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Jun 19, 23

Neo-Nazis Blocked and Kicked Out of Pride Celebration in Chico, CA

Report back on successful community defense of Pride in so-called Chico, California against neo-Nazis.

On Wednesday, June 14th, the Chico LGBT Center hosted a drag story hour for kids and their families, one of several recent Pride events. It was a beautiful and hot valley day with music and fun outfits as families and friends trickled into the event. As the music was starting, two neo-Nazis were seen approaching across a bridge around the corner from the event, carrying a ridiculous large wooden sign stating that trans people and their friends were “mentally ill” and pedophiles.

One of those approaching was known white supremacist Christopher Acret of Cohasset, CA, who is associated with Goyim Defense League (GDL), a group who has been active in the past year spreading horribly designed, anti-Semitic, racist, and queer and transphobic neo-Nazi propaganda throughout Northern California, including Chico. The other fascist was likely affiliated with GDL as well.

Luckily our side spotted them before they came anywhere near the event and confronted them on the bridge, blocking them from coming anywhere near the venue. They were vastly outnumbered, two of them to about fifteen of us, with many more community members not participating in the confrontation but hanging back and guarding the entrance to the event. A stand-off ensued, with some shouting and shoving. Several times the neo-Nazis attempted to break past us and move toward the event and each time they were pushed back while the crowd screamed, “Nazis Fuck Off.”

After about 15 minutes of standoff, our team was able to start pushing our line forward and move them further and further away from the Drag Story Hour, and toward a busy intersection. Passing cars and pedestrians showed their support for us. After slowly backing up due to our pressure for a block or so, the fascists decided to call it a day and actively retreated. Several of us followed them to make sure they left, and we were able to ensure they got in their truck and drove out. They gave us one last “fuck you” and some homophobic slurs from their truck window before disappearing completely.

The day felt like a major success for antifascists and our small rural community that has endured a lot of right-wing hatred recently. We were prepared, we fought back, and the fascists never made it anywhere near the event. They left humiliated and defeated, chased out of town. Our team had wide-spread community support, despite some peace-police and “de-escalation” antics thrown our way. The police made a brief appearance but couldn’t be bothered to stick around. There was no media present. By the time the event was over and the children and their friends and families were leaving safely, the fascists were long gone and the kids and performers got to have a beautiful and fun event.

For more reading on hate incidents in the area, and specifically Christopher Acret and GDL, check out this article.

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