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Dec 16, 22

Community Defends LGBTQ+ Event in Lakeland, Florida in the Face of Threats from Neo-Nazis

Report on antifascist mobilization in Lakeland, Florida against threats from a white supremacist group to attack a local drag event. Originally posted to Iron Snowflake. 

On the 15th of December, members of Lakeland’s LGBTQ+ community showed up to defend a drag bingo event from an expected attack by fascists. Queer and trans folks were also joined in solidarity by an antifascist contingent. This mobilization took place less than two weeks after a group of neo-Nazis, known as “Natsoc Florida,” descended on an earlier drag event in Lakeland.

According to The Ledger:

A group of men carrying Nazi flags and performing Hitler salutes protested Saturday night in Lakeland outside an event that featured drag performances.

One photo…showed a group of at least 12 people standing in a line, all with their right arms raised in a Nazi salute. Along with a Nazi flag, two of them held a white flag with a small red cross against a blue background in the upper left corner. The Christian flag has been adopted as a symbol by the Proud Boys and other white nationalist groups.

This mobilization takes place against an escalating backdrop of far-Right protest, attacks, and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, including the horrific mass shooting in Colorado Springs. Thanks to the counter-mobilization, neo-Nazis did not show up. The LGBTQ community wins this match!

This article has been slightly edited and expanded for readability and context.

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