Something to know about on-campus protests.

Written by on January 31, 2022

By Sal DiMaggio
Published January 31, 2022


Pastor Aden Rusfeldt of the Key of David Christian Center holds up a cookbook, signaling that he believes the women should be in domestic roles.  Sal DiMaggio | 90.3 FM WMSC

Every semester, protestors from the Key of David Christian Center come to Montclair State University. The members of the group protest against members of the LGBTQ+ community, feminists, Muslims, and other minority groups.

For students who have gone to Montclair State before, this is nothing new. The protestors are regularly here and are allowed to be, as Montclair State is a public institution. Therefore the group has constitutional rights to protest here.

On Jan. 25, 2022, the protestors stood their ground once more. First, they gathered in the Student Center Quad, where they amassed a large audience and many students began to shout and poke fun at them.

The protestors began in the Student Center Quad, where they drew a crowd.  Sal DiMaggio | 90.3 FM WMSC

Officers from the University Police Department stand in between the protestors and the students who counter protested. Kelly Meagher | 90.3 FM WMSC

They then moved to the amphitheater, where the university police department stood between them and bystanders. More students gathered around them and began to counter protest themselves. 

The students were mimicking the protestors with signs of their own, that read “Gay People Are Hot” and “Be Bisexual, Eat Hot Chip, and Lie”. They even mocked the protestors by printing out pictures of Scrat from ‘Ice Age’ crucified to a cross and waving them in the air.


Posts regarding the protests were at high volume and accounted for a large consumption of the media consumed by its viewers. It’s fair to say that it took the campus by storm.

But that’s exactly what the protestors wanted. They were using what is called agitation propaganda, or agitprop. First used in the Soviet Union, it has been used and studied beyond. Now it has come here to Montclair State through these protestors.

The goal is simple. It’s not to convert us to their ways. It’s to get us riled up so that they can then use our reaction as evidence to promote their cause to their followers.

A woman from the Key of David Christian Center holds up a sign condemning members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Sal DiMaggio | 90.3 FM WMSC

For example, gay couples kissed right in front of the protestors. The protestors had video cameras, and can use footage of that to promote their radical Christian message. They want us to react adversely to their message so that they can use our opposition and passion to whip up their base.

That’s why it’s important not to react. If we or the police react a certain way, the protestors can use it against us and sue us. Radical institutions like these often struggle financially, so the protestors will try to provoke us enough so that they can claim we assaulted them or violated their constitutional rights. They can then take us to court and potentially get money from us.

Students counter protested the radical Christian group by holding up signs and pride flags of their own. 
Sal DiMaggio | 90.3 FM WMSC

Of course, it’s hard not to react to these protestors, especially for new students. Returning students have seen this before, but freshman and new transfer students are shocked by these events. This is why the protestors target universities: there are always new people to shock and get angry.

This is why many are saying to ignore the protestors. They are seeking attention, so to thwart their purpose we must not give it to them. They can’t sue us if we leave them be, and then there will be no point in coming and they will eventually stop coming.

A student holds up a transgender pride flag with Montclair State’s mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk.
Sal DiMaggio | 90.3 FM WMSC

In the meantime, we can spread positivity and love. Montclair State is known to be an accepting, diverse campus, and we need to prove that through our actions. Educate yourself on these topics and spread awareness, and we can help stop discrimination such as this in the future.