Activists are targeting Stanford University’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, staging a protest against “rape culture” at the school, in connection with the recent conviction of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who received a light sentence.
Critics have targeted the judge in the case, Aaron Persky, who is a Stanford alumnus. They have demanded he be recalled or forced to resign for handing down a six-month sentence to Turner — far less than the recommended six-year prison term.
Prospective jurors have also asked to be excused from jury duty in Persky’s court, citing extreme discomfort with his ruling. Even character witnesses who submitted letters to the court on the defendant’s behalf have been harassed by activists.
A statement issued Friday on behalf a feminist group called UltraViolet described the planned graduation protest (original emphasis):
On Sunday, June 12th, as Stanford University students attend graduation and commencement ceremonies, UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy organization, has commissioned three bicycle billboards to accompany student protesters as they march in solidarity with the survivor and against Judge Persky’s decision.
In addition to the bike billboards, and ahead of commencement, a plane will fly over Stanford University with a banner reading “Protect Survivors. Not Rapists. #PerskyMustGo.” A full page ad in The Stanford Daily’s graduation issue will also invite students and alumni to take a stand against rape culture by signing a letter calling for Judge Aaron Persky to be removed from the bench over his sentencing of convicted rapist Brock Turner.
According to recent media reports, “Stanford has more sexual assault probes than any school in America.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.