College Republicans president gives false name

An online video shows the WSU College Republicans president speaking to the press under a false name and denying affiliation with the club he leads, during a counter protest at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in Moscow on Sunday.

James Allsup identified himself in the video as Sam Hyde, the name of an alt-right internet comedian, and later cited threats he and other club members have received and the “violent nature” of BLM protests. He said WSU Police are investigating many of these threats.

Allsup said, in light of these circumstances, he and some other counter protesters at the rally decided to use false identities in interviews with the media. He later posted a Facebook live video of the rally which showed him giving the false name.

Brianna Smathers, who organized the event, said that although the media seems to represent BLM rallies as violent, all the ones she has participated in have been peaceful.

“Him hiding his name is just cowardly,” she said.

Smathers said that when she arrived, police warned her that the counter protesters were displaying guns. She said at least one woman left her children at home because she worried there would be armed counter protesters.

“Black Lives Matter rallies are not violent, people of color are not violent,” she said. “The only violent people and the only violent group were them.”

Though the counter protesters said they were there to ensure police officers felt supported, Smathers said police and BLM protesters have always worked together well in these situations.

“They were obviously making a mockery out of the deaths of people of color,” she said.

Smathers said she would like for WSU Democrats and Republicans to be able to work together and help the community, but she does not believe this is likely with Allsup as president of the College Republicans.

“For him to represent republicans so hatefully and so violently is very sad,” she said.

Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect that the counter protesters displayed firearms, rather than brandished them.