Anti-abortion speaker Kristan Hawkins didn’t pull out of her CSUF appearance, even amid concerns over protests that turned out to be small

In Campus News, News
Two members of Refuse Fascism OC, one wearing bloody pants and strings with coat hangers attached, sit together outside McCarthy Hall.
(Katie Albertson / Daily Titan)

Anti-abortion speaker Kristan Hawkins’ Wednesday evening appearance on campus, hosted by the Cal State Fullerton chapter of Students for Life, drew a meager crowd of five protesters who stayed silent in one area outside of the wrong building.

This was not what Brooke Paz, Students for Life president, anticipated earlier in the day. Paz said she had consulted University Police because she believed there would be an organized protest affiliated with antifa, a left-wing activist group that has, in some instances, used violence as a message. Paz said this prompted Hawkins to hire two security guards of her own.

Paz said she had gathered this information from a Facebook page denouncing Hawkins’ appearance, created by Refuse Fascism Orange County. The page did not name the official antifa organization in any of its posts. Antifa’s Facebook page was also not listed under those who were attending or interested in attending the organized protest.

“We know that they call themselves anti-fascists, which is basically what antifa is,” Paz said.

The security concerns moved the event from McCarthy Hall to the Titan Student Union where University Police kept watch, unbeknownst to the protesters, Paz said.

“We’re just taking the measures to do our due diligence, so that the room will be a little bit easier to manage,” Paz said.

Jules Luna, a member of Refuse Fascism Orange County and participant in the protest, disputed Paz’s concerns.

“Labeling us antifa is a really negative connotation. We don’t represent that violent struggle,”  Luna said. “We came to speak out in opposition to a speaker who we feel is threatening women’s rights.”

Hawkins’ appearance at CSUF is one stop in her “Lies Feminists Tell” tour, which includes appearances at schools like Cal State Los Angeles and UCLA.

Nicole Chavez, member of Students for Quality Education, showed up to support the protest and said the anti-abortion speaker is trying to exaggerate the level of opposition to her appearances, citing Hawkins’ recent tweets about antifa showing up to “all” of the schools in her tour.

“She’s not well known, I think that’s why you don’t have as big of a crowd,” Chavez said.

Chavez said she’s supporting Refuse Fascism because the organization attended and supported Students for Quality Education’s Unity Block Party during Milo Yiannopoulos’ Halloween appearance on campus.

“(Our organizations) might not have similar tactics, but we do agree on similar issues,” Chavez said.

Fran Sosa, another member of Refuse Fascism, wore bloodied pants and surrounded herself with blood-spattered coat hangers to illustrate the scene of a botched back-alley abortion. She said the anti-abortion movement is anti-women and the issue of abortion is a false issue.

“Before abortion was legal, thousands of women died every year,” Sosa said. “Women will always struggle to control their lives in one way or another … It’s really not about abortion at all and it’s certainly not about life.”

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