CW: Homophobic slurs
A group of protesters vandalised the office of gay New York City Council member Erik Bottcher on Monday, 19 December. The protesters also gained access to Bottcher’s apartment building later that day, covering the complex in graffiti.
This comes after the council member’s supporting attendance at a drag story time event at the New York City Public Library. The vandalism on behalf of the protesters was in reaction to the story time event, and they were met by another group who demonstrated against them earlier this week at the library.
Bottcher posted photos of the graffiti to his Twitter account, writing, “Today people who call themselves ‘gays against groomers’ vandalized the hallway outside our district office. We will not be cowed. We will not be silenced. We will continue to stand up against hate.”
Later, he wrote “Tonight the Drag Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry. My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing.” Among some of the things written on the footpath was, “Eric Bottcher is a pedo child groomer.”
Tonight the Drag Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry. My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing. This is pure hate, unmasked. If they think this is going to intimidate us, they’re mistaken. Our resolve is strengthened. pic.twitter.com/i45eyGg1AS
— NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher (@ebottcher) December 20, 2022
The council member, who represents New York City’s District 3, said that he wouldn’t be deterred by the events that had unfolded during the protests. Bottcher even spoke with some of the people who were protesting outside of the library event in the city’s Chelsea neighbourhood. They heckled him with homophobic and transphobic abuse, as per videos shared by Bottcher on his social media accounts.
In the videos, the group objecting to the event held signs that read “There are only 2 genders” and “Stop grooming kids for sex”.
Tweeting about the vandalism on Monday, 20 December, New York City Mayor Eric Adams wrote, “This is outrageous. Completely outrageous. Erik, you stand up for our city every single day and these cowardly bigots have no place here.” The Mayor concluded by thanking the city’s police force, adding, “Thank you to the NYPD for your quick work and sending the message that this hate will not go unchallenged.”
Similar incidents have been observed in Ireland, including far-right demonstrations at a drag story time event in Mayo in July of this year.
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