Protesters mercilessly harassed a conservative student outside a university campus event as he read aloud from a Bible, which they tore to shreds and one student even partially ate.
The tormentors were protesting outside a screening of the Matt Walsh documentary What is a Woman? at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fox News reports. Walsh, who was on campus to give a speech, is a conservative commentator whose recent documentary presents transgender ideology as dangerous and absurd.
Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a conservative student group that helped coordinate the event, posted a video to social media showing the Christian student reading Bible passages on a loudspeaker outside the event. Protesters can be seen harassing him by banging on a bucket and blaring a siren next to his face.
Another video posted by the group shows the protesters take the Bible and tear out its pages, with one individual the group describes as eating from torn pages to the cheers of others.
Backlash from conservative groups was swift.
“Well, you can be on the side that eats the Bible and castrates children, or you can be on literally any side but that one. Your choice, America,” Walsh wrote in a Twitter post, sharing YAF’s video of the incident.
“The Leftists’ attempts to silence a student reading the Bible demonstrate their utter contempt for the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was founded,” Nick Baker, a spokesperson for YAF, told Fox News.
Walsh’s documentary targets leftist gender ideology and suggests that a man or woman can easily be defined biologically. In the film, transgender activists seem to have a difficult time defining what a woman is.
The protesters’ tactics didn’t deter students interested in watching the film, according to a tweet from YAF: “Despite the protests, the lines continue to grow for @MattWalshBlog’s #WhatIsAWoman screening at University of Wisconsin-Madison!”
Protesters also vandalized several buildings and a memorial on the UW-Madison campus with graffiti.
“Leftist crybullies at @UWMadison vandalized a veteran’s memorial along with several other buildings because they’re upset that I’m speaking on campus. The university responded by apologizing to the vandals and taking their side. The worst cowardice I’ve ever seen by a university,” Walsh posted on Twitter, including pictures of the damaged property.
Walsh’s tweet also includes an image of a notice posted by the university that warns students of the “harmful” impact the screening may have on transgender students.
“Dear UW-Madison Community: We are aware that a speaker is coming to campus Monday whose viewpoints we believe are harmful toward our trans community,” the notice reads. “We feel the impact this is having on our campus, and we wanted to reach out.”
The university responded to the incidents with a statement about its commitment to free speech before saying it will not tolerate damage to its property.
“UW-Madison is aware of the extensive amount of graffiti that occurred at Memorial Union and Alumni Park in the early morning hours of Oct. 24,” UW-Madison Communications Spokesperson John Lucas told Fox News. “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.”
Harrison Wells, chairman of the Wisconsin chapter of YAF, told Fox News conservative speakers are always met with “outrage” on campus, and the Left always resorts to intimidation “tactics like this” rather than engage in conversation.
“Regardless of what conservative speaker we bring to campus, the Left always seems to be outraged and they always seem to lose their minds. They never come to our events and ask questions in our Q&A line, and they resort to tactics like this, like eating a Bible,” he said.
Wells also told Fox News his group would have welcomed the protesters coming to the event and engaging with the speaker rather than engaging in harassment and vandalism.
“We actually had a transgender individual ask a question to Matt Walsh, and that’s the type of discussion we love to have at our events, because that’s the only way we can learn. That’s the whole point of higher education, is to discuss different viewpoints amongst one another.”