Press Release

Common Sense Society and The Virginia Council to Proceed with Virginia Forum Featuring Andy Ngo

September 22, 2023

RICHMOND—The Westin (Marriott Corp.) has joined The Commonwealth Club, backing out from hosting the Virginia Forum with Andy Ngo at the last minute under Antifa’s pressure. Common Sense Society and The Virginia Council released the following joint statement in response:

Virginians—particularly Richmonders—desperately need to hear a message of hope as they endure Antifa’s vandalism, bullying, threats, and general disregard for public safety. They need to see individuals and businesses courageously stand up for freedom of speech, the rule of law, and the wellbeing of Virginians. 

Common Sense Society, The Virginia Council, and our guest Andy Ngo intend to be that beacon of light and hope. Through our inaugural and ongoing Virginia Forums, we will strengthen the many courageous yet weary Virginians who want to defend their freedoms, preserve their history, and advance prosperity in their home state. 

The Commonwealth Club had an opportunity to stand up with us, but they backed out in fear. The Westin (Marriott Corp.) then had the chance to be that platform. They’ve also elected to cower.

Let us be perfectly clear. Common Sense Society and The Virginia Council will not succumb to bullying. If anything, Antifa’s destructive behavior underscores the critical need for free speech and the rule of law in Richmond. We are confident that liberty, prosperity, and beauty will ultimately prevail in the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Forum will proceed. Registrants can expect an update about the new location directly from The Virginia Council this afternoon and can reach out with any questions to

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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