Ohio Nazis harass another drag story hour, screaming, ‘There will be blood!’
The Ohio Nazis are back: Led by their fuhrer Christopher Pohlhaus, members of the fascist group Blood Tribe attacked a drag queen story hour for the second time. | via @MJFREE on Twitter

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Fascist goons screaming “There will be blood” gathered to threaten another LGBTQ event in Ohio, all under the watchful protection of local police.

On Saturday, April 29, Kaleidoscope Youth Center and Land Grant Brewing hosted their second annual Drag Brunch, a free admission event with 100% of proceeds donated for the support of LGBTQ youth in central Ohio. Kaleidoscope Youth Center is a drop-in safe space that offers counseling, career training, internet access, and food for LGBTQ youth ages 12-20.

Nazis associated with Blood Tribe, the same group which recently threatened participants at a children’s event in Wadsworth, Ohio, gathered outside Land Grant Brewing to threaten and intimidate participants at the fundraiser.

Blood Tribe’s leader, white supremacist skinhead Christopher Pohlhaus, led the fascists in chants of “No transgenders on our streets” and openly threatened violence.

Video widely circulating on social media shows Nazis clad in red and black with masked faces and swastika flags in hand openly shouting fascist threats as Columbus police observed.

Ostensibly present to protect First Amendment rights, the police were notably not utilizing the heavy tactical gear widely applied during other public demonstrations, such as those that occurred during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. This is even though at least one Nazi was seen armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and wearing body armor.

Public statements by Columbus city officials characterized the Nazis’ presence as not characteristic of the local community and thanked the police for their peacekeeping efforts. Mayor Andrew Ginther tweeted, “While their ‘speech’ is protected by the Constitution, they do not have the right to threaten, intimidate, or harm others.”

The Nazis left the scene after approximately 30 minutes, and no arrests were made.

These events illustrate two fundamental realities of U.S. society today: the growing threat of fascist violence and the tacit compliance of the state apparatus.

Despite the openly violent nature of the fascist demonstrations, these groups organize freely. In legislatures around the country, meanwhile, Republican politicians carry out the legal side of the right-wing anti-LGBTQ offensive, proposing hundreds of laws targeting transgender people and other queer Americans.

All while the direct bodily threats to marginalized LGBTQ individuals by the Nazi stormtroopers in the streets, an extremist enforcement of patriarchy, are defended as within the bounds of protected speech.

Participants in the Drag Brunch reportedly took matters into their own hands, turning up the music at their event loud enough to overwhelm the chants of the Nazi demonstration just outside.

Stonewall Columbus released a statement in bold defiance of fascist persecution:

“The terrorist/hate group demonstration at Land Grant’s Drag Brunch supporting Kaleidoscope Youth Center was a deplorable act that aimed to silence a group, cause terror, and perpetuate unwarranted hate.

“Our queer communities must not be silenced. Our communities but not be stricken with fear. Our communities must stand unified in our power. We must not be dissuaded from sharing our stories, our presence, our pride.

“Drag is not a crime.”

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David Hill
David Hill

David Hill is a member of the Mike Gold Writer’s Collective. He follows labor, LGBTQ rights, policing, and other issues. He is a member of the National Writers Union and Freelance Solidarity Project.