An alleged member of NC State’s Young Democratic Socialists of America club sprayed paint into the face of Jack Bishop, the son of Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) and a member of the school’s Turning Point USA club, while spray painting over a message promoting a TPUSA event on Monday evening.
Turning Point USA members at NC State hung up flyers and painted messages inside the “Free Expression Tunnel” on campus in an effort to promote the group’s upcoming event on Wednesday featuring Lara Trump and TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk.
The “Free Expression Tunnel” is a area on NC State’s campus where students are allowed to express themselves by decorating the tunnel’s walls, ceiling, and floor with paint, flyers, or other applicable materials. Students also decorate the tunnel to advertise for clubs and upcoming events on campus.
“I, along with a group of friends, were expressing our freedom of speech and painting the free expression tunnel in anticipation of an event featuring Charlie Kirk and Lara Trump,” NC State student and TPUSA member Tyson Shoaf told Breitbart News.
Shoaf added that as many as 20 members of the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) arrived and began tearing down flyers and spray painting over the conservative group’s messaging.
Communist Comrades at @NCState HATE the First Amendment so much they wanted to cover up what young conservatives were painting. Pure act of defending their freedom to expression and speech. Yet, Communist took it into their own hands to resemble their Soviet leaders! pic.twitter.com/By8ABFv3gs
— Luke Stancil (@StancilLuke) November 12, 2019
Charan Saravanan — a second NC State student and TPUSA member — told Breitbart News that messages painted or hung up inside the tunnel typically remain on display for at least an hour or two after they are initially put up.
In TPUSA’s case, however, the conservative students did not even get the chance to complete their event promotion activity inside the tunnel before people they claim to be socialist students began tearing down their posters, as well as taking TPUSA members’ paintbrushes to paint over the group’s messaging.
“We were still painting when they walked up and started painting over what we had painted,” said a TPUSA member to Breitbart News.
Tensions then escalated inside the tunnel, ultimately resulting in Rep. Bishop’s son, Jack Bishop, being spray-painted in the face, prompting multiple TPUSA members to call the police.
“After painting an advertisement for an upcoming event on NC State’s campus, I was assaulted and spray painted in the eye, neck, and torso by two of the twenty-plus socialists that arrived with the goal of disrupting our event,” Jack Bishop told Breitbart News. “The injuries sustained required the assistance of an EMS to remedy.”
“My property is irreversibly damaged and my left eye continues to have problems,” he added. “I am extremely grateful to the NC State campus police for their timely response.”
Rep. Bishop provided the following statement to Breitbart News:
Our universities are beacons for free speech and intellectual freedom — unless a student has the gall to voice support for President Trump or conservative ideas. I commend Jack Bishop and other young conservatives for speaking up, refusing to be intimidated, and taking in stride the hallmark assaults of the ‘tolerant’ left.
I am confident that UNC System President Bill Roper and NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson will appropriately protect these students’ free expression rights, as the Campus Free Speech Act requires.
Charlie Kirk also commented on the incident:
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 12, 2019
During a separate but simultaneous incident inside the tunnel, a female student who was participating with the socialist group walked over to three female TPUSA students who were standing up against a wall covered with flyers that had just been hung up, and began tearing down as many flyers as she could above and around the three female TPUSA students.
“I had tape in my hair from a girl ripping signs off from around me,” said one of the three female students to Breitbart News. “When I asked why they were doing this, her response was, ‘We don’t know.’”
“I witnessed a group of about twenty people spray painting over everything and spray painting a fellow member in the eye,” she added.
According to a video obtained by Breitbart News, after the student tore down as many flyers as she could, she proceeded to take a stack of flyers that had not yet been hung up and began to walk away with them.
After being called out for stealing the group’s materials, the student tossed the flyers down, scattering them to the ground. Moments later, police arrived on the scene.
Please see our statement below regarding the events that took place last night when our members were painting the Free Expression Tunnel. @TPUSA @realDonaldTrump @cabot_phillips @charliekirk11 @LaraLeaTrump pic.twitter.com/JkJWl2OqJL
— TPUSA at NC State (@TPUSA_NCSU) November 12, 2019
North Carolina State University did not respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment.