Denise Ruiz, self-identified III% member and official MAGA Girl store owner, announced a change of plans recently.
In the description of a livestream interview Sunday, fellow III% supporter Erin A. Gooch said that the only west coast rally for the nationwide “Alpha March” on January 19th would be in Las Vegas. In the livestream, Ruiz said the march will meet at 11AM at Circus Circus and plans to march to the Trump hotel about a mile away. There will be a brunch beforehand at Ameribrunch and a “networking and cocktail hour celebration” sponsored by the Las Vegas Proud Boys and Nevada MAGA Girls chapter.
Other West Coast rallies were previously scheduled in Portland and Fresno.
The “Alpha March,” according to Ruiz, is an “ongoing” counter-protest to the national Womens’ March.
“MAGA Girls will be making it a permanent thorn in the pussy hats back!” Ruiz said, referring to the pink hats protestors wore at the Womens’ March in response to President Trump’s now-infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment.
Ruiz said the group was started as a pro-Trump “women’s support system” that particularly encouraged activists. She said it’s now expanding by adding a “MAGA Men” branch.
Ruiz did not give a reason for cancelling the other west coast marches.
Gooch said the interview was about how the “MAGA Girls” organization was “evolving” and asked Ruiz about its “new vision.”
Ruiz said the group was started as a pro-Trump “women’s support system” that particularly encouraged activists. She said it’s now expanding by adding a “MAGA Men” branch. Both organizations will be under the umbrella of what she called “American Alphas.”
Ruiz contrasted the “Alphas” in her organization with “beta males” with “man buns” and “skinny jeans.” She has a history of ranting about deviations from traditional gender roles online and making transphobic remarks. One meme she posted on the Alpha March event page read “The bulge in the pants of a conservative woman is a pistol. The bulge in a liberal woman’s pants is a dick!”
Beyond the restructuring and new men’s wing of the group, Ruiz and others in the video imply the “new vision” involves changing tactics. A recurring theme in the almost 45-minute video was going beyond left/right politics. It seems the group is pivoting towards organizing non-partisan charity events as well as right-wing rallies.
“The idea is if you love God the way you say you do, it’s time to make a difference. It shouldn’t matter if you’re left, right, blue, brown, green, caca-color” Ruiz’s husband, Geo, said.
“I’d rather get a positive answer than get a label from people across the street,” he added.
Ruiz and her husband said they participated in such charity events for years before the Trump presidency, but a toy drive they organized for the Ronald McDonald foundation last year went poorly because of their political affiliations.
“A lot of people didn’t show up because they found out we were Trump supporters,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz and her husband said they’re organizing five events for 2019. One will be April 27th and will fund work with autistic children. Another will be the Las Vegas Alpha March on the 19th next month.
Ruiz and the other activists spent much of the video rambling about putting “God back into schools” and other talking points common with the Christian far-right.
“Our college professors, they’re so liberal, they don’t want God in anything. But they’ll gladly teach Islam, Satanism, Atheism,” MAGA Girl activist Rosanna Gonzales said.
“They’re trying to make it we actually have a Muslim president majority House and Senate Muslim,” a viewer named Ronnie Gilmore wrote in the comments.
“What sets us apart from the other religions is that Christians will live peaceably among you, where other religions will not. They will rape, they will kidnap, they will torture. They bend all the rules and they twist the rules and try to say ‘oh but according to our religion, this is okay,’” Gonzales said.
Numerous members of the III% militia, which Ruiz and Gooch both identify with, have been charged with hate crimes against Muslims, including firebombing a mosque.
One of the organizers of the Las Vegas march is Lexi Davis, whose partner Jourdin Davis is a regular at far-right protests in the Bay Area and beyond. Jourdin Davis has gone on multiple anti-immigrant rants. In a video on his since-deleted Facebook account Jourdin Davis said that American citizens might have to gun down any who came across the border.