Neo-Nazis and other far-right factions attempted to shut down or intimidate events featuring drag queens across the country over the weekend. Footage shows masked neo-Nazis waving swastika flags and throwing Nazi salutes.
In Wadsworth, Ohio, an all-ages event organized by Aaron and Krista Jo Reed of Rock-n-Roll Humanist Drag Queen Story Hour was attacked by neo-Nazis. They chanted racial slurs, waved swastika flags and shouted a call-and-response chant of “Weimar conditions, Weimar solutions.”
Neo Nazi’s try to Stop Drag queen Events “there will be blood!”
On Saturday, a group of white supremacists disrupted a drag queen story hour in Lakeland. The neo nazis shouted “Heil Hitler” and called attendees pedophiles, according to police reports and a witness.
Neo-Nazis are groups that follow the Nazi party’s ideology, which combines fascism and white supremacy with antisemitism. Their goals are to resurrect the Nazi regime and create a new fascist state grounded in white ethnonationalism.
The neo-Nazi movement in the United States includes many different subgroups. While some focus on simple hatred, others seek to use terroristic violence to usher in the collapse of modern civilization and create a fascist political state.
Right-wing protesters have attempted to shut down a variety of events involving drag queens in recent months, including brunches and pride celebrations. This attempt has been fueled by manufactured hysteria from conservative pundits and politicians who seek to stir up fears of a growing gay population.
Anti-drag figures such as Richard Hansen have prompted a wave of harassment and threats against drag queen events in Texas and beyond. The attacks are fueled by claims that drag is inherently and nefariously sexual.
A group of neo-Nazis in Fall River tried to disrupt a drag show last Saturday, according to footage posted on Twitter by documentarian Ford Fischer. Among the protesters were members of Proud Boys, a white supremacist group that has been active in Fall River.
They chanted “Pedophiles get the rope” and “F*gs go home” while raising Hitler salutes, Fischer said. One member of the group used the n-word to refer to a passerby, while another called half of a mixed-race couple a “[expletive]-lover.”
The incident was reported by Fall River police on Wednesday and is under investigation. In the past, neo-Nazis have disrupted and harassed LGBT-themed events in Fall River and elsewhere throughout New England.
Across the country, there is a growing backlash against family-friendly drag shows. Right-wing media and personalities have coalesced around a false narrative that drag is a left-wing plot to sexualize children.
According to GLAAD, 141 incidents of protests and threats against drag events occurred in 2022. Those incidents were documented through news reports in all 50 states, plus U.S. military bases.
In the past year, neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups have been making drag brunches, fundraisers and story hours their own “bridge issue.” These protests typically involve displaying swastikas and transphobic signs outside of the event, raising hands in Nazi salutes and chanting at passersby.
One local event, held at a Pflugerville, Texas restaurant, was disrupted by armed protestors with swastikas and transphobic banners. Another, held at a Katy, Texas bingo fundraiser, was interrupted by extreme protesters with a history of recording and photographing children without their consent. Violence broke out a couple times between anti-drag protesters and activists defending the event.
Anti-LGBTQ+ groups, including those who call themselves white nationalists and neo-Nazis, have been targeting drag queen events around the country for years. The far-right has seized on these events to push a bogus claim that drag performers are pedophiles.
In response, LGBTQ+ activists and parents surrounded a picnic shelter Saturday in Wadsworth Memorial Park outside Akron to defend a drag queen story hour. But they soon came face to face with a far-right group that brought armed Nazis, right-wing Christians and conservatives who threatened violence.
The neo-Nazis were wearing masks and chanting neo-Nazi slogans. They waved a flag with a swastika and spouted anti-LGBTQ+ slurs at other protesters inside the shelter.
They clashed with rainbow umbrella-wielding supporters who argued that the neo-Nazis are not affiliated with the event, but simply expressing their distaste for drag queens. It’s the latest in a series of attacks on family-friendly drag events by right-wing extremists that have become increasingly sinister since this year’s wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.