A ‘Demand Free Speech Rally’ organised by far-right ‘Proud Boys’ group July 6 in Washington DC was met by a larger counter-protest which included a drag collective who used thworps to drown out the sound of their hateful rally. The Proud Boys group was protesting social media platforms who monitor hate speech and remove members in breach of their hate speech policies.
The Proud Boys group only admits men as members and promotes political violence. It was founded in 2016 by far-right commentator Gavin McInnes and since then has been classified by the FBI as “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism”. Although it is based in the US, it also has members in Canada, Australia and the UK.
The group assembled 200 people at the Capital’s Freedom Plaza to denounce what they believe to be an anti-conservative bias by social media companies. Many of the group’s members have been banned from social media due to their hateful rhetoric.
The Demand Free Speech Rally organised by the Proud Boys was outnumbered by the counter-protest which included members of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, sometimes known as the Order of Perpetual Indulgence.
The group which is 40 years-old says that they devote themselves to “community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment”.
Part of their mission includes drowning out hateful rhetoric with fabulous fan thworps. They were part of the hundreds who showed up as a counter-protest to the Proud Boys Rally. The drag performers used synchronised thworps, opening and closing their fans so they drowned out the far-right rally.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) July 6, 2019
Laura Crain, a counter-protester and member of All Out DC spoke to Al-Jazeera: “They are weaponising the concept of free speech and we oppose the hateful, bigoted rhetoric they espouse.” All Out is a not-for-profit group that supports LGBT+ people around the world. All Out DC heard from activists who spoke about trans rights and empowering minorities.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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