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August 7, 2023 by JOE ORELLANA

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On August 5th, numerous fascist groups descended upon the New Children’s Museum in San Diego in an attempt to shut down a drag queen story hour. Defenders rallied in opposition to the fascists, and the story hour was a success. Fascists from all over Southern California made the trip to yell hate speech at children and their defenders, consistent with the California right-wing’s pattern of behavior over the last year. Despite this event occurring at a museum, numerous signs referenced public schools and locker rooms.

A protester stands in front of a loudspeaker and a mic stand. The protester is holding a sign that reads,"what a drag." The protester in the background is holding a microphone, and reading from a phone.
Among the first arrivals of protesters was a couple who brought a sound system.

The first right-wing protesters arrived Just after 9 AM. They carried signs with slogans like “protect all God’s children from drag queens.”

By 10 AM, the fascist side of the street started to fill in. Following an initial meeting in the parking lot on the waterfront, fascists from LEXIT, the Proud Boys, Exiled Patriots and divorce-coded school board trolls arrived on foot.

Most of the signs carried by this second wave of arrivals made reference to schools and locker rooms. One such sign said “shut down drag shows in our schools.” Of course, this event took place at a museum, not a school.

An officer is leaning into the passenger window of a police cruiser to talk, while four other police cruisers are visible behind him, up the street.
Police cruisers filled in where Union Street feeds into Island Avenue.

Police were all over the block, as cruisers moved into the side streets from concealed positions. When a LEXIT protester tried to take the street, police ushered her back to the sidewalk.

This image is shot from below, angled upward. On the right side of the frame, and officer is looking down into the camera while smirking. The rest of the shot consists of a crowd of protesters just behind caution tape, LEXIT members and a Proud Boy among them. There are palm trees and clear blue skies.
Known Proud Boys and LEXIT members frequently placed themselves on the forward perimeter.

From 10 AM till noon, the protest consisted mostly of bigoted statements done under the banner of the cross. Religious types, preachers and others, laundered hate speech through prayers announced over a loudspeaker. As they decried the supposed inappropriate content at this event, protesters prayed that defenders would be healed of trauma from childhood sexual assaults. 

It’s a common anti-queer talking point to say that queerness is caused by childhood sexual abuse. But abuse does not make victims queer, nor are queer people more likely to abuse children. 

Other bigots were more overt, chanting that defenders were here because “their daddy was a queer.” Several wore clothing bearing accusations of “grooming,” a conspiracy theory which alleges queer people and liberals are enabling pedophilia.

Attendees were shielded by a wall of defenders, and their movements were coordinated with defenders and museum staff to minimize exposure to the protesters.

LEXIT members have falsely claimed they disrupted the event. The museum was closed to the public, but the story hour went on as scheduled. Here’s the hate groups that showed up.


San Diego’s LEXIT chapter was represented by its vice-president “Carlos,” its chapter president Martha Alicia Souza, and other locals. Sources say the chapter numbers at forty members, making this turn-out rather small.


Proud Boy Bryan Alan White came out from Riverside. Assaulter Louie Flores has been a fixture at Proud Boy events in Southern California for some time, and protested on the 5th as well. Flores protested the Boo Bash in Hillcrest last year

”Kevin,” a Proud Boy, appeared alongside his regularly-masked companion. That companion appeared without a mask in Santa Monica last year. He also protested the Hillcrest Boo Bash last October.

Sobczak is flipping off someone off-camera. He is wearing a black shirt with a yellow brass knuckles icon on it. He is wearing a black and yellow hat that reads, "groom dogs, not kids."
Proud Boy Sobczak conferred with Flores at the protest.

Proud Boy and Defend East County jackboot Michael Sobczak attended as well. His nickname, “Mickey Knuckles,” was printed on his shirt over a brass knuckles logo. In 2021, he was removed from his leadership role in the American Legion due to his affiliation with the Proud Boys.

Joshua Barnett attended, and has previously demonstrated alongside Proud Boys He often accompanies LEXIT members like Chris Reyes.
Joshua Barnett took off his thin blue line gaiter toward the end of the event.


San Diego County fascist group Exiled Patriots was represented by Darrick Dion Parmer. An attendee informed LCRW that Parmer previously assaulted a woman during the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd.Exiled Patriots splintered off from Defend East County in around 2020-2021. The group associates with known white supremacists, like Bob Garland, a member of the Hammerskins-adjacent American Guard. Garland and other members of Exiled Patriots demonstrated at a hate rally in Santee earlier this year following a smear campaign against a local trans woman.


Derek Kinnison, a Three Percenter who has been charged for his activities at the January 6th Capitol riot was in attendance. Kinnison is from Riverside, and has gone before Temecula city council to talk about micropenises

clinic harassers

Adelmo Vierno and Aaron Ruis showed up as well. They often spend their Saturday mornings at a Planned Parenthood in San Diego, harassing patients as they enter. Vierno is known to clinic defenders for his bizarre choice to protest the clinic in a biblical sackcloth.


Waroff is looking toward the camera. He is in a "leave our kids alone" shirt. To the left of the frame, Flores is checking his phone.
Former deputy Waroff wore full-length sleeves that obscured his forearm tattoos.

Steven Waroff is a likely-former Riverside County Sheriff deputy according to the steep decline in his salary on Transparent California. Waroff was also a School Resource Officer at Temecula Valley High School, and has been seen at TVUSD school board meetings. He wore a “Leave Our Kids Alone” shirt popularized by school board harassers in Glendale. The bottom of his shirt read, “supported by Saticoy Elementary Parents.” That school was the site of anti-LGBTQ violence at a hate rally.

Bryce Henson has appeared at numerous school board meetings over the past two years, and done security alongside Proud Boys. He regularly uses fake names to make comments at public events. Commenters from his appearance at Oceanside and Santee were present on August 5th. One commenter pictured above implied that the defenders were motivated by childhood sexual trauma.

Robin Nicole Patch of El Segundo attended the event. She has associated with known Proud Boys and white supremacist propagandists

Ogden is looking toward defenders, out of frame. He is in a shirt that advertises the city of Loreto in Baja California.
Ogden walked the protest with a camcorder.

Roger Ogden runs an anti-migrant website called Patriot Fire. He showed up and filmed drag defenders. His writeup of the August 5th event characterizes drag story hour as “The Drag Queen Grooming Session.”

“The Museum was closed to heterosexuals in order to cater to the drag queen grooming,” he wrote. During the humanitarian crisis following the expiration of Title 42, he filmed asylum seekers through the border wall and tried to interview them without disclosing his bigoted views. In 2020, he was detained after confronting racial justice activists while armed with pepper spray.


caution tape runs through the foreground of the image. Behind it are bike cops, and behind them are another perimeter line. Behind those officers are fascists.
For most of the event, the outside of the museum looked like this. This is what defenders shielded children from seeing.

As in Glendale, a coalition of fascist groups converged on a location that provides a public good. Many of those in attendance have no claim to San Diego, nor any ties to the children they claim to be fighting for.

This shot is angled toward the ground. There is a chalk message on the asphalt that reads, "the only good fascist is a not alive one." The words "not alive" are written in blue. The rest are in orange.
After an officer erased the word “dead” from this chalk art, someone wrote “not alive” in its place.

As fascists rallied, someone wrote “the only good fascist is a dead fascist” in chalk on the asphalt. An officer felt the need to erase the word “dead.” 

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