On Tuesday night, Katie Pavlich spoke at UW Madison about the second amendment and students arming themselves. Her appearance was met with a protest from an anti-gun group, C*cks Not Glocks. Before the protest began, the organizer, Kat Kerwin, was willing to speak about why she was protesting. After Pavlich spoke, Abby Streu, the Chairwoman of Young Americans for Freedom at UW Madison, offered her thoughts on the protests and other events surrounding Pavlich’s appearance.
Kat Kerwin: Organizer Of Tuesday Night’s Protest
Legislative Affairs Chair, Kat Kerwin, speaking about the permitless carry bill this afternoon at the capital. She was joined by Rep. Taylor and Rep. Sargent.
Why are you protesting Katie Pavlich’s event?
Kat Kerwin: “We’re out here protesting Katie Pavlich’s event because, I believe she was brought to campus not to promote any sort of ideologies or any sort of intellectual discussion, but I really think she was brought here to divide campus. Her messaging is super, super problematic, especially on a campus where one in four females will be sexually assaulted and I think the idea that she promotes women would not be raped if they armed themselves is super offensive. Like I said, especially on this campus where one in four women will be sexually assaulted and so we’re protesting today to kind of get a chance to come out and have students be able to draw attention around the fact that this speaker is speaking on our campus and not to disrupt her speech but to shed light on the absurdity of her speech by kind of talking about gun violence in a positive way and talking about gun violence prevention in a positive way.”
UW Madison tried to block the public from coming to this appearance, do you have any issues with that?
“What do you mean UW Madison tried to block the public?”
UW Madison tried to say that unless the event had another co-sponsor that people from other schools would not be able to attend, like I drove from three hours south of here and I would not be able to attend unless another professor or department co-sponsored the event. Any thoughts on that?
“I don’t think that is specific to Katie Pavlich. I think that is something that is routine for any speaker on campus and I think it ‘s good for speakers to get co-sponsors.”
Steve Forbes and Ben Shapiro actually did not need co-sponsors, that rule was not enforced when they appeared on campus within the past couple of years. Any thoughts on why Katie Pavlich may have been the first.
“Most likely because of the campus climate right now, the freedom of speech resolution was just passed by the board of regents. There is kind of a new sort of discussion around campus speech because of these new policies that are being put into place.”
There was an article published on Friday that talked about potential Title IX violations from this protest. Are you aware of any of those?
“I am on the Title IX board and have not been notified from them, the Dean of Students, or Campus Police.”
Abby Streu: Chairwoman Of YAF At UW Madison
So Abby, quite a week with having to get a co-sponsor and the protests, wasn’t it?
Abby Streu: “Yeah, I was actually in Chicago for most of it so I was trying to do it over email, it was kind of hectic.”
Out of all speakers, why would they pick Katie Pavlich to enforce the rule with when you’ve had Ben Shapiro and Steve Forbes come to campus in the past without that issue?
“I’m not really sure, I really actually don’t know what’s happening on the end of administration so I guess that’s completely up to them for them to reveal in time. I mean, it seems weird that this is the one they wanted to use that rule as a thing. I don’t know if it’s because of gun rights or whatever, that’s maybe more volatile than safe spaces. I’m not really sure if that’s a true statement, I can’t really read their minds.
The protesters, I actually spoke with Kat, the person who was leading the protest. She actually said she was not aware of the Title IX violations even though she’s on the Title IX board here.
“That’s kind of ridiculous. Basically I called her out on Twitter a few days ago where she was calling our group alt-right because we deny that racism and rape is a problem, which is kind of a joke because we addressed rape in this seminar. I fully believe that I have the right to carry and defend myself from that and I’ve never said that racism isn’t an issue. I think there are people who are individually racist and they should be handled accordingly. She said that she was going to refer to us exclusively as alt-right until we convict those, which is preposterous, so I told her I was going to exclusively refer to her as a misogynist until she admitted that women have a right to defend themselves.”
“She never responded. I know she started tweeting at Katie, so she’s gotta be aware of the Title IX violations. Maybe she doesn’t think that it’s a breaking of that but say she was doing that to any speakers and say that speaker had been raped once in their life. Would she be okay with it then. I don’t think it’s okay in that circumstance and I don’t think it’s okay in really any circumstance because of that situation.”