Peaceful discussion about Schultz

Photo by Casey Gomez

On Friday, Sept. 22, a gathering was held in the area between the Ferst Center and Smithgall building to discuss topics related to the death of Scout Schultz.

It had been anticipated that the assembly would prove violent after the Antifa Atlanta group posted about it on its Facebook page. Smithgall itself was closed to all starting at noon Friday.

Yet, there no physical violence of the vein that was seen during the riots of Monday, Sept. 18. Instead, a number of speakers expressed their feelings and views on a range of issues, including Schultz’s passing, the response of the Tech community and GTPD.

One individual, initially using a megaphone to address the crowd, made his thoughts known.

“First, let’s all take a quick ten seconds of silence to remember Scout,” he said. “Nothing they will do, nothing they can say, nothing they can give us will ever bring back Scout again.”

“I’ve seen how, in this past week, I’ve had to deal with the loss of my friend,” the individual continued. “They silence us when people hang banners from the residence halls that say ‘Thank you GTPD for what you did.’ How can we read that and not see that [this] is thanking them for killing our friend?”

“F*** antifa for creating this division,” said a passerby.

“F*** you, sh*thead,” said another in the crowd in response.

Other individuals began to speak as well.

“I feel like you’re not being silenced … I’m sorry but GTPD is keeping us safe,” said one.

His words were met with a mix of applause, boos and jeers.

“Just kind of a question for the broader crowd, does this guy over here [referring to the first speaker] threaten you?” asked another individual, this time from within the inner crowd. “Because he doesn’t threaten me. All I see is a man grieving for a friend he’s lost, clearly trying to get his voice heard out here, and I feel like people are treating this as some kind of threat to student safety.”

Applause broke out from the crowd.

“So there’s this weird idea going on, that, if you love somebody, you don’t hold them accountable, right?” began another individual. “You can love GTPD, and you can think that they should have handled the situation differently … Stop with the ‘oh it’s either you loved Scout or you love GTPD,’ right? Because you can feel safe around your college police department and admit that they have work to do, right? Loving somebody does not mean not holding them accountable for what they do, and you need to stop with that, because it’s dishonest.”

After a few more individuals spoke on related topics, the inner segment of the crowd broke away, and walked towards Tech green.