College Republicans Chapter President Attacked at Vigil for Woman Killed in Charlottesville

Ithaca College student wore Young America's Foundation hat to vigil

The president of a College Republicans chapter said he was attacked and choked by hard-left activists as he attended a vigil for the woman killed Saturday

People raise their memorial candles during a vigil at the location where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed / Getty Images

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The president of a College Republicans chapter said he was attacked and choked by hard-left activists as he attended a vigil for the woman killed Saturday at the Charlottesville Unite the Right demonstration.

Ithaca College student Caleb Slater wrote in a statement that masked members of Antifa assaulted him at a Syracuse event held on Sunday in memory of Heather Heyer, who died when a driver plowed into counter-protesters in Virginia.

Slater wrote that he wore a Young America's Foundation (YAF) hat to the vigil "as a symbol of peace," and he hoped showing up to the left-wing Black Lives Matter program as an identifiable conservative would demonstrate that "conservatives condemn the actions of the alt-right just as much as anyone else in our culture."

An hour into the program, Slater said he was approached by black-clad Antifa activists, one of whom shouted, "Are you with right wing media? Why do you have the f***ing hat on? You're with Young America's Foundation?"

The group reportedly chanted, "We don't want you here" and "No Trump, No KKK, No Nazi USA, go away."

"At this point I turned on my camera, because I did not know what they planned on doing to me. She got more aggressive and Antifa supporters surrounded me, like a pack of wolves," Slater wrote. "One member tried to grab my camera, to which I latched hard to, so that they would not damage my personal property."

"Another member of Antifa took the hat off my head, screamed more expletives and tossed my YAF hat away," he continued. "It was at this moment the camera stopped rolling, as someone pressed the record button on my camera and then proceeded to yank on the strap of my camera, choking me."

Slater said he was then grabbed by the shirt and thrown into the street.

"This was NOT a blocked off road and cars were present. I could have gotten run over and they did not care," he wrote, adding, "Nobody came to help me."

Slater, who is the half-Dominican, half-black grandson of a civil rights activist, said, "I came to this event in peace, I came to this event to stand beside my fellow Americans to disavow bigotry and instead I became the victim of bigotry, an intellectual bigotry. I was not attacked for my words, nor my actions. I was attacked for being a conservative."

Vigil organizers apologized, wrote Slater, but they also made "an excuse for the attackers and claimed that I should not be wearing apparel from an organization that many ‘interpret to be radical.'"

Slater brought his camera along to grab footage for his public access show "Liberty Now," whose next episode was to discuss the "evils of extremist groups," including radical Islam, Antifa, and the alt-right.

Watch footage of the attack below, published by the Young America's Foundation:

Rachel Frommer

Rachel Frommer   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Rachel Frommer is a staff writer with the Washington Free Beacon reporting on campus issues, including anti-free speech and anti-Israel activity. Prior to the Free Beacon, she was the senior campus correspondent at The Algemeiner. Her work has been picked up by Fox News, Newsweek, and the New York Post. She graduated from Touro College in 2016 with a BA in English literature. Her Twitter handle is @Rachel_Frommer, and her email address is frommer@freebeacon.com.

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