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  • Writer's picturePhilip Andrew Hamilton

Letter Condemning The Transgender Activists Who Tried To Shut Down A UVA Event With Abigail Shrier

I urge others to read Tom Neale’s letter to University of Virginia President Jim Edward Ryan. We must work harder to ensure that conservative speakers, and their guests, are not intimated from coming on campus in the future. If you feel compelled to act, I encourage you to write a letter to University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and to send it to his mailing address:


1910 Carrs Hill Road

Charlottesville VA 22903-2423


You may also email Jim Ryan at: JER6P@Virginia.edu


Philip Andrew Hamilton

GOP Candidate for Senate


Dear President Ryan, Provost Baucom and the Board of Visitors (FYI UVA Police Chief Longo),


The Jefferson Council sponsored a talk by Abigail Shrier Wednesday, October 11 along with the Young Americans for Freedom at UVA chapter and The Common Sense Society (https://www.commonsensesociety.org/). We are writing you to express our outrage at several occurrences that are quite simply unacceptable at the University of Virginia. President Ryan, you need to step up and put an end to this. The behavior of radical students and their activist friends was completely unacceptable and in direct violation of the well documented University code of conduct.

I will cite the infractions below:


Over 1,000 students filed fake attendee information through our registration link. This is a common tactic utilized by radical groups that we have experienced before, but never to this level. The rationale is they take up available spots so when viable attendees try to register the online system says it is full so they do not attend. TJC had to go in daily to delete the bogus attendees to free up space on our event registration link. The students who did this lied, but we cannot provide student names since the entries were fictitious @virginia.edu addresses. If we could identify the student perpetrators, we would file formal complaints to either the Honor or Judiciary Committees.


The same student groups posted inflammatory posters on the Grounds (see attached). We have filed a formal protest with Student Affairs since this clearly violates existing University Policy PRM-008: Exterior Posting and Chalking (https://uvapolicy.virginia.edu/policy/PRM-008).


A group of about 100 vocal, active, profane student activists assembled in front of Minor Hall an hour before the event. They blocked the entrance and, due to their abusive and intimidating presence, over half our legitimate registered attendees upon arriving elected not to attend the talk. I had to walk through the crowd with two other Jefferson Council Board members and our Common Sense co-sponsor executive, Liz Stiff (https://www.commonsensesociety.org/leadership/elizabeth-stiff/), to gain entrance to Minor Hall. Liz was both alarmed and appalled by this experience. The protestors not only violated the University professed standards of civility, but their language was also beyond the pale as they thrust themselves into our faces. A sampling of their epithets are as follows: “f-you fascists, f-you homophobes, f-you trans haters, f’ing racists”….(see a theme?). In addition, they wished death to each of us and our families. This is not hyperbole. All this occurred during our 2–3 minute trek through the mob as they surrounded us, getting within inches of our faces screaming these insults. I took a brief 15 second video at the tail end of the assault just before entering Minor Hall which captures a fraction of the chaos:



You will hear my voice is in the background saying “Have a nice day, I’m giving you a thumbs up, love ya” in response to their vile epithets and middle finger tributes that you see in the video. In addition, one of the TJC Board members who accompanied me through the melee before the event took videos which you will see below:



After the talk was over, I walked over to the Emmet Street garage next to Newcomb Hall where I’d parked my car. A subset of 8-10 of the protesters broke away from the mob (they had stayed outside Minor Hall during the Abigail Shrier talk) and followed me. They surrounded me, circling and screaming the same vile comments referenced above. Luckily for me, a local politician running for state level office who was at the event saw this. He called University police who were at Minor Hall and asked them to help us. The police quickly came over, told the mob to back off and not get close to us, and accompanied us all the way to my parked car. The thugs still walked behind us. The verbal abuse didn’t stop, but the police kept this from escalating to possible physical assault. If they had not arrived, I don’t know what would have happened. The politician took a video of our experience with this smaller group that you can view:



Chief Longo, please thank your team for me who kept this situation from getting violent.

I found out Thursday morning that this same group of 8-10 thugs remained at the garage outside Newcomb Hall after I left. Three more Jefferson Council members arrived minutes later and received the same intimidating in-your-face verbal abuse when they arrived. Our Jefferson Council Executive Director Jim Bacon wrote an excellent article on the Abigail Shrier talk that includes a brief description of his encounter with the radical mob we all encountered:



President Ryan, you purport to support intellectual diversity and civil discourse on the Grounds. I will quote from your 2021 Committee on Free Speech and Free Inquiry: “The University of Virginia unequivocally affirms its commitment to free expression and free inquiry. All views, beliefs, and perspectives deserve to be articulated and heard free from interference. This commitment underpins every part of the University’s mission…...The University must not stifle protected expression, permit others to obstruct or shut down such expression, or regulate the tone or content of responses that stop short of interfering with others’ speech or violating the law. Rather than seek to control speech or countenance its silencing, the University must promote values of mutual respect, while emphasizing that their vitality rests with the self-governance of speakers and listeners.”

Every philosophical tenet of your Committee’s statement referenced above was violated Wednesday night. One of The Jefferson Council’s four core pillars is also to “Promote free speech, civil dialogue and intellectual diversity throughout the University.” We brought a respected speaker onto the Grounds expecting that she would be met with civility and decorum. Instead, a cabal of intolerant radicals verbally abused anyone who attended the talk. President Ryan, this is antithetical to the traditions of the University and contradicts the culture you publicly say you will uphold. You assigned “University Ambassadors” to protect Hira Azher’s infamous “F-UVA” Lawn door poster for months. Where were the Ambassadors last Wednesday night to protect Abigail Shrier and the attendees from the protestors who spewed vile hate speech and inhibited access to her event?

This is not “great and good” President Ryan. The Jefferson Council expects not just a strong response from you condemning bad behavior, but a full investigation into, and appropriate action against, the group of students who perpetuated these acts. We are all aware of previous student investigation(s) and subsequent punishment, based purely on hearsay and out of context interpretations of innocent comments. In Wednesday evening's case, we have actual visual and contextual verbal evidence, and numerous eyewitnesses, not hearsay innuendo and manufactured social media outrage, of what transpired. If the University does not initiate an investigation of the events and perpetrators of Wednesday evening's events, the hypocrisy of "justice" at the University, and a clearly biased political agenda, will be on display for all to see.

Actions speak far louder than words President Ryan. We await your response and will not relent until the students who committed these heinous acts are duly punished.


Sincerely,

Tom Neale

Thomas M. Neale

University of Virginia Class of 1974

President and Co-Founder

The Jefferson Council for the University of Virginia

Cell ph#: 410-804-0417

"To Be A Virginian either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from Above."

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