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Jan 16, 23

Antifascists Push Back Against Proud Boys in Redlands, CA

Report on antifascist community defense of a drag story-time event in so-called Redlands, CA.

On Saturday, January 14th, the day of the drag queen story-time event in Riverside, California, antifascists were informed that Proud Boys had dropped banners drops in Riverside and nearby Redlands. The banner drops were accompanied by fascist stickers and posters, mostly disparaging local parents, drag queens, Black Lives Matter, and antifascists – referencing Pinochet and “helicopter rides.” Antifascists mobilized quickly in the pouring rain to remove the banners and other fascist propaganda.

The bookstore hosting the story time then posted on social media that their building had been defaced with the same stickers and posters but they would not back down from hosting the planned event. Children and parents arrived and while the story-time was going on, parents and friends walked around the bookstore and surrounding plaza and diligently removed the rest of the fascist posters and stickers. The stickers were mostly the cheap paper kind and were soaking wet in the rain and easy to scrape off.

A single fascist in a lifted white truck with license plate 14060D2 sat some distance away in the parking lot through the duration of the event yelling, “You’re a groomer!,” occasionally at passersby. After attendees left he also left, but did not appear to be following anyone. Employees of another shop in the plaza reported that they saw a man in a mask putting up the stickers and posters at 5am that morning. After story time ended a group of parents and grandparents assembled with rainbow umbrellas outside of the bookstore offering free mom hugs and free dad hugs.

A community member later identified the man in the truck as Philip Aplinshook, who has also been spotted with Proud Boys at Redlands City Council meetings. A truck fitting the same description as Philip’s was also seen driving near a queer softball league practice some weeks ago shouting obscenities out the window.

photo: Safe Redlands Schools

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