Listen to this article Nazis Demonstrate Against A Drag Show In A Public Park In Wadsworth, Ohio.
On Saturday, a group of humanists organized a drag queen storytelling event for children at Wadsworth’s Memorial Park in Ohio. However, hundreds of protesters, including armed white supremacists and supporters of the LGBT community, disrupted the event.
Although the situation was volatile, the city allowed and conducted the “Rock-n-Roll Humanist Drag Queen Story Hour” event as scheduled for four hours. However, law enforcement arrested two individuals for misdemeanor disorderly conduct near the end of the event. Witnesses reported several melees involving pepper spray, the violent use of a flag pole as a weapon, and a protester who allegedly pulled out a gun and tried to fire it twice.
Police Chief Dan Chafin stated on Sunday that he’s aware of the footage of the alleged handgun but could not comment further pending an investigation. The police arrested the man who was wielding the metallic object and also the other person who supported the event. They both were jailed.
With vehicles at the event bearing out-of-state license plates, according to some who attended, police lost track of the crowd count at around 200 people. Police from various departments, including Medina city and county, Brunswick, Brunswick Hills, Hinkley, Seville, Montville, the county drug task force, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, assisted Wadsworth police in patrolling and securing the event. Paramedics from across the region were also on hand.
Protesters vastly outnumbered supporters, and among them were white supremacist and white nationalist groups, including at least one participant wearing a Proud Boys hoodie. They shouted racist and homophobic slurs at onlookers and others, including “Heil Hitler” and “Sieg,” to which protesters responded with “Heil!”
A protester, who came to the event to express concerns about the age appropriateness of individuals in drag reading to children, expressed shock upon hearing the statements made by white supremacists. Some demonstrators yelled, “Nazis, go home.”
Protesters called a Black reporter from the Beacon Journal assigned to cover the event a racial slur several times, causing him to leave for his own safety. Video of the event posted by attendees and a documentary filmmaker shows a bald, white man swinging a black flag with a white swastika. Members of the neo-Nazi’s group point out the few Black people at the event.
“How does it feel being a pedophile?” one man in the white supremacist group says. In the video, which has garnered 1 million views on Twitter, another man can be heard saying, “That person over there is gay” while using a racial slur.
Despite the chaos caused by the protesters, some supporters attended the event. One of them said the goal was “not to turn children gay but to keep gay children alive.”
Although the organizer of the drag show obtained a permit to present the show, it had been controversial from the start. Wadsworth City Council President Bob Thurber said in a statement on Sunday that it had been promoted in a manner harmful to the city.
White supremacists and white nationalist groups have disrupted Drag Queen Story Hour events on multiple occasions. Reports of similar incidents have surfaced from Boston to Colorado, with groups such as White Lives Matter Ohio and others celebrating the cancellation of shows using neo-Nazi slogans and gestures.
Also Read This : 9th Grader Sues Over Pledge Of Allegiance Dispute