NEW YORK, NY — Atheists for Liberty, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is deeply concerned by the recent events at the University at Albany, which led to the harassment of students, destruction of campus property, and infringement on the fundamental right to free speech. On April 4th, the Turning Point USA Chapter in conjunction with the College Republicans hosted a talk by Conservative speaker Ian Haworth. This event was intended to promote free speech and the exchange of ideas.
The event was marred by a group of woke religionists who shouted profanities and damaged campus property. Among the destroyed property was a College Republican member’s bible. Atheists for liberty stands strongly against the destruction of personal property and in favor of personal religious liberty. This violated the university’s code of conduct. Consequently, the attendees, including several members of Atheists for Liberty, were evacuated by campus police to an alternate location. Ian Haworth’s one-hour speech was cut short to just fifteen minutes.
Despite the chaos only two of the disruptive individuals were apprehended. Atheists for Liberty commends the University at Albany Campus Police for their efforts in ensuring the safety of students and facilitating an alternative event for attendees.
The following statement was jointly issued by Thomas Sheedy, President and Founder of Atheists for Liberty, Dan Joseph, New York State Director of Atheists for Liberty, and Steven Belford, an Atheists for Liberty Volunteer and President of the University at Albany College Republicans:
“Even at SUNY campuses not known for broken windows and police cars on fire, we’re seeing Enlightenment values and our freedom of speech erode in the name of ‘diversity’. Some of the most egregious religious practices are defended as long as the proper forms of political correctness are pushed onto innocent students and faculty. With all that transpired at the University at Albany we would like to thank the Atheists for Liberty and Turning Point USA members who responded peacefully to the violent behavior inflicted upon them by the demonstrators. We do, however, call for every Albany Great Dane with a love of country and the First Amendment to be unapologetic in their liberty minded activism and their disdain for tyranny.”
“Protestors arrived before the event began and kept us from starting. They stole our property, and prohibited Haworth from speaking,” according to Belford, who was at the event. “Protestors directly confronted us, threatening us with obscenities. Then, we were moved to a secondary and safe location only to find out that protestors were actively pursuing us with unclear intentions.” Belford states, “The night didn’t end, and we were not safe from these protestors, until police escorted us out and we were forced to flee campus.”
Atheists for Liberty urges the SUNY System, the University at Albany Police Department, and the University at Albany to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and hold those responsible for disrupting the event accountable. The organization will continue its fight for the separation of church and state for all Americans, and remains committed to protecting and promoting the values of free speech and intellectual diversity on campuses nationwide.
Atheists for Liberty will continue to fight for the separation of church and state for all Americans.