In Angie’s video, her friend Marcello, a queer activist in a tie-dye shirt, holds a trans pride flag and dances around in front of a bearded street preacher with a red tie and a suit vest. Angie said that she and Marcello and went to confront them outside of the Capitol Building and that other activists joined in to counter-protest.
“Repent! God will judge you if you do not repent and you will end up in hell! We love you but God is just!” the preacher booms through a PA system.
Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters push Marcello. A man with a mustache, white shirt and blue baseball cap shouts in Marcello’s face. He grabs Marcello’s flag and balls it up in his hands.
“Right after the video cuts he pulled out a knife on us,”
“May God have mercy on America! May God have mercy on this land! May God have mercy on Sacramento,” the preacher continues behind them.
“Give him his flag back,” Angie shouts at the man in the blue hat as she continues to film. The man shoves Marcello, who tries to snatch the flag back. The man pitches the balled-up flag on the ground about fifteen feet away. Marcello goes to pick it up.
“Fuck you! Old ugly-ass toothless-ass man!” Angie shouts at him before the video cuts out.
The video, posted to Twitter on Saturday at 8:22PM, has over 10,000 views as of this writing.
“Right after the video cuts he pulled out a knife on us,” Angie said in the description of the video on Twitter.
“He only backs away when I start yelling out “he has a knife!” repeatedly,” Angie told LCRW. She said none of the others with the anti-LGBTQ+ group did anything about him.
Angie says one of the men told Marcello “if we were in Russia, he would kill him.” She said that “this man and two others got in my friends face and even shoved him at one point.” LGBTQ+ people face widespread persecution in Russia, often with state permission.
“Then the man with the blue shirt comes up and his friend a little after,” she recounted, providing a second video to LCRW.
Angie’s second video starts with a man with a buzzcut and blue t-shirt yelling at Marcello. Someone tries to grab Angie’s phone. Video is shaky. There seems to be a scuffle.
“I can have my phone out!” she says. Two other men push the man with the buzzcut and Marcello away from each other and get in between them.
“This guy tried to take my phone!” Angie shouts. The video ends with the camera flipped around on her face.
“Since things were getting violent, we tried to leave the area. And that’s when we were stopped by Sac PD,” Angie recounted.
She said an officer stopped Marcello and herself and demanded identification. They asked to leave and the officer said no. They asked if they were being detained. The officer said yes. He wouldn’t tell them what crime they were being stopped for.
“I keep repeating that there is a man still at the steps of the Capitol who has a knife but he doesn’t seem to care. He ignored me and keeps asking my friend why he was pushing people,” Angie recounted.
She said Marcello only pushed one person in self-defense. Video shows one instance of a man wearing glasses being shoved. This man stepped in between Marcello and the man with the buzz cut. It isn’t clear if Angie, Marcello or someone else was shoving him. While video shows Marcello made gestures with his hands while shouting, it’s clear for the most part he wasn’t trying to touch the anti-LGBTQ+ activists. The only other time he makes a motion towards one of them on camera is when he’s trying to get his flag back.
“I keep trying to bring to his attention that there was a man with a knife and a man that gave Marcello death threats and that I had both their faces on video,” Angie recounts, “but he seems more preoccupied in trying to get Marcello to say he was pushing people.”
They were separated for questioning after fifteen minutes of being detained, Angie recounts. An officer asks her to point out the man who threatened them, but she says by that point he’d left.
“I tell [the officer] I have a picture but he just asks for a description which he repeats back to me wrong, so I show him a photo,” Angie recounts.
An hour and 40 minutes pass while they’re detained, Angie says. Then, four other officers speak to them separately and dismiss them. Angie sends her footage to one of the officers.
“They told us it was the church that called the police on us for being aggressive and that we aren’t allowed to be that close to counter protests,” Angie said, adding that police told her “that we should have been on the sidewalk and that we were in the wrong.”
Marcello was apparently cited. LCRW is filing for a copy of the police report for the incident.
The man who drew a knife has not yet been identified. LCRW has not yet identified the anti-LGBTQ+ group at the Capitol Building.
“Literally all the people who were threatening and even shoving my friend got away because they were too busy trying to prove/get my friend to confess he was the aggressor,” Angie wrote on Twitter.
Pride Month was marked this year by high-profile provocations against LGBTQ+ people by right-wing extremists. The National Socialist Movement, a direct descendent of George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party, disrupted Detriot’s Motor City Pride Parade last weekend, flying flags with swastikas. They had full protection from police officers wearing rainbow flag badges. Right-wing provocateur Steven Crowder is currently intensifying his years-long homophobic harassment campaign against journalist Carlos Maza, emboldened by Youtube’s failure to address the situation. One of the most viral stories has to do with Resist Marxism’s plans for a “Straight Pride Parade.” Resist Marxism is a Boston-based neo-Nazi-adjacent protest group founded by Kyle Chapman, the far-right e-celebrity famously nicknamed “Based Stickman” after he broke a closet pole over an antifascist brawler’s head during a riot in Berkeley. The event is set to go forward August 31st.
The incident over the weekend hearkens back to the rally held by neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Workers’ Party and the Golden State Skinheads in 2016. Neo-Nazis stabbed several antifascists counter-protesting that ensuing brawl. Police then chose to go after the antifascists instead of the neo-Nazis.
LCRW is seeking other witnesses’ accounts and any additional information about this case and will update this story with new information as it comes in. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any tips.