Even as the victim (name withheld by request) recovered from the gunshot wound he sustained outside an event sponsored by the University of Washington College Republicans Friday night, the group posted a message to Facebook that suggested violence is the logical byproduct of disagreement with Donald Trump and offered a warning to anyone who protests their future events.
(Details below about the UWCR's next campus meeting, which is scheduled for tonight at 6pm.)
UW College Republicans sponsored the UW campus stop of the gay alt-right blogger Milo Yiannopoulos's Dangerous Faggot tour on Friday, which drew a sold out crowd of around 700 and a group of at least twice as many protestors against Yiannopoulos's hate-filled message. Though the mood between supporters and protestors was contentious, it was not generally violent—until a 34-year-old man was shot and rushed to Harborview.
Despite the news that the shooting victim was there to protest Yiannopoulos's hateful message, and reports that the alleged shooter was clearly on hand to see and support the pro-fascist blogger's agenda, UW College Republicans have portrayed the incident as having been caused by the victim—and more broadly, by the act of protesting itself. Here's the language in the message posted to the group's Facebook page on Saturday morning:
Antifa, Anarchists, violent political agitators, you have been seen by the public for what you really are. We see you occupying our libraries, inhibiting education, and frightening students who are by and large not even aware of what your motives are. You have been seen in our cities damaging property that does not belong to you, and inciting violence and disobedience towards the men and women who protect us (yourselves included). You have been seen on national television very clearly being the cause of increased division in our society and it's time your flame is put out.
The most telling line:
"If you keep prodding the right you may be unpleasantly surprised what the outcome will be." (Emphasis ours).
For his part, the victim has said that he wants "dialogue and restorative justice" rather than to file charges against his alleged attacker.
(Which is fortunate, because the alleged attacker turned himself in to the University of Washington Police, who promptly released him.)
The victim is a member of the IWW labor union. A statement from his union described him as a “a person who was explicitly there to de-escalate violence" and "a long-time anti-racist and anti-fascist activist."
A crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the victim's medical care can be found here.
The UW College Republicans Facebook page says the group meets on Wednesdays at 6pm in room 136 of Savery Hall on the UW Campus. Though there is every possibility the group will change its plans, it's also reasonable to expect that they will welcome some public discussion of their recent sponsorship of Yannopoulos.