Brandon Straka, the gay hairdresser who founded the #WalkAway movement intended to convince LGBTQ people to leave the Democratic Party and was arrested for his role in the Capitol insurrection, is plotting his political comeback.
The Rio Crest Winery in Guerneville, California will host a “relaunch” for his movement, but Straka begged his supporters to “not share any details about this event on social media or any public forum.” Of course, it was quickly posted online.
Tickets to Straka’s cocktail party run $100-$150 and the invitation said other donations would be solicited.
Residents are outraged and calling on the venue to cancel the contract. The event will happen “on a weekend that is all about love” as the town hosts Lazy Bear Week, their biggest queer celebration.
“I’m amazed that the owners of Rio Crest would bring this hate into a community known for its inclusiveness,” Michael Volpatt, a local restaurant owner said. “It’s also a very bad business decision. I’m also sad to see a gay person support a cause based on lies and a party that doesn’t’ care about the LGBTQIA+ community.”
So far the venue isn’t commenting on the decision to host a fundraiser for a man who was arrested for his role in the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters earlier this year.
Straka defiantly posted videos and other content online that reportedly showed his involvement in the Capitol riot before deleting them.
Straka faces charges of impeding law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, knowingly entering and remaining on restricted grounds without lawful authority, engaging in disorderly conduct within proximity to a restricted building to impede official functions, and engaging in disorderly conduct with intent to disturb a hearing before Congress.
He openly challenged major Republicans who claimed that the armed rioters who stormed the Capitol were actually Democrats in disguise. Straka was there, and he said that the attackers were exactly what they appear to be: conservatives who are mad that they lost the election.
“HOLD. THE. LINE!!!” he tweeted during the violent attack that resulted in five deaths.
Later, though, after Republicans began to denounce the violent attack on their place of work, Straka said he was “confused” that conservatives were disavowing the insurrection after calling for it.
“I’m completely confused,” he tweeted. “For 6-8 weeks everybody on the right has been saying ‘1776!’ & that if congress moves forward it will mean a revolution! So congress moves forward, Patriots storm the Capitol- now everybody is virtual [sic] signaling their embarrassment that this happened.”
Multiple people reportedly sent the FBI a video reportedly showing Straka outside the Capitol, shouting “we’re going in!” and “Go! go!”
Another video reportedly shows Straka urging other insurrectionists to attack a Capitol police officer and rip away his protective gear. According to charging documents, Straka is heard shouting, “Take it away from him. Other people in the crowd then yelled, “Take the shield!”
As several people in the crowd grabbed the officer’s gear, Straka yelled, “Take it! Take it!”
Straka has repeatedly begged his followers for cash to support his legal defense, raising almost $200,000 so far. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for the end of August.
Grosssss a local winery is holding a fundraiser for one of the Jan 6th Capitol rioters 🤬 (last two screenshots borrowed from a friend on IG)
— Ruth (@teapot_rabbit) July 28, 2021