EDWARDSVILLE, IL - At a public appearance last week on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Ann Callis' campaign staff physically attempted to silence and remove students protesting Callis' appearance with Senator Dick Durbin. The event was open to the media and was on the campus quad, public space available to anyone.
"Ann Callis needs to apologize to the students who were physically confronted by her over-aggressive staff, and for laughing about it afterward," said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. "Students at SIUE have plenty of reason to be concerned about her liberal agenda, and they have every right to make their voices heard."
In videos provided to the Illinois Republican Party, (Video 1, Video 2) Callis campaign manager Marshall Cohen is seen grabbing at three students with signs, in an attempt to remove them. At one point in the video, Cohen attempts to pull down a protestor's arm.
Additionally, a female Callis campaign worker is seen on the video with both hands on a male student's torso, shoving him away in an attempt to remove the student from the area.
This incident isn't the first time candidate staff have been caught on video physically confronting citizens. Last month, Gov. Quinn's taxpayer-funded security detail "verbally assaulted and physically removed" a campaign worker from a public event attended by the governor.
"Does Ann Callis really think it's appropriate to send her campaign manager out with an errand to manhandle students, and then laugh about it afterward?" Schneider said. "That's not how you work with people you disagree with. And it's a glimpse into the kind of poor leadership and judgement we would get from her in Congress."
VIDEO: Callis staffers physically confront student protesters (1)
VIDEO: Callis staffers physically confront student protesters (2)
VIDEO: Ann Callis laughs with campaign staff about stepping on protesters' First Amendment rights