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Dec 6, 22

Counter-Protesters Defend Ft. Lauderdale from Anti-Trans Hate Rally and Proud Boys

Report back from antifascist counter-mobilization against a gender fascist rally in so-called Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Originally published to Iron Snowflake

On the 3rd of December, the Proud Boys, so-called “Gays against Groomers,” “Moms4Liberty,” and other far-Rights groups rallied on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL to support DeSantis’s attacks on transgender people. Counter-protesters outnumbered the fascists, and repeatedly drove Proud Boys out of the counter-protest site. Soon, the fascists grew tired and left, leaving the pro-LGBTQ+ contingent in possession of the beach.

During the fascist rally, Proud Boys attempted to disrupt the counter-protest, attempting to walk through the rally only to be immediately engaged and driven out. As always, it was clear their message is about hate and religious bigotry. The LGBTQ} community, liberals, and hardcore antifascists all turned out to oppose the far-Right.

As confrontations flared, antifascists documented as many Proud Boys and other prominent fascists as possible. These included Broward County School Board member, Brenda Fam, who spoke at the gender fascist “Protect the Children” rally.

On the liberal side, a Florida state Senator and the Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale spoke. While one of the Mayor’s staffers whined to cops about the presence of anarchists and antifascists, the presence of the Mayor at the counter-protest limited the heavy-hand of the cops. As a result, the cops were mostly hands-off and a joint police – Proud Boys attack on the counter-protest was averted.

In Ft. Lauderdale, the Proud Boys ended up being the smallest force, across the US, uglier things happened elsewhere this same day. In North Carolina, a coordinated attack on substations left thousands without power; some suspect far-Right militants who may have attempted to shut down a local drag show. In Columbus, Ohio, Proud Boys, militia members, and neo-Nazis converged outside of a Unitarian Universalist church which had planned to host a drag story hour. Also in Lakeland, Florida, neo-Nazis rallied outside of another event while police looked on and did nothing.

These fascist protests are part of an ongoing escalation against the LGBTQ+ community that has included both a deadly mass shooting in Colorado Springs at a queer nightclub and ongoing legislative attacks by Republicans.

This article has been edited for publication.

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