin Young Americans for Freedom.
“I think we’ve gotten a lot of great positive reaction, we’ve got a packed room, we have a standby line that is out the door; obviously we’ve got a lot of negative reaction, people are allowed to protest, and we expected both and prepared for it, so it’s been a great event so far,” said YAF’s Chairman Harrison Wells.
Walsh said his presence typically elicits such a response when he took the stage at the sold-out event.
UW-Madison released a statement earlier following vandalism at Memorial Union, which preceded the protests.
“UW-Madison is aware of an extensive amount of graffiti that occurred at Memorial Union and Alumni Park in the early morning hours of Oct. 24.
The university is deeply committed to the right to free speech. However, criminal damage to the university’s buildings and spaces-- for any reason or purpose-- is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
All surfaces will be cleaned and restored as quickly as possible.
UWPD is currently investigating the incident. The university will also take appropriate steps under applicable criminal statutes and campus policies to hold responsible individuals accountable.”
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