[Statement] Charlie Kirk Issues Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order Defending Campus Free Speech
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2019 —
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, conservative activist Hayden Williams was recruiting students at a Turning Point USA tabling event at UC Berkeley’s Upper Sproul Plaza – considered the “birthplace” of the modern free speech movement – when he was violently assaulted by Zachary Greenberg. The attack against Williams, a Leadership Institute staffer, was captured in gruesome detail in a video clip that went viral after Charlie Kirk, founder and president of TPUSA, posted the altercation on Twitter
Today, President Donald Trump will sign an executive order aimed at protecting free speech, “improving free inquiry, transparency and accountability” at colleges and universities that currently receive federal research dollars. Kirk, who has been invited to attend today’s signing of the executive order at the White House, issues the following statement:
“I have spent the last six years of my life speaking at college campuses around the country, and I know firsthand the hostility, vitriol and violence constantly directed toward conservative students for peacefully advocating for their beliefs, just like Hayden Williams was doing for us at U.C. Berkeley when he was attacked. Along with other great organizations, today’s executive order is the culmination of Turning Point USA’s tireless work to break the left’s stranglehold on campus, a grip that has suffocated the free exchange of ideas and helped indoctrinate an entire generation to hate America, the freest, most prosperous, decent and generous country ever to exist.
“Though most universities today have become breeding grounds for socialism and Marxism, if soaring tuition rates are any indicator, these institutions understand money above all else. The only way to affect real change and reform is by threatening to withhold funding if they fail to protect the First Amendment rights of their students, faculty, staff, and speakers.
“While there is still so much work to be done, today we celebrate this historic achievement. I want to applaud our army of student activists all across the country who have been working for so long, largely in obscurity and often at great personal risk. I am also incredibly grateful to President Trump who has championed this executive order from day one and supported groups like ours to keep fighting. It is truly one of the great honors of my life to be able to attend today’s signing ceremony at the White House.”
About Turning Point USA
Turning Point USA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk who was only 19 at the time. The organization’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government. Since its founding, Turning Point USA has embarked on a mission to build the most organized, active, and powerful conservative grassroots activist network on college campuses across the country. With a presence on over 1,400 college campuses and high schools across the country, Turning Point USA is the largest and fastest growing conservative youth organization in America.