Waterspider has been filming the LA protest scene since last summer. Her Twitter is @waterspider__ and her Cashapp is $AWaterspider. Desertborder is an LA-based researcher who really, really hates fascism. You can find him on Twitter @desertborder. His Cashapp is $fuckgarcetti.
HOLLYWOOD RALLY, MARCH 27TH
After a series of batshit rallies in Hollywood last summer, SoCal QAnoners briefly quieted down–the Capitol riot and their widespread ban from social media had been disastrous for the movement. Unfortunately, it didn’t take them long to crawl back out of the woodwork.
Around 200 QAnoners led by Fresno-area rapper Thaddis “Kingluv” Johnson rallied in Hollywood on March 27, viciously beating a bystander and running a journalist off with violent threats. The group included multiple Capitol rioters as well as hardcore violent fascists who have been involved in numerous assaults in SoCal over the last year. LAPD officers on scene did not intervene in the march, even after watching the QAnoners beat the hell out of a local man.
The rally began fairly quietly at 10 a.m. as a small group of QAnoners gathered at the iconic corner of Hollywood and Vine. Rallygoers carried signs referencing a constellation of far-right conspiracy theories, including “Open the containers,” “What’s under the Getty’’ and “Pizzagate is real.” (For reference, those refer to easily-disprovable conspiracy theories about children being trafficked on the Evergiven container ship, in tunnels under the Getty Museum, and in DC pizza parlor Comet Ping-Pong, respectively).
LCRW was on scene for the beginning of the rally, but left around 11 a.m. due to harassment from the crowd. Social-media video fills in the rest of the story, beginning with the threats against independent reporter Sean Carmitchel, aka A Cat With News.
In the video, Carmitchel films the ground as he negotiates with an angry crowd of QAnoners. He agrees to leave at their insistence, but asks them not to follow him to his car. They eventually agree, but not before threatening him with physical violence.
“We don’t ever want to see you again. If I see you again, I’m going to fucking beat your ass,” a man says to Carmitchel in the video. “If I see you at another event, I’m going to beat your ass.” As Carmitchel walks away, somebody yells “take his phone!”
One man in the video is identifiable by his shirt as Proud Boy Adam Michael Kiefer (more on him later), but it’s not clear who made the threat to Carmitchel.
After threatening Carmitchel, the group rallied at Hollywood High School (which they believe to be the center of a child-trafficking conspiracy) and then went on to assault a local comedian named Jay Dante Rusciolelli, who goes by Dante the Comic. One of the leaders of the rally, Mario Estrada, hit Dante in the face with a flagpole, which Dante says left him with a broken nose. Others in the crowd, including Adam Michael Kiefer, hit and shoved Dante before he fled.
According to Estrada, the assault was provoked when Dante tried to hit a megaphone out of his hands. Estrada had been following Dante down the street and yelling in his ear with the megaphone at high volume.
Dante was attacked twice, first in an incident not captured on video (to LCRW’s knowledge). He yelled at police for not interfering, and then returned to the crowd of QAnoners to try to retrieve a hat that had been knocked off his head in the initial assault. While Dante was crossing through the crowd, Estrada hit him in the face with a flagpole while several other QAnoners hit and shoved him.
The assault was captured from another angle in a video uploaded by Capitol rioter Jess Weber. Weber cheered on the attackers as they assaulted Dante.
After Dante was attacked the second time, he attempted to report the assault to LAPD officers, who had watched the entire incident without intervening. The officers refused to take a report. One unidentified officer accused Dante of “inciting a riot” and another officer, identified on his shirt as “Guttilla,” accused Dante of “interfering in (the QAnoners’) right to protest.”
The group’s next planned protest is at the same location on Saturday, April 24. A flyer distributed by the group promises that Proud Boys will be in attendance to provide “security.”
A separate group, reportedly led by violent racist Lindsey Grathwohl, is planning to protest outside the Oscars the following day.
Let’s take a look at some of the attendees of the March 27 QAnon rally:
Hardcore QAnoner and violent fascist Mario Estrada is, unsurprisingly, a Donald J. Trump superfan. But even by QAnon standards, Estrada takes his fandom to the extreme, on one occasion travelling to Phoenix and arriving 30 hours early for a Trump rally so that he could say he was the first in line.
Estrada also attended the “Million MAGA March” in DC on Dec. 12, posting support for the Proud Boys the next day and claiming they made him feel “safe,” despite the fact the group had vandalized two historic Black churches at the rally the night before.
At the Hollywood QAnon rally last month, Estrada hit Dante in the face with a weaponized flagpole (known as a “leaded cane” under California law) attached to an LGBT “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, while the rest of the QAnon crowd jeered at Dante and chased him out. LAPD watched the whole thing happen and did not intervene, choosing instead to let a crowd of QAnoners and Capitol rioters gang-assault a man and blaming the victim for inciting the attack.
Dante says the attack by Estrada left him with a broken nose.
In an interview with Weber, Estrada admitted to attacking Dante, while claiming to be the victim himself, and absurdly accusing Dante of an anti-LGBT hate crime.
Estrada claims that Dante smacked his megaphone before the assault, but Weber’s video clearly shows that Dante is trying to flee when he’s assaulted by the group. After the rally, Estrada took to Instagram to again brag about his assault on Dante, saying he’s “happy (Dante) got to taste the rainbow,” while posing next to an unidentified man wearing a “SuperStraight” shirt. “SuperStraight” is a movement of hardcore neo-Nazis attempting to use anti-trans bigotry to mainstream their Nazi ideas, and it has been banned from numerous social media sites for inciting hatred.
Estrada has not been arrested for the incident, despite video evidence and multiple confessions to the violent crime.
ADAM MICHAEL KEIFER
Proud Boy Adam Kiefer participated in the assault on Dante. That’s him wearing the full face horror movie mask.
Unfortunately, his attempt to conceal his identity wasn’t very successful, because he wore a shirt advertising his own Instagram handle.
In August of last year, he wore a “white lives matter” shirt to a Trump rally and pepper-sprayed counterprotesters.
And sometime over the summer, he threatened and assaulted a woman in El Segundo at another Trump rally.
Kiefer also showed up at a Proud Boys rally in Fresno a couple weeks after the QAnon rally, protesting against the firing of a Fresno police officer who got kicked off the force for being a Proud Boy.
THADDIS “KINGLUV” JOHNSON
Johnson organized the entire rally, which makes the attack on Dante kinda his fault. He did get all his friends to pose for a group picture, which was helpful in ID’ing some of them. Thanks Kingluv!
Johnson’s Instagram is filled with extreme anti-vaxx and QAnon content, and he occasionally promotes posts from Capitol rioters, including Jess Weber (more on him later), Elijah Schaffer and LA-area antivaxxer Siaka Massaquoi. He’s also appeared several times on Weber’s YouTube show. As far as we know, Johnson hasn’t been involved in any violent MAGA crimes, unless you count the bars he spits (sample lyric: “They be false flaggin’ ISIS/Why did Zuckerberg censor my shit.”)
Capitol rioter Jess Weber is most famous for a very ill-advised Parler post he made on the 6th.
It’s unclear where Weber got the shield that day or whether he really entered the Capitol as he claimed in the video. What is obvious is that he’s an extreme bigot.
Weber is also good friends with violent neo-Nazi Ryan Sanchez, who goes by Culture War Criminal. Sanchez, whose identity was first revealed by LCRW, lost his DLive and his Twitter after the Capitol riot, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to promote the Groyper movement in Southern California.
Weber, a failed actor who played a bit part in the confused and meandering Christopher Nolan vehicle Tenet, got his first big break with a staged video in which he pretended to accidentally fire a gun in his closet. After the Capitol riot, his YouTube channel was deleted, so he uploaded a video on someone else’s channel to whine about supposed censorship.
Weber soon launched another YouTube channel under the same name. As with his previous channel, he leans heavily towards wild conspiracy theories and entirely fake news.
He lies often in his videos, sometimes even while providing video evidence that he’s lying. At a rally against Covid restrictions in Huntington Beach last year, for example, Weber interviewed a pair of passersby who had argued with the Trump-loving crowd. In the middle of Weber’s interview, the pair were brutally attacked by Trump supporters. Weber filmed the assault, then–still filming–followed the pair as they were led away by police and began lying loudly about what had just happened, claiming that the victims had started the fight.
Weber’s sidekick and cameraman, Alberto Nunez, was also at the Capitol, where he filmed himself committing a federal crime while begging FBI informant Enrique Tarrio for approval.
Alberto has actually met Tarrio on several occasions, and was present in DC on Dec. 12, when Tarrio and his pals vandalized several Black churches.
Nunez is almost always around when Weber’s on the scene. His first time on an airplane, in fact, was one of his trips to DC with Weber. Extremely bad start, Alberto!
JOE VARGAS (MAGA PIT)
Vargas, who goes by the nom-de-fash MAGA Pit, was in DC on the 6th, though it is unclear whether he entered the Capitol.
In December, Vargas participated in a gang assault in Santa Ana, California, along with Capitol rioter Kim Sorgente and a few other as-yet-unidentified violent fascists. Sorgente was later charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm for his participation in the attack.
Capitol stormer Ed Badalian showed up maskless at the Hollywood rally and helpfully posed for a photo at Kingluv’s direction.
Badalian loves doing violent crimes in public, to the point where he’ll even fight his own MAGA brothers just for the adrenaline rush.
Badalian is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a neo-Nazi.
Like a lot of the folks on this list, Ed has a history of committing MAGA-themed violent crimes in full view of the police and suffering no consequences for it.
Badalian stormed the Capitol alongside his good friend Danny Rodriguez, who tased a cop at the Capitol and is currently in jail. Hot tip for Ed: probably not the best idea right now for you to be attending violent fascist rallies in person with your face uncovered.
Makowka was a major player in the January shutdown of the largest vaccination site in the country, Dodger Stadium, where anti-vaxxers colluded with LAPD to deprive people of the Covid vaccine. Makowka, who was erroneously named as the organizer of the rally in early reports, harassed people waiting in line to get their vaccines.
Makowka returned to Dodger Stadium for a second anti-vaxx protest in February. The site was not shut down on that occasion, but LAPD officers did escort anti-vaxxers up to the gates of the site, despite a promise by LAPD chief Michel Moore after the January shutdown that anti-vaxx protesters would be confined to a designated protest zone if they returned to Dodger Stadium.
Three days after the March Q rally, Makowka assaulted journalist Vishal Singh.
Makowka (who, again, was not the organizer of the Dodger Stadium rally–that honor belongs to a failed comedian named Jason Lefkowitz) writes for a white-nationalist news site called New Right Network, where she wrote a touching paean to her close friend, Capitol rioter Gina Bisignano.
KENNEDY LINDSEY AND TRAVIS WHITCHER
Capitol rioter Kennedy Lindsey came to film the rally along with her partner-in-fash Travis Whitcher.
Lindsey later bragged to journalist Vishal Singh about her participation in the Capitol riot and her friendship with Proud Boys, and told him it was “fucking awesome” that the Proud Boys assaulted him.
Under the banner of their far-right YouTube channel “45th News Brigade,” Whitcher and Lindsey troll BLM and leftist protests, with Lindsey often yelling that leftist protesters are “demons.” She also participated in destroying a vigil set up in LA to honor the lives of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo.
Lindsey lies constantly in her videos, and while she missed filming (or witnessing) the bulk of the attack on Dante, she immediately began claiming that Dante had attacked Estrada. She then referred to Dante as an “Antifa pedophile,” a clearly defamatory accusation, based solely on the fact that he got beat up by the QAnoners.
Last summer, Whitcher attempted to make a name for himself filming BLM protests in the LA area but, according to numerous sources LCRW has spoken with, was run out of protest spaces for sexually harassing women and femmes in the movement. After that, he promptly switched to producing fascist propaganda, and has participated in various anti-mask and anti-vaxx protests in the area, including the second Dodger Stadium rally.
During an illegal maskless protest at an LA-area Target, a bystander pointed a bottle of cleaning spray at Whitcher to ensure social distancing, which is inarguably the proper way to handle anti-maskers:
Nick Yaya, who is not a doctor but loves to wear a lab coat around, helped prevent people from getting vaccines at the Dodger Stadium shutdown.
Never one to miss an anti-vaxx protest, Yaya showed up to one at Inglewood alongside Armen Rezz, Bryna Makowka and Capitol rioter Siaka Massaquoi.
At the Inglewood protest, Yaya mistook journalist Sean Carmitchel for local antifascist activist Chad Loder, and threatened Carmitchel with violence.
Yaya also came to the second Dodger Stadium protest.
LUCAS REESE ISTRUIZ
Lucas Reese Isturiz’s favorite thing to do at rallies is try to intimidate women, usually unsuccessfully. At the Hollywood QAnon rally, he aimed his deranged ranting at Waterspider:
On January 6, in DTLA, Lucas was reportedly involved in an assault.
He was arrested that day, but per the Register-Herald piece, he wasn’t charged for the assault, he was only cited with failure to disperse.
Several weeks after the QAnon rally, Lucas returned to Hollywood to help destroy a memorial for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo.
Earlier that same night, Lucas threatened activists in Hollywood with a mass shooting.
Lucas has been to jail multiple times, and an ex requested a restraining order against him.
Did I mention Lucas loves to harass women?
His current girlfriend, racist anti-masker Angie Chang, came with him to the Hollywood QAnon rally. She also helped destroy the memorial for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo.
Angie got shitcanned from her software job this year for her racist vitriol and pro-Covid activism.
QAnoner, anti-masker and small-time livestreamer Armen Rezz attended the March rally. Here he is back in January, getting violent at the mall:
Rezz also helped prevent people from getting Covid vaccines at Dodger Stadium in January.
And he came back to Dodger Stadium in February, seen at about 0:55 in this tweet.
Rezz filmed the racist attack on LA resident Berlinda Nibo in downtown LA on Jan. 6. Of course, in his video of the event, titled “BLM Thugs Antagonize Peaceful Americans at West Coast WILD Protest,” he blames Nibo for it. LAPD later confirmed they’re treating it as a hate crime against Nibo, but nice try Armen!
Failed screenwriter Paul Onaga is a hardcore QAnoner and anti-vaxxer who helped shut down Dodger Stadium during the anti-vaxx protest there.
He came back to Dodger Stadium to try to shut it down a second time in February.
Outside a Burbank bar called Tinhorn Flats, which became a far-right rallying point after it was shuttered by the city for repeated safety violations, Onaga assaulted a city employee, seen at about 2:28 in this video.
If you really want to punish yourself, you can read Onaga’s terrible screenplay here.
Onaga is, hilariously, too conspiratorial for even the other anti-maskers.
He was last seen in Beverly Hills harassing elementary school children for wearing masks.
If you have information on any of the people listed above, or any of the other attendees of the violent QAnon rally in Hollywood on March 27, please dm @desertborder or @waterspider__ on Twitter or email [email@example.com](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Waterspider (she/her) films and writes about right-wing chaos in Los Angeles. You can support her work on Cash App at $AWaterspider.
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