OSU Protesters Receiving Death Threats

Wednesday, December 10th 2014, 7:00 pm
By: News 9

Death threats have emerged following protests at Oklahoma State University.

Students joined in the protesting that happened around the world, but now those protesters fear for their safety.

The sounds of footsteps and chants filled the air on Monroe Street last Friday. Student protesters voiced their concerns over police brutality and racial discrimination.

But what was a peaceful protest, has now been met with serious threats.

"We have recognized the violent speech on our campus is not disconnected from the violence we were protesting," said Ayah Abo-Bashi, an Oklahoma State Student.

In the center of protests that blocked a busy campus intersection, stood OSU student Ayah Abo-Bashi. Abo-Bashi is part of Students in Solidarity, the group that led the protest.

Now she and others are at the center of recent death threats made on social media,

A Facebook post questioned, "If I feel my life is being threatened for being white, do I have the right to use my gun? And continued, “I will be sure to carry my gun every place I go."

In a separate anonymous post a user replied with a direct web-link to lynching.

"This is not a new issue, this is an issue that has been happening on campus and our administration has been ignoring," said Abo-Bashi.

In a statement to News 9, university spokesman Gary Shutt said "Police will review the report but there was no specific threat."

Racial slurs were made to a black sorority on social media earlier this year and University President Burns Hargis released a video in response.

"I'm appalled and disappointed in these obscene and racial comments," said Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis.

But Abo-Bashi feels this most recent act reaffirms something must change.

"When a student receives hateful messages on their Facebook from a student who threatens to carry guns against protesters, yes that does make me feel really unsafe," said Abo-Bashi.

The University has also stated it has contacted the social media site. And the site stated it is taking steps to address offensive language.

Abo-Bashi filed an official report with campus police, who say they will monitor social media because currently no law has been broken.