Press Release

Common Sense Society and The Virginia Council to Host Citizen Journalist Andy Ngo in Richmond Despite Antifa Intimidation

September 20, 2023

Event to mark Ngo’s first public appearance since lawsuit

RICHMONDCommon Sense Society (CSS), a leading international educational network, and The Virginia Council (TVC) will host the inaugural Virginia Forum featuring citizen journalist Andy Ngo, despite Antifa intimidation and misinformation this Friday in Richmond, Virginia at 7:00 PM.

Our featured speaker, Andy Ngo, is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of the New York Times bestseller Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy. He went undercover to expose Antifa’s activities in major American cities, including Richmond, which experienced violence and chaos during the 2020 summer riots. Once discovered, Ngo was physically attacked and harassed by Antifa, suffering multiple life threatening injuries. The Virginia Forum on Friday will mark his first public appearance since his lawsuit this summer to hold these men and women accountable for their criminal activity. 

Antifa continues their march through Virginia as they attempt to destroy our history, our rule of law, and our freedom of speech. Unfortunately, a prominent cultural institution, The Commonwealth Club, has become one of the victims of Antifa’s infantilized whining and released an inaccurate statement to RVA Mag this week. 

The Commonwealth Club, privately rescinded their services citing security concerns: “This decision was not made lightly, but the safety and well-being of our guests and employees is our top priority, especially after recent social media posts by radical groups have targeted the event and the location.”

Upon learning that the event would go on, Antifa continued their threats, calling for information about the new venue and even publishing a misleading article that claimed our event was “canceled.” In this article, The Commonwealth Club issued a second statement: “The board and the leadership at the Club made the executive decision to cancel this event, as the actions and values that Andy Ngo speaks about do not represent the Club’s values.”

Antifa’s juvenile tactics may have intimidated The Commonwealth Club, but they will not silence us or prevent us from moving forward. In fact, their actions underscore the importance of this event which will champion free speech and the rule of law.

“In situations like this, everyone has the chance to cowardly cave to coercion or courageously stand up for persuasion,” said Common Sense Society president and C.E.O. Marion Smith. “It’s clear that the only institutions and networks that won’t be destroyed by Antifa are the ones that stand up to them. Common Sense Society will stand for persuasion, free speech, and the rule of law. We will not cower when it comes to our programming. We look forward to gathering with many members of Richmond’s community at the event to show Antifa their bullying does not intimidate Virginians.”

“The Virginia Council was founded in 2021 to preserve Virginia’s history and promote prosperity and the rule of law in the face of violence and destruction by groups like Antifa,” said The Virginia Council founding chairman John Reid. “We were not intimidated in 2021, and we will not be intimidated now. Good things are worth standing up for. Free speech, the rule of law, truth—these things will prevail over bullying, slander, and intimidation. Andy Ngo was courageous in Portland, and we will be courageous in Richmond. We look forward to an engaging—and clearly very necessary—discussion with him on Friday. And we look forward to partnering with principled Virginians in the months and years to come to advance prosperity in the Commonwealth.”

We welcome you to the Virginia Forum. Register to attend the event here. Once registered, a member of our staff will reach out with the location of the event.

Common Sense Society (CSS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty through education and civic engagement programs. The fellowships, curriculum resources, publications, cultural programs, and national campaigns of CSS illuminate the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better. CSS does not accept funding from governments or political parties.


For more information, contact Emily Soper at

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