A smoke bomb interrupted a pro-life speaker's presentation Monday night at the University of Texas at Austin. The university's Gearing Hall had to be evacuated, and the speaker's presentation was moved to another venue as a result of the smoke bomb.
A conservative campus group said that the culprit who set off the smoke bomb was a liberal activist.
What are the details?
Speaker Ryan Bomberger, president of the Radiance Foundation, was invited to speak at the school on behalf of the school's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter.
Bomberger was in the middle of a pro-life presentation titled, "Should Have Been Aborted," when the smoke bomb went off.
Saurabh Sharma, chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas, told KTBC-TV, "We were hosting a speaker by the name of Ryan Bomberger, the President of Radiance Foundation. a pro-life advocacy group, called 'Should Have Been Aborted.' The event was going normally and then we heard the fire alarm and evacuated, as we were leaving we saw smoke. Shortly after evacuating, the police informed us it was a smoke bomb. We went to a nearby lecture hall to complete the event."
A Facebook post describing the incident explained that "leftist cowardice [struck] again."
"If you can't (intellectually) beat 'em, smoke 'em out," the post added. "The tolerance brigade smoke bombed our event at The University of Texas at Austin. Young Conservatives of Texas at the University of Texas' and Trotter House Community Outreach (amazing pregnancy care center located on campus) sponsored us to come speak about abortion in a presentation entitled, 'Should Have Been Aborted,' tackling the broken worldview that some humans have less worth than others.
"On campuses across the country, leftist activists can't handle that others are able to peaceably assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights," the post continued. "The Radiance Foundation has been protested on numerous campuses, but we've never experienced a hit and run like this. The entire Gearing Hall had to be evacuated and our event moved to another building. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But freedom is injured every time liberal activists try to shut down #freespeech. Police are investigating the incident."
Bomberger said, "[I]t just reminds me that there are some students who would rather fear than think. And it's a shame because they could have come in and they could have learned a lot and they could have asked all kinds of questions. It's a non-threatening sort of environment where you get to ask questions even if you're on the other side ideologically."
KTBC reported that a criminal investigation in connection with the incident is underway.