By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – The Davis library on Monday afternoon was evacuated, and adjacent facilities at North Davis Elementary, St. James and the Vets Memorial were also, due to a reported bomb threat to the library.
Juan Ceja, Yolo County PIO, told the Vanguard that the threat was received by local TV station Fox 40 and communicated to the police. The area remained cordoned off until the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office deemed it clear.
Officials were aware of the Moms for Liberty event on Sunday, but uncertain about any direct link between the event—which was cancelled by library staff—and the bomb threat.
According to a Sunday email from Beth Bourne to local media, Moms for Liberty hosted a forum “on fair and safe sport for girls.”
She explained, “We will hear from national experts on the climate of girls’ sports in the USA and CA, as well as the potential emotional and psychological impact to girl athletes as prescribed in the CIF ‘Gender Inclusivity’ Toolkit.”
Our goal, the email explained, “for this forum is find a solution that allows all athletes an opportunity to participate in sports while still protecting girls’ rights to fair and safe sports.”
But the event drew a good amount of opposition as well.
Anoosh Jorjorian, one of the leaders for LGBTQ+ rights locally, told the Vanguard that one of the speakers, Sophia Lorey, “refused to refer to transwomen athletes as women and insisted on calling them biological men or biological males.”
At this point one of the members of public asked “are you going to misgender people throughout this discussion?”
Lorey, Jorjorian explained, “began to argue with him that trans women are not women, at which point Scott Love representing the library said that misgendering went, goes against the library’s code of conduct.”
At this point it became heated and Love apparently made the decision to clear the room and end the event which reportedly continued outside on the field.
The story then went to right wing media nationally.
The Washington Examiner, for instance, reported that speaker Sophia Lorey, a former athlete, spoke about “how young girls could not have the same dreams and aspirations she had growing up,” “as long as men are allowed to compete in women’s sports.”
“The librarian then again told me to leave so I directly said why am I being asked to leave, and he told me ‘Because you are misgendering, you were talking about men in women sports,'” Lorey wrote on X (Twitter). “The group putting on the event had the conference room reserved at the public library to host the event at Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library.”
Perhaps more incendiary was commentary by Riley Gaines on X.
“This is ridiculous, but not shocking…a female athlete silenced for calling a spade a spade,” Gaines Tweeted. “They won’t even engage in a civil conversation. Props to this gal for sticking her ground.”
She added, “Do we know the librarians name and/or phone number? We need silent majority to do its thing” and later posted the number to the library itself along with a video that received more than 1.3 million views and the tweet itself was liked 17,000 times with nearly 4000 reposts (used to be retweets).
Did this incident heavily broadcast on social media lead to the bomb threat?
“We cannot say for sure right now that today’s bomb threat was linked to the right-wing coverage,” Jorjorian told the Vanguard.
But Jorjorian noted, “The right wing media coverage is basically an outrage machine. That’s its entire purpose. So their intention is to incite outrage and to make it appear that groups like Moms for Liberty are victims in these situations.”
Jorjorian added, “Whereas, of course, the reality on the ground, within the communities where these events happen, we know that that is a complete misrepresentation and we have seen again and again how these situations play out.”
Jorjorian noted, “We have seen since 2016 a repeated pattern where people or institutions or businesses are called out on right-wing media and threats of violence and in some cases actual violence follow.”
Others see this as a matter of free speech at a public facility where the facility shut down the event.
However, Jorjorian noted, “Moms for Liberty was fully informed of what the code of conduct requires.” They added, “There were handouts of the library’s code of conduct in that room.”
Moreover, Jorjorian noted, Moms for Liberty was warned about the library’s policy.
The Vanguard reached out to Beth Bourne for a comment through a variety of channels but did not receive a message back at the time of publication.
However, prior to the event, Bourne said, “Female athletes and their families are not allowed to voice their concerns about male participation in female sports categories because this is considered ‘bullying behavior,’ and speaking on their own behalf would result in disciplinary action that would hinder their ability to compete at all.
“It is for this reasons that these matters must be discussed in an open environment by those who are able to voice an opinion without penalty and speak on behalf of those who are being silenced.”