AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — A controversial conservative speaker was met with protests on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus Thursday night. Michael Knowles repeated the hateful rhetoric he presented last weekend at C-PAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), that transgenderism should be eradicated.

According to a UB spokesperson, one person was arrested during the protest. The 25-year-old is unaffiliated with the university and was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Two other people were removed from Slee Hall for disrupting the speaker during the discussion. No charges were filed.

News 4’s cameras were not allowed inside the event to attend the discussion, but there were hundred of protesters outside Slee Hall before the event. They chanted and held signs condemning the speech.

The Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at UB hosted Knowles and the talk Thursday night.

In his talk “How Feminism Destroys Women (And Everything Else),” Knowles discussed his thoughts on transgenderism, feminism, and other topics. He also took questions from the audience at the end of the talk.

“I probably disagree with 99.9 percent of everything the protesters are here saying, but they have a right to be here just as much as I do,” Michael Debitetto, a junior at SUNY Fredonia who attended the talk, said.

“This is a matter of people being able to live the way they feel is authentic to themselves or is authentic to themselves where as someone trying to stop that and say if you attempt to live this way, you are subhuman,” protester John Huston, a freshman at UB, added.

Early in the discussion, a protesters can be heard in the crowd chanting “Trans Lives Matter”, which Knowles joked saying he couldn’t hear the protester who was yelling.

Listen to the full discussion and Q&A on WBEN.

On March 4, Knowles spoke for about 15 minutes at C-PAC where he said, “If it [transgenderism] is false, then for the good of society and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely the whole preposterous ideology.”

Some protesters consider his comments hate speech.

“Eradication of entire populations of people is not just free speech. It’s hateful and it’s dangerous speech and that’s what’s making people feel unsafe,” Jenna Bradshaw, a senior at UB, continued.

At times, the protests became turbulent. One protester jumped a fence and was taken down by police. Some people attending say they feel silenced at UB because of their political views.

“You can’t voice your opinion as a conservative young man on this campus, otherwise you have the fear of being tampered with by professors and other students at this university,” Greg Hodulick, a senior at UB, added.

“I think that’s not too fair considering the fact that if a left leaning politician comes by there’s not really as much outrage. When Kamala Harris came, it was no big deal, everyone was happy. I don’t know why it had to be so much of an issue,” Cameron Tiutiunnyk, a sophomore at UB, said.

Some protesters say having Knowles at UB hurts the transgender community.

“We are advocating for our freedoms. We are advocating for our autonomies. And most importantly we are advocating for the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our country,” Alexandre Burgos, a community leader who attended the protests, said.

University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi made a statement earlier this week condemning the talk, but saying the university needs to uphold the freedom of speech and allow Knowles to speak on campus.

“Hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric is an affront to everything our community embraces,” Tripathi said. However, he added, “So long as a student group abides by university guidelines and state laws concerning public events on campus, we cannot disallow the student group from inviting the speaker of their choosing to campus.”

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.