CORRECTION: A previous version of this article indicated that both protests ended in the altercation. In fact, the No-Ban-No-Wall protest organized in part by the Students for Justice in Palestine was still happening when the altercation happened.
UPDATE: Coverage of the prayer that happened following the protests was added to this story Thursday at 4:48 p.m.
CLARIFICATION: “Muslim ban” was changed to “executive order banning entry into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries” on Thursday at 10:57 a.m.
CORRECTION: This article was updated at 1:56 a.m. Thursday to correctly name the Arab American Civic Council.
UPDATE: Coverage of the protest prior to the altercation, as well as the name of the “unidentified professor,” who is actually part-time lecturer Eric Canin, and details on charges filed were added to this story at 9:53 p.m. Wednesday.
UPDATE: This article was updated at 5:37 p.m. Wednesday to include the names of students involved in the altercation.
UPDATE: A tweet from CSUF chief communications officer Jeffrey D. Cook was added to this story at 3:57 p.m. Wednesday.
(by: Sarah Wolstoncroft / Brandon Pho)
What started out as a nonviolent counter protest by the CSUF College Republicans club to a march against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies ended in an altercation between CSUF anthropology part-time lecturer Eric Canin and three students Wednesday.
University Police Captain Scot Willey said no injuries were reported. He said the protest was peaceful before the altercation with the CSUF College Republicans club following the Students for Justice in Palestine club from a safe distance.
President of the CSUF College Republicans club Chris Boyle and member Jared Lopez said they and member Bryce Ingalls were the students in the altercation.
“(Canin) came up, tried to grab (my) sign and pushed our way … Then he went after (Ingalls) and started swinging at him,” Lopez said.
Canin said he “did not touch anyone” and the Republican group “making fun of him” sparked the altercation.
“I ran into those bicycles and they started laughing. I lost it and I started screaming and they grabbed me from behind and my stuff went flying everywhere,” Canin said.
Canin said in a text message he is “confident any video would exonerate” him.
During the altercation, music department professor Ken Walicki intervened and confronted Canin.
“I did not see (Canin) hit (Ingalls), but I saw (Ingalls) on the ground,” Walicki said.
After the protests, CSUF Chief Communications Officer Jeffrey D. Cook tweeted:
#CSUF prizes and promotes free and open expression. Any violent incident, however isolated, cannot be tolerated and is unacceptable.
— Jeffrey D. Cook (@ccoCSUF) February 8, 2017
Boyle decided to press charges and the matter will be sent to the district attorney’s office. Willey said that the process could take a couple months because the issue would not be a “real priority” for the district attorney’s office.
“When misdemeanors are not committed in an officer’s presence we ask that the victim file a private person’s arrest,” Willey said.
(video: Mia Agraviador and Ryan Porter / Daily Titan)
Before the altercation, the demonstrations were a peaceful exchange of ideas between a divided student body.
Ruby Abutaleb, president of Students for Justice in Palestine club, organized the No-Ban-No-Wall demonstration with other clubs on campus in protest of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning entry into the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries and plans to build a wall along the border of Mexico.
“It was a really good opportunity to get everyone together to have a coalition and know that people who feel attacked by the Trump administration know that they are supported,” Abutaleb said.
Gwen Alexis, adjunct lecturer in the African-American studies department, spoke to the crowd that gathered outside the Humanities and Social Sciences Building at the beginning of the event.
“(You) don’t have to join but you just have to keep an open mind and realize the ground you’re walking on does not belong to you,” Alexis said in regard to students who were indifferent to Trump’s policies and just walked by the protests.
Soon after, No-Ban-No-Wall demonstrators began reciting chants like, “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
The CSUF College Republicans club joined the rally between Pollak Library and McCarthy Hall, carrying signs with slogans like “Bricks out for Harambe” and “Suspension doesn’t mean forever,” and voicing pro-Trump chants.
“Right now, honestly, the news media dominates the conversation about politics,” Boyle said. “We hear a lot of messages from the left that are drowning out facts from the right, so we wanted to be here representing our alternative voice in favor of American safety and freedoms.”
In regard to the students on campus who identify with the communities that Trump’s executive orders have affected, Boyle said international relations are “never personal.”
In response to Boyle’s stance, Rashad Aldabbagh, CSUF alumnus and executive director of the Arab American Civic Council, said, “Ask the person who just fled persecution … a person who is escaping violence or poverty and is being a productive citizen here in America. Foreign policy is very personal … many of us are directly impacted by foreign policy.”
After the two groups competed for the louder voice in the Quad, the Students for Justice in Palestine club demonstrators began their march with the pro-Trump crowd following behind them.
The march snaked through campus. The altercation took place as the pro-Trump marchers passed Titan Shops.
The No-Ban-No-Wall demonstrators ended the protest by bringing Muslim and non-Muslim students together to engage in prayer.
“Other than (the altercation), the event was peaceful and both sides were doing exactly what they are allowed to be doing on a college campus,” Willey said.
Ashlyn Ramirez contributed to this article.