SAVANAH HERNANDEZ: Antifa hunted me down for reporting on their violence

During a violent confrontation at UC Davis this past week I was hunted down by Antifa for trying to express my first amendment right to freedom of the press.

Savanah Hernandez Texas, US

This past Tuesday, Charlie Kirk held a speech at UC Davis and Antifa was out in full force, breaking windows, harassing students and shutting down anyone recording these actions in the name of "anti-fascism." My reporting on their illegal activities ended up with me being hunted by the mob for the act of expressing my constitutional right to report on public events. 

As a reporter for TPUSA, I was on the ground to document the events of the night, with anger surrounding Kirk starting days prior. The Sacramento Bee had spread a slanderous lie that Kirk had called for the "lynching" of the trans community. The Bee has since retracted their statement and issued an apology due to the lie. 

However, the mob had their mind set on Kirk being a "fascist" and began gathering two hours prior to the event. It was immediately clear that they were not there to protest peacefully. Within the first hour, they blocked off a bike lane, causing a back-up of students trying to bike through, they pepper sprayed a man who pushed back against their blocking of the area and they began blocking anyone trying to gain access to the event.

As the night went on their actions became more and more violent. A line of attendees waiting to get inside the building were descended upon by the mob and pushed around. Multiple entrances were blocked and the extremists ended up breaking all of the windows to one of the entrances.

They were closely monitoring anyone who was filming, shutting down the press and even students who were just curious. Since I was undercover, I was able to report for a few hours without Antifa recognizing me.  

I had walked away at one point due to poor cell service in the large group of people. I had just filmed the clip of Antifa smashing out the windows of one of the entrances and wanted to get the clip out as soon as possible. As I was walking away from the crowd, the friend that I was with called me frantic. "They found you out. Get out now," he stated.

He shared that Antifa had recognized me from my glasses and had just surrounded him, demanding to know where I was, demanding to look through his phone and ultimately threatening him with violence for associating with me. 

At this point he ran off to avoid getting attacked and told me to go to the police. I went up to the officers protecting the event and explained the situation, I showed them my press badge and asked for help. They turned me away stating that if I felt that I was in danger, I could just leave the campus. The large mob was still circling the entire area.

Luckily, I was able to contact a colleague inside who let me in and I left unharmed. However, I got lucky this time. 

Back in 2020, I was reporting alone on Antifa in Austin, TX. This was during the height of the George Floyd riots and my footage had garnered national attention for showing the truth around these "fiery by mostly peaceful" protests. Antifa recognized me after a long night of reporting and a mob of them descended upon me, punching me before pushing me to the ground. One member can be heard screaming, "Fuck her up!"

And I’m not the first journalist this has happened to. Andy Ngo, one of the most outspoken voice against Antifa, suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage for his reporting on these violent extremists and ended up having to move out of the city of Portland due to the increased threats on his life. 

Many people are still commenting on my video that "this didn’t really happen" and that "Antifa is an idea." To anyone who genuinely expresses these opinions, I invite you to come report with me at the next event. 


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