Protest Against Riley Gaines Turns Violent, Mob Chants ‘Silence Equals Death’ & ‘Jesus Was Trans’

Protests against female swimming champion Riley Gaines turned violent with at least one protester arrested by police, according to reports.

The mob gathered at the University of Buffalo (UB) on Thursday night to protest against a conservative speaker event featuring Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer.

Gaines, who competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas during the 2022 NCAA championships, was invited to campus to speak about efforts to “Save Women’s Sports” by the Turning Point USA chapter, according to The Spectrum.

As the protesters grew increasingly violent, the mob chanted “silence equals death” and “Jesus was trans.”

The protester, who was unaffiliated with the university, was arrested for disorderly conduct and harassment after striking a photographer.

“Outside the venue, University Police arrested one person, a 22-year-old female from Buffalo, for harassment and disorderly conduct,” John Della Contrada, UB’s vice president for communications, said in a statement.

“The individual has no affiliation to UB and was released with an appearance ticket.”

According to a video of the incident, the protester, dressed in black and wearing a face mask, followed a photographer while holding a poster up to the lens.

He then swatted at the camera, after which he was confronted by police officers.

Nearly 50 protesters reportedly rallied outside the venue to condemn the speech.

Rayna Cooke, Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter co-chair, told The Spectrum that the protesters understood that they couldn’t prevent Gaines from speaking.

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Cooke argued, however, that the violent, hate-filled mob could “show trans students on campus that there are people that love them, support them, care about them, and will fight for them.”

According to photos taken by photojournalist Rebecca Brannon, protesters held signs with various slogans that read “testosterone has no gender,” “protect trans kids,” “Jesus was trans too,” and “it’s giving 1936 Germany.”

One sign read “Cis women beat you too” — a nod toward Gaines’ fifth-place tie with Thomas in the 200-yard freestyle championship race.

Protesters chanted “silence equals death” at attendees who were leaving the speech, according to The Spectrum.

Nevertheless, Gaines, also Independent Women’s Forum spokeswoman, refused to let the protests disrupt the event.

She said that the event was a “great success.”

“There were so many passionate and engaging students/community members who were ready for a call to action,” she explained.

“They wanted to know specifically what they can do to help protect women’s sports.

“There were many protestors outside who were chanting, yelling obscene things, and being destructive.

“One protester was even arrested after destroying a photographer’s camera.

“Many had signs comparing the discrimination they faced to the Holocaust.

“I’m grateful for the police force and security who ensured the event would take place and that freedom of speech would be upheld.

“I’m confident that this event only opened eyes and changed minds in a positive way.”

According to photos posted to Twitter, students posted flyers on campus criticizing Gaines’ speech ahead of the event.

One flyer depicted Gaines as Pennywise, the character in the horror novel “It.”

Another flyer accused Gaines of trying to become a “political pundit” because “she wasn’t able to beat a trans woman one time.”

“I’ll never understand people putting this much effort into something/someone they don’t like,” Gaines tweeted.

“All for saying men and women are physiologically different.”

READ MORE: Riley Gaines Responds after SFSU Releases Shocking Statement on ‘Peaceful’ Assault

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