Anonymous #OpHocking Obtains Footage of ‘Restoring Hocking’ Protesters Free Speech Being Violated by Coach/Police Chief Al Matthews

By Deric Lostutter

Restoring Hocking — A protest that aims to restore Hocking College, a campus torn apart by a controversial president, Betty Young, to its former glory full of competent accredited teachers — whom some say have been illegally fired in order to bust unions and avoid due pay increases.

A group of protesters assembled September 10 and 11 on the front lawn of Hocking College campus. The group demanded some professors be reinstated, while simultaneously calling for Betty Young’s resignation.

Cody Morgan lead the protest’s charge, having formed an alliance with #OpHocking — a movement started by hacktivist Anonymous offshoot group KnightSec. The latter organization, headed by KYAnonymous, aims to hold members of the newly formed football team responsible for the rape of a student this year. The team has yet to be prosecuted for their alleged crimes.

KnightSec is no stranger to protests, nor cases like the rape at Hocking College.

In 2013, the group drew over 2000 protesters to the city streets of Steubenville Ohio, even receiving endorsement from celebrities like Rosanne Barr. The protests drew international attention, and a grand jury was formed to investigate the allegations, ultimately indicting 4 school officials including the superintendent on the cover-up of the rape. One of the convicted rapists, Trent Mays, is now coincidentally Hocking College Hawks team quarterback, though he is rumored to not have anything to do with the current case.

In the video obtained by Anonymous, during the protest on September 10, Restoring Hocking protesters were confronted by head football coach and Hocking College Police Chief Al Matthews, who told the protesters to move off the lawn to a “Free Speech Zone” the school had set up the night before. After encountering questioning and harassment, the students moved to a mowed part of the same lawn, only to be further harassed by Matthews.

Realizing they had the upper hand, the protesters began asserting their rights, demanding to see the schools by-laws that state a free speech area is even required. Students claim Matthews’s response is a clear attempted violation of their 1st Amendment rights by a school official motivated to protect an asset expected to generate over a million dollars in revenue during its first two years. A video of the event was forwarded to Ohio’s chapter of the ACLU and is awaiting review.

The Restoring Hocking group is planning more protests in the coming weeks, and does not plan to stop until their goals are met. Anonymous has also vowed to raise awareness to the rape case at Hocking College until the coach suspends the suspected rapists and the prosecutors’ office finishes their investigation.

TruthVoice attempted to reach coach and police chief Al Matthews in regards to the video, and to ask if he plans to bench or suspend the players involved in the alleged rape, but Matthews was unable to be reached for comment.

Al Matthews has been sued in the past for sexual harassment, ultimately having the case dismissed. Matthews also reportedly canceled three Title IX meetings, which would train him and his team on sexual harassment prior to the rape occurring.

You can watch the video of the protesters having their rights violated by Al Matthews below: