A young Black Lives Matter protester is receiving praise on Twitter for countering All Lives Matter protesters by herself, even after protesters harassed her and stole her sign.
Ryley Wrigglesworth, a 19-year-old from Bethel, Ohio, was prepared to attend a Black Lives Matter protest by herself Sunday afternoon. But when she arrived, large groups of All Lives Matter protesters were already gathered, blocking off much of the sidewalk.
Wrigglesworth said she knew there were Black Lives Matter protesters past the All Lives Matter crowd, but she had to cross through the crowd by herself.
“‘All lives matter’ redneck biker protest is going on in bethel and I’m about to take my little ass up there by myself with my black lives matter sign. Let’s see how this goes,” Wrigglesworth tweeted.
When Wrigglesworth arrived with a Black Lives Matter sign, protesters were hostile. Wrigglesworth said protesters were shouting at her to “stay back” and said things like “you better not come through here b*tch.”
Wrigglesworth said her sign was ripped out of her hands, she was thrown against a wall, and she was hit in the head by protesters. She said she called for help from a police officer, who did little to mitigate the situation, but did try to take a statement afterward.
A witness recorded part of the incident. The video shows protesters harassing Wrigglesworth and destroying her Black Lives Matter sign.
But Wrigglesworth did not give up. She made a new sign and went right back to the protest to continue marching.
Another video shows protesters getting in Wrigglesworth’s face and screaming at her. Wrigglesworth said she continued to be assaulted until she screamed “stay away from me,” as loud as she could and an older woman walked over to help.
Wrigglesworth said she saw other Black Lives Matter protesters get assaulted, and they did what they could to keep each other safe. Contentious protests have sprung up in Bethel, and many have been seriously injured, according to the Washington Post.
Wrigglesworth said though she was harassed, protesting was the right thing to do.
“It is so important to stand up for what is right,” Wrigglesworth said. “What I felt that day was nothing compared to what Black men, women, and children have felt for hundreds of years and that’s what kept going through my head after it happened. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. If you’re privileged, use it to make a change.”