Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines appeared before Congress Tuesday with details about her harrowing experience at San Francisco State University for a subcommittee that said, “it is well past time we recognize organized left-wing violence for the threat that it is.”
Having sidelined her own ambitions to speak out against the transgender movement’s damaging impact on women’s rights, Gaines has not only had to face those consequences, but the violence of activists opposed to her speaking out as well.
Tuesday, she appeared before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability during a hearing titled, “‘Mostly Peaceful’: Countering Left-Wing Organized Violence,” where she testified to her experience of being held against her will and told she “doesn’t get to go home safely.”
Recounting the events from April 6 at SFSU where she had been invited as a guest speaker, Gaines mentioned the chaos that unfolded as protesters gathered outside the room and shouted threats because of her opposition to men competing in women’s sports.
At one point, “A woman grabbed me and told me she was with the campus police and pulled me toward the door, but I did not believe she was with the police because she wore no clothes that indicated she was an officer, and she had a face covering on, so I couldn’t see her face.”
It was then that she was escorted down the hall, but was waylaid by protesters blocking the path, forcing her and security to take shelter in an office. “The small room we had found would be my prison for the next three hours, and in those hours, I was certainly held against my will.”
“They said that my appearance on campus was so traumatic that they were owed something,” the athlete testified. “They were under the false notion that the university paid me to be there.”
“Free speech suffers when university administrators do not condemn violence and kidnapping on their campus. It’s chilled when administrators do not adequately prepare for and protect the safety of their speakers, whether liberal or conservative. Free speech is undermined when administrators misrepresent and malign the views with whom they disagree,” Gaines asserted.
The spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum also fully detailed the circumstances that brought her to speak at SFSU, recounting how Lia Thomas, a “6’4” male “walks in, disrobes and is fully intact with male genitalia while we’re simultaneously undressing.”
She explained that an official told her “it’s not a big deal” because the women’s locker room had been designated “unisex.”
“So this meant that any man could have walked into our locker room, not just a self-identifying female, any man, any coach, any parent, any official, any man who wanted to would have had full access to and bare minimum we weren’t forewarned,” Gaines testified before noting that Thomas’ teammates, who dealt with this routinely, were told that if they were uncomfortable they should seek counseling.
Actor James Woods reacted to her testimony overnight and said, “Riley Gaines is an American hero and the vicious mob attacking her are the real traitors in this country, a cancer on our nation. When will others stand with her and save what women have fought for in this nation since the suffrage movement?”
Riley Gaines is an American hero and the vicious mob attacking her are the real traitors in this country, a cancer on our nation. When will others stand with her and save what women have fought for in this nation since the suffrage movement? https://t.co/ldiOHgjQjo
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 17, 2023
It remains to be seen what will come of efforts to push back against men in women’s spaces, but Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), the subcommittee chair, made note of the reason for the hearing and his desired outcome in a statement that read: “Part of the Department’s mission is to share timely and actionable information to enable state and local partners to keep their communities safe. The question is — Does the Department sufficiently share analyses and collect lessons learned from prior incidents of organized left-wing violence with state and local partners? After all, you cannot address a threat you decline to define or acknowledge.”
“So, today’s hearing is not about whether left or right-wing extremism is worse. They are different problems requiring different strategies. And, it is well past time we recognize organized left-wing violence for the threat that it is,” Bishop added.
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