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Unease at Evergreen state ahead of pro-Trump protest

Joey Gibson will help lead a pro-Trump rally at The Evergreen State College. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

Ever since an Evergreen State College professor was shunned for his criticism of campus events with a racial nexus, the typically laid-back school has been rather tense.

Lisa Pemberton, reporter for The Olympian, told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns that they’ve spoken with staff at the college and found out that some may not return to the campus for a while, fearing for their safety.

“They talked of crisis or even emergency management,” she said. “Some teachers aren’t going back to campus because they’ve received death threats.”

RELATED: Lawmaker wants to cut off Evergreen State College

The campus shut down for several days after the school received a threat of violence. The college was even forced to move its commencement ceremony.

The campus will, once again, shut down Thursday. This time the college will close due to a rally held by Patriot Prayer, a pro-Trump organization from Portland.

According to The Seattle Times, the Puget Sound Anarchists group plans to counter-protest, saying the Trump rally is fascist and aligned the group with white supremacists.

The pro-Trump group, however, says they are an anti-hate group that fights for freedom of speech.

State Patrol Deputies will be on campus as added security. The rally begins at 6 p.m.

In an op-ed for the Times, college President George Bridges wrote: “These are critical days for the future of The Evergreen State College.”

He continues:

Over recent weeks, Evergreen’s normally quiet, wooded 1,000-acre campus in Olympia has been rocked by loud protests, sit-ins, and abusive speech. Unlike protests in the 1970s, however, there was no tear gas, nor were there injuries or arrests.

Evergreen has always been a place that takes on difficult issues in sometimes raucous fashion. The activism this year was different, though. As campus groups debated racism and free speech, there was a level of fear, emotion and invective we’ve never seen here.

Evergreen State professor Weinstein

Meanwhile, Bret Weinstein, the professor that outraged students over his comments, has been active on Twitter but has kept his distance from the campus. Weinstein initially refused to take part in a Day Without Whites event on campus this year. The event was meant to draw attention to racial disparities.

Pemberton says Weinstein hasn’t given much access to the paper.

However, he has appeared on FOX News.

“You’re no longer on the campus of Evergreen, why?” Tucker Carlson asked him recently.

“Well, the college has never acknowledged the danger that they put us in and therefore I have no way of knowing if it’s safe to return,” he responded.

“Do you plan to go back?”

“Well, I certainly have duties to finish this year and I have no alternative employment. My expectation is I will have to go back. That said, it is not exactly clear how I will go back to a campus where the administration and faculty have invested so heavily in demonizing me. At first, they demonized me as a racist. When it became clear that was not resonating with people they shifted their critique and blamed my last appearance on your program for everything that has occurred at Evergreen since.”

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