The Power of Protest

All the sit-ins and sign-waving on the news lately in the wake of the Senate’s confirmation of the Court’s newest Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, have gotten us thinking about the power of protest.

Sometimes even the littlest gestures can have big impacts. Take for instance the time 15 protesters stood outside the Golleher Alumni House at California State University, Fullerton, chanting “No sex trafficking” in light of a speaker who was invited by two Cal State Fullerton alumni chapters.

At the time CSUF’s College of Communications Alumni Chapter and the Hispanic/Latino Alumni Chapter were hosting the OC-NYC Alumni Event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which was to feature Tony Ortega, editor in chief of Village Voice, the controversial newspaper based in New York recently exposed as the largest online platform for buying and selling women and underage girls for sex.

The small but vocal protesters decried the Ortega invitation, claiming his affiliation with Backpage.com with its human trafficking, prostitution and child prostitution, was not in line with the values of the University. Protestors understood that Tony Ortega, as a public and strident defender of Backpage and its practices, was unfit to speak.

Said Tony Ortega of the protest he’d occasioned:

I love protests and I’m actually feeling kind of honored that they are protesting me even if they don’t really understand what is going on,” said Ortega. “But I am glad that you were able to get past the barricades and come to this wonderful party.”

What started out as a small protest of a couple dozen people has now become a movement, determined to stand against sex trafficking, sex traffickers and men like Tony Ortega who would act as their public apologists.

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