Video shows young conservative activists being assaulted on U.C. Berkeley Campus

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The young conservative activist who was attacked on the U.C. Berkeley campus Tuesday afternoon is speaking out.

Hayden Williams, who friends and associates say is not a U.C. Berkeley student, was invited on campus by Turning Point U.S.A., to recruit members for the conservative organization.

Williams appeared on the Hannity Show on Fox News Thursday night with a black eye, explaining that "some students took offense to our sign that we had that said hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims."

Williams said he feared for his safety when his attacker and another man approached the table that he was working at in Sproul Plaza.

"This person claimed we were promoting violence on campus and proceeded to take his aggression out on us."

That's when he and others took out their cell phones. Turning Point U.S.A. released a recording of the attack.

The cell phone video shows two men fighting on the U-C Berkeley campus. A man in all black, wearing a backpack, can be seen and heard yelling at Hayden Williams. After calling him a racist, the man in black punched Williams in the face, while he was looking down at his phone.

"I saw my friend being punched. He did not provide any resistance," said Milton Zerman, who witnessed the attack Tuesday afternoon.

Zerman is a U.C. Berkeley student and the President of Turning Point Berkeley and Vice-President of the Campus Republicans.

"The individual who was the perpetrator says you promote violence," he said. "Which is very ironic given he's the one who assaulted my friend-and again threatened to shoot him."

U.C. Berkeley police confirm they are investigating the incident and released a photo of the suspect, who they say may or may not be a student.

ABC7News also obtained photos showing the alleged attacker up close.

"Let's be absolutely clear," said U.C. Berkeley Spokesman Dan Mogulof. "This University absolutely condemns violence and harassment no matter who the perpetrators are. No matter who the victims are. It's simply intolerable and has no place on this campus."

U.C. Berkeley has had its share of trouble when it comes to conservatives' effort to speak and bring speakers on to campus.

In February 2017, a riot broke out when controversial commentator Milo Yiannopoulous was set to speak, forcing the cancellation of his event.

"I think there's a lot of work to do when it comes to free speech," said Zerman, "and I think this is a perfect indication of the work that has to be done."

Regardless of political beliefs, some U.C. Berkeley students were troubled when they saw the video and by the fact that something like it happened at all on Sproul Plaza.

"Sproul Plaza is a very historic place," said student Xiao Ming. "This is where the Free Speech Movement originated and it's just so sad that such a thing could happen in this wonderful place."
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