Violent demonstrators prevent a lifeguard from appearing at a US university

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The lifeguards of the Students for Life of America criticize the university management and the police. They would have done too little to secure the event.

Washington D.C. (
Violent protesters prevented a lifeguard from appearing at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia, injuring three people.

Kristan Hawkins, president of the life-saving organization Students for Life of America (SFLA), was scheduled to speak at VCU. But it did not get to that. A few days before Hawkins was scheduled to appear, SFLA officials found announcements on Antifa channels that the event would be disrupted. SFLA officials then spoke to the university administration and the local police. The organization also hired a private security service.

When Hawkins arrived, protesters blocked access to the venue. They began chanting to keep Hawkins from speaking. Three lifeguards were injured in attacks by the demonstrators. An SFLA employee who wanted to document the incidents with a camera was also attacked, the organization said.

Police arrested two protesters, neither of whom have any connection with the VCU, a local broadcaster reported. Kristan Hawkins posted a number of videos on Instagram showing security guards separating protesters from lifeguards.

The SFLA expressed disappointment with the behavior of the university administration and the police. These would have allowed the demonstrators to act. It took 27 minutes for the police to show up. Upon their arrival, police officers did not move against the protesters to allow their speech, but merely escorted them and other lifeguards to a secure room, Hawkins said.

She would like to make up for her appearance at the VCU and has appealed to the university management to allow another date and to ensure the appropriate safety precautions. The right to free speech of lifeguards, especially at the university, is at stake. It should not be the case that lifeguards are no longer able to hold events for fear of demonstrators, she warned.

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