Rally to Vaccinate Penn State, campus police escort counter protester

Campus police escort a counter protester away from the Student-Faculty Rally to Vaccinate Penn State following a physical altercation with other rally attendees, outside Old Main on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 in University Park, Pa. Following the FDA’s first vaccine approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on August 23, faculty and students called for a vaccine mandate from Penn State as other Big Ten schools implement vaccine mandates, with rallies organized by the Coalition for a Just University.

The Coalition for a Just University released a statement on Instagram regarding Penn State Professor Walter Oliver Baker's charges after a physical altercation at a vaccination rally Aug. 27.

The organization called for all charges against Baker to be dropped and for Penn State to take Baker off administrative leave, according to an Instagram post.

Baker allegedly engaged in a physical altercation with a counterprotester at CJU's Student-Faculty Unity Rally and was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and simple assault.

According to CJU's Instagram post, Baker "attempted to peacefully deescalate the provocateur... fearing that people's safety was at risk."

 

The Instagram post from CJU said Baker was "wrongfully singled out" by police for prosecution.

The organization also said the university should "take steps to ensure the safety of all participants in future peaceful demonstrations on Penn State campuses."

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