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.
So #ANTIFA is planning to be at all of my speeches this week in CA at @UCLA, CSU LA, and CSU Fullerton. Hopefully, we can have a meaningful conversation about the #liesfeministstell. #defundPP #abolishabortion https://t.co/Mn5OSRErgk
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) April 10, 2018