Proud Boys organization. Police arrested two men for disorderly conduct amidst clashes between the protesters and supporters of the event.Drag events have been targeted by right-wing activists across the United States in recent months, with a particular focus on those accessible to children.
In Tennessee, Republican lawmakers have voted to ban "adult cabaret performance" from public property, or any location which could be viewed by a child, with similar legislation being proposed in a number of other states like Kentucky and Oklahoma.Footage from Saturday's event taken by documentary filmmaker Ford Fischer shows several different right-wing factions protesting against the drag show.In one video, a group of about 10 men, all dressed in red with black facemasks, waved swastika-emblazoned flags and gave the Nazi salute, repeatedly chanting the Nazi slogan "Seig, Heil," along with "there will be blood."According to Fischer, the different right-wing groups, which combined had several hundred protesters, did not all get along, with police having to "defend" the neo-Nazi group from "fellow anti-drag activists."Other extremist groups who took part in the protest included White Lives Matter Ohio, the white nationalist Patriot Front and the Proud Boys, who "tried to distance themselves from the avowed Nazi groups," Fischer said.Homophobic and racist abuse, including the N-word, was targeted at attendees, while a Black journalist from the local newspaper Akron Beacon Journal had to leave the event for his own safety after being repeatedly racially abused.Police tried to keep the pro- and anti-drag protesters apart, though there were some scuffles including one which saw mace deployed.