CSU Turning Point USA address draws support, and protest - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

CSU Turning Point USA address draws support, and protest

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk tries to ward off shouts of protest during CSU speech Thursday. (Source: WOIO) Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk tries to ward off shouts of protest during CSU speech Thursday. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative organization that promotes limited government, spoke Thursday at Cleveland State University.

While many were there to listen, a handful of others were there to protest what they call hate speech.

Tiffany Roberts is the local chapter president who set up the event.

"It's an important time in our lives, especially in college, to hear different opinions and form our own opinions," she said. "I'm not really sure why people would claim this is hate speech. This is us sharing our opinions and our beliefs."

It was clear not everyone felt Kirk should speak at CSU. 

Kirk is an outspoken supporter of the free market and limited government. 

Protesters claim he promotes racist views and hate speech.

"It's horrible to see people like Charlie Kirk come into our campuses," said Brenda Adrine.

A small group of protesters gathered outside before making their way in into the main classroom.

"He's promoting the hated against the gay, lesbian lifestyle. He's promoting hated against immigrants," said Adrine.

As some people pointed out, many protesters weren't college students.

"It's sad that they have to bring people in just to promote a very common event over Charlie Kirk, so it kind of hurts me that people are taking over our campus and trying to set the tone and set the mood on our campus," said CSU junior Anton Krecic.

Other students, who weren't taking sides, said they want campus to calm down.

"It's very distracting for the students. I know we've been missing school a lot. A lot of classes have been canceled. It's just crazy. There's a lot going on," said CSU freshman Stefanie Gibson.

The organizers of Kirk's visit said they expected some backlash, but not protests. 

They wanted to make it clear the anti-LGBT fliers posted on CSU's campus were not related to the event.

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