Over The Weekend, White Supremacists Decided To Crawl Out Of The Gutter To Assault People And Protest An Anarchist Book Fair. What The Hell?
It’s been a turbulent week for the quaint little college town of Denton — and, somehow, much of said turbulence is surrounding music venues.
On Saturday, the long-dormant-but-soon-to-be-fully-reopen music venue Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios hosted an event called the North Texas Anarchist Book Fair, where participants were briefly confronted by a group of protesters who identify as members of Patriot Front — a locally-sprung group that has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremacist hate group.
Their appearance at the event was captured on video.
According to employees of the venue, it appears as if these protesters were mostly on hand for a photo opportunity. They held flares lit and waves flags in the parking lot, posed for pictures, then fled shortly after outside filming began of their presence. [Full disclosure: The author of this piece worked at Rubber Gloves from 2015 to its close in June 2016.]
Thankfully, nobody was hurt at Gloves.
Alas, the same can’t be said of another incident that occurred on Sunday, just a few blocks away. The Denton Record-Chronicle reports the general manager of Harvest House was assaulted after asking a group of people to leave the bar upon noticing that one of them had tattoos of swastikas. The manager also told the DRC he was called an anti-Semitic slur during the altercation.
Despite the events basically taking place right down the street from one another, Denton Police say they are not connected.
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These incidents do, however, come in the wake of the ADL’s Center on Extremism finding an increase in white supremacy propaganda efforts near college campuses during the 2018-2019 academic school year, up seven percent from white supremacist activity on campuses the year before.
In response to both of these events, community members have organized a “Hate Has No Home In Denton County” demonstration scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening at the Denton County Courthouse on the Square.