Montclair State Students Stand Up To Hate Speech Demonstrators On Campus

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Published January 25, 2022
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The Montclarion
Camilla Bager, a Montclair State student, is held back by campus police as she tries to take away a hate speech sign. John LaRosa | The Montclarion.

Members of David Christian Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania returned to the Montclair State University campus Tuesday afternoon to provoke students outside the Student Center and amphitheater, promoting hatred towards women, the LGBTQIA+ community and those practicing other religions. However, students came back strong.

The protesters were protected by university police, but that didn’t stop students from mocking and teasing the group as a way of fighting back.

Students quickly and efficiently made signs counteracting the hate group reading, “Gay People Are Hot,” “Be Bisexual, Eat Hot Chip, Lie” and “Krusty Krab is Unfair,” all aimed at mocking the protesters.

Students holding up a "Gay People Are Hot" sign in front of the protesters. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students hold up a “Gay People Are Hot” sign in front of the protesters.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Sgt. Jay Nielsen of the university police said this isn’t the first time the David Christian Center has been here.

“I’ve been working here for about 10 years,” Nielsen said. “And I’d say they’ve been here at least eight times.”

Members of the University Police Department standing in-front of the protesters. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Members of the University Police Department stand in front of the protesters.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Pastor Aden Rusfeldt, a member of the group, explained the group’s motivation for visiting Montclair State’s campus was based on a rumor they heard about the women on campus in which a derogatory term was used.

“We’re here to tell them to close their legs and obey Jesus,” Rusfeldt said.

Pastor Aden Rusfeldt holding a radical Bible. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Pastor Aden Rusfeldt explained the group’s motivation for being on campus.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Rusfeldt also wore a hat with a message reading “Shoot Your Local Pedophiles.” He was accompanied by other members of the David Christian Center, including children.

Women and children of the David Christian Center holding up insulting signs. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Women and children of the David Christian Center hold up insulting signs.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students also printed multiple pictures of Scrat, the squirrel from the movie “Ice Age,” crucified to a cross, and held it high for the protesters to see, mocking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the radical view the protesters had of Christianity.

Students holding up a picture of Scrat from “Ice Age” crucified to a cross mocking Pastor Aden and the David Christian Center. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students hold up a picture of Scrat from “Ice Age” crucified to a cross mocking Rusfeldt and the David Christian Center.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Trans and bisexual pride flags were also brought over and waved through the crowd, with Rocky the Red Hawk even wearing one as a cape, supporting the surrounding students. Free Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish were also given out to everyone.

Rocky the Redhawk celebrating trans rights with other students during the protest. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Rocky the Red Hawk celebrates trans rights with other students during the protest.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, the director of government relations at Montclair State, thought the students were just adding fuel to the fire.

“Freedom of speech I guess,” Rodriguez-Gregg said. “Sometimes you just can’t engage. If you disagree, that’s fine, but this is exactly what they want.”

Noor Alalwan, a freshman psychology major, was watching the protest when Rusfeldt pointed to her and said, “Muslims are going to hell.”

“Obviously I am really frustrated,” Alalwan said. “They’re just yelling at students who did nothing wrong. Someone so opinionated should just get out [of here].”

For every racist, sexist and demeaning remark hurled at students by the protesters, the students rebelled with even greater insults.

Colin Luderitz, a freshman film and television major, brought some positivity to the event.

“It’s a shame to see these people dedicate their time to spreading hate and anger,” Luderitz said. “But watching the students come together to express themselves and push back against hate, that is a really beautiful thing.”

Colin Luderitz (left) and Sam Garofolo (right) holding up a picture of Scrat from “Ice Age” being crucified in front of the David Christian Center members. Photo courtesy of Colin Luderitz

Colin Luderitz (left) and Sam Garofolo (right) hold up a picture of Scrat from “Ice Age” being crucified in front of the David Christian Center members.
Photo courtesy of Colin Luderitz

A student saluting the crucifixion of Scrat from “Ice Age” while Pastor Aden tells the crowd that all gays go to hell. John LaRosa | The Montclarion.

A student salutes the crucifixion of Scrat from “Ice Age.”
John LaRosa | The Montclarion.

Pastor Aden Rusfeldt (left) and a child (right) holding up hate speech signs. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Rusfeldt and a child hold up hate speech signs.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students crowded around the amiptheater, protesting the hate speech brought on by Pastor Aden Rusfeldt. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students crowded around the amphitheater, protesting the hate speech brought on by Rusfeldt.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Pastor Aden stepping on a gay pride flag. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Rusfeldt steps on a gay pride flag.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A crowd of students gathered outside the Student Center watching the protest. Michael Callejas | The Montclarion

A crowd of students gathered outside the Student Center to watch the protest.
Michael Callejas | The Montclarion

A student holds up a "Krusty Krab Unfair" sign, mocking the protesters. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A student holds up a “Krusty Krab Unfair” sign, mocking the protesters.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Children play with stuffed animals and toys while Pastor Aden preaches anti-LGBT and racist remarks. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Children play with stuffed animals and toys while Rusfeldt preaches anti-LGBT and racist remarks.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students doing the Cha-Cha Slide in front of the protest. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students do the “Cha-Cha Slide” in front of the protest.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A student walking by flips off the protesters in passing. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A student walking by flips off the protesters in passing.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

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