Therese Purcell, the president of the University of Buffalo’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, told the Todd Starnes Show she was hunted down by a violent, Leftist mob for bringing a conservative speaker to campus.
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The following is a rush transcript from The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Listen to the program live Monday – Friday from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Click here to listen to the full interview.
TODD STARNES: [00:21:22] Welcome back to the Todd Starnes Radio Show! Good to have you with us. That’s what it sounded like last night at the University of Buffalo. Allen West was on campus giving a speech as part of the YAF speaking tour, and there were several hundred people in that mob. The mob turned violent. At least one student was kicked and punched, we understand, and we’ve got the video on our website. I mean, it is irrefutable. You can actually see the mob trying to shut down someone who was videotaping all the evidence. Allen West had to be escorted out by police and then the leader of the YAF chapter was chased on campus in the dark of night, and she had to find refuge from this rampaging mob, chanting I’m black and I’m proud. I want to go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line, because we’re honored to have with us that Young Americans for Freedom YAF student leader Therese Purcell. Therese, good to have you with us today, and I have to imagine that was a terrifying experience last night. [00:22:27][65.9]
THERESE PURCELL: [00:22:29] Hi Todd, thank you so much for having me on the show. I super appreciate it. Overall, it was a great event until after the protesters had been going all day and then after they confronted us and hunted me out throughout campus, which was a scary experience, like you said. [00:22:42][12.9]
STARNES: [00:22:43] Yeah, let’s talk about what happened here. So, you guys had invited Allen West to speak. What was the topic? What was he talking about? [00:22:51][8.2]
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PURCELL: [00:22:52] Yes, we had invited Col. Allen West to speak on campus. He was talking on race and American exceptionalism. The topic of the speech was “America is not racist – why American values are exceptional” which really shouldn’t be controversial on an American campus, right? That American values are exceptional and should be preserved. But the leftists on campus freaked out and organized the protests starting at 2 p.m., which went throughout campus. I heard from people throughout the day, and I was there watching the protest. You could just hear them screaming throughout our campus, and they interrupted classes. It was quite the crazy event. They were trying to tell me that I was silencing black voices as I was bringing a black gentleman to campus to talk about these issues. [00:23:31][38.5]
STARNES: [00:23:32] Therese, they are aware that Allen West is, in fact, a black man? [00:23:35][3.5]
PURCELL: [00:23:37] Right, yeah, the hypocrisy there was really crazy, since their whole thing was that our club was racist, and that we were trying to silence minorities and black voices, which is fundamentally not true as we were bringing someone who had been in the military for 20 years. He served in the U.S. Congress, and he was black and was willing to talk on these issues and how he overcame some of the racist policies of the South and how American values are exceptional. But they weren’t interested in actually hearing what he had to say, instead they just want to protest and make a scene and threaten our YAF members. [00:24:08][30.7]
STARNES: [00:24:08] So let’s talk about what happened. So, the mob descended upon the area where you guys were holding the speech, and we understand that one of the students was assaulted. What happened? [00:24:20][11.6]
PURCELL: [00:24:21] So, what happened was, the event was very, very popular on campus. We had a long standby line. We had hundreds of people who weren’t even able to get in, since it was so popular. So after the event, there were, I guesstimate, maybe like 200 students surrounding the room we were having our private meet and greet in, and they were banging on the walls and screaming really loudly, and the police escorted Allen West out, and we were trying to stay close to the police, but we quickly were lost in all the protesters, as they were trying to confront me as I believe I was one of their targets. We were assuming West could be one of their targets. We were trying to get him safely with the police officers off campus. And then I turned to walk away from the protesters, since I didn’t feel safe being surrounded by hundreds of students who were screaming at me and clearly hated me. And then as soon as I tried to walk peacefully back to my car, many of them started screaming like, she is leaving! She’s leaving! Follow her! Follow her! And then this mob of about 200 students started running after me and chasing me. I eventually ran into a building and they were all like, very close to me, just like a second behind me, and one of my friends pulled me into one of the men’s bathrooms, and we hid in there and they were there like one second later, just screaming like, where is she? Where is she? Where is she? So, it was quite the scary experience. We called 9-1-1, and they eventually got there. But you could just hear the students screaming, trying to find me, and one of our other board members, our treasurer was actually the one who was assaulted by them. He was trying to just get safely off campus, back to his car, and to try to help other members get to their car. And these leftists were just accosting him and ended up kicking him and punching him. It was really, really unfortunate. [00:26:04][103.0]
STARNES: [00:26:05] How is that young man? [00:26:06][1.4]
PURCELL: [00:26:08] He’s very sore today from getting kicked by leftists, but thankfully no one was seriously injured. We’re thankful for that. [00:26:14][6.8]
STARNES: [00:26:15] Did he fight back? Because typically these liberals, you know, they’re cowards and normally if they kick you and punch you, if you punch them back, they usually drop to the ground right away. They can’t take a punch. [00:26:27][12.2]
PURCELL: [00:26:28] At that point, the police stepped in and interfered. There wasn’t a police presence with me when I was being hunted down on campus. That’s why I had to try to sneak in a bathroom to hide from these people who are trying to hunt me down. [00:26:39][11.2]
STARNES: [00:26:40] What do you think they were going to do to you? What do you think they were going to do? I mean, if they had gotten a hold of you, I mean, they could have done the same thing to you. [00:26:46][5.9]
PURCELL: [00:26:47] Right, it was very scary. Like, I know, a lot of us who were running from them were really afraid for our lives, because we didn’t know what they were going to do. It sounded like it could turn to violence as they obviously were punching and kicking one of our YAF members, and they were screaming so loudly. And you could just sense like the anger in their voices. And it was just scary to have, you know, 200 people running after you and chasing you and screaming for others to come chase me. [00:27:07][20.0]
STARNES: [00:27:08] Therese Purcell is on our Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Now, I’ve seen the video. We have it on our website, and it is terrifying. It’s not very well lit on the campus, but you can see the mob literally chasing after you shouting the things you just said, there she is! There she is! And they’re after you. Then there’s another video where someone is trying to film, and it looks like they accosted that person as well. [00:27:35][26.5]
PURCELL: [00:27:36] Yeah. So that’s the other issue here is they really weren’t for freedom of thought, diversity of thought, freedom of speech. So, some of us were trying to record just record what was going on since, you know, they were accosting our members, harassing our members, and they were trying to grab her phone. So, it was really sad that they weren’t even allowing us to have our freedom of speech, since they felt the need to protest that this very distinguished colonel in the Army would come to campus. And then after their protest, they were trying to accost us just for recording and taking pictures. [00:28:07][30.5]
STARNES: [00:28:08] I want to ask about the university. Have you heard from any university leaders today, any campus police? [00:28:16][7.7]
PURCELL: [00:28:17] We have not. We have heard from campus police. Campus police just followed up with us just before this interview. But the disappointing part is we have heard from zero representatives of the university other than the police. We have heard from zero campus administrators. You would think after students were being followed by an angry mob and being hunted down on campus and after a student was assaulted and kicked by students that they would have reached out to make sure that we were safe, but we have had no response from them. [00:28:44][26.8]
STARNES: [00:28:45] Well, we haven’t either, Therese. I reached out personally to the university, their media relations department, which is standard practice, and they haven’t responded to our questions either. So, you know what we’re going to do here, folks. We believe that your voice matters. And so if you go to our Live Show Blog over at toddstarnes.com, the headline ‘Black Lives Matter mob attacks conservative students,’ you will see the email address and the contact information for the University of Buffalo, and we want you over the next little while to call them, to email them. And if they respond, we want you to let us know. 844-747-8868 is our toll-free telephone number. That’s 844-747-8868 – I have listed on my live show blog the email addresses, and the phone numbers, and cell phone numbers of the university leadership. So, if they’re not going to talk to Young America’s foundation, if they’re not going to talk to us, perhaps they just might talk to you, the great listeners of this program, Therese, we are so glad you’re OK. And we’re going to try to get to the bottom of this. This cannot be allowed to happen again. It just cannot be allowed to happen, and I will tell you this, had the roles been reversed here, had YAF been the aggressors, this would have been a national news story. [00:30:10][85.1]
PURCELL: [00:30:11] Exactly, we feel the same way. And thank you for reaching out to the university. We greatly appreciate that, and our Young Americans for Freedom chapter is not going to back down. The left is using these tactics to try to scare us, to try to bully us, but we’re going to keep being activists on campus and trying to spread freedom. [00:30:25][13.6]
STARNES: [00:30:26] Good for you! Alright Therese, we’re going to have to leave it there. God bless you. That’s Therese Purcell. She is the president of the Young America’s Foundation chapter, the YAF chapter on campus at the University of Buffalo. [00:30:39][13.2]