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He was handing out flyers that made fun of Jussie Smollett.
A University of California, Berkeley, student was assaulted when “tabling” for right-wing group Turning Point USA, in an attack that’s been caught in at least two videos.
An unidentified man punched Haydon Williams numerous times on Tuesday and was recorded by another person from a distance. Williams, who had a video camera on him, also recorded the attack from a different angle.
“Some students nearby tabling were laughing, even one guy was smiling while I was being attacked and trying to hand me his flyer as a joke,” Williams told Campus Reform. “The idea is free speech has consequences. … which include you getting assaulted if they find you promoting ideas others don’t agree with.”
They were reportedly handing out pamphlets for recruiting new members. They were also sharing flyers about the recent Jussie Smollett controversy, with quotes such as “This is MAGA country,” which was a key accusation Smollett made about his alleged, likely staged, attack.
In the video recorded by Williams, a man is seen confronting him and heard saying, “Can you explain what you’re fucking doing?
“You are fucking encouraging violence,” the man later says, pointing toward the table draped in red and with an American flag.
The man from behind the camera is heard saying, “No, I’m not.”
At one point, the camera drops, and after it’s picked up a second man in a black shirt is seen coming toward the camera and seen hitting Williams with multiple blows.
In a second video recorded from a distance, the man is seen hitting, pushing, and punching Williams.
Campus police is investigating the matter and looking for the man in question. Officials confirmed that one person was injured in the incident after an altercation with two other men who confronted him when he was tabling.
The university’s student affairs department issued a statement on Thursday condemning the attack.
“Let there be no mistake, we strongly condemn violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason,” the statement said. “That sort of behavior is intolerable and has no place here. Our commitment to freedom of expression and belief is unwavering.”
H/T Fox News
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque