News (USA)

Anti-LGBTQ+ protestors attack outside of school board meeting over Pride Month resolution

Protestors outside the Glendale school board meeting
Protestors outside the Glendale school board meeting Photo: Screenshot

A brawl broke out at a school board meeting in Glendale, California yesterday as folks were discussing a statement recognizing June as Pride Month. Three people were arrested.

The Glendale Unified School District Board unanimously approved the resolution later in the evening.

During the day yesterday, hundreds of protestors demonstrated outside the building. Pro-LGBTQ+ people waved rainbow flags and anti-LGBTQ+ people waved American flags. The anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrators chanted, “Leave our kids alone,” according to the LA Times. The white nationalist group Proud Boys was reportedly among the anti-LGBTQ+ protestors.

The public comment section of the school board meeting was cut short due to a shelter-in-place order as fighting broke out outside. Police declared the assembly unlawful.

One video posted online by independent journalist Sergio Olmos shows police trying to hold anti-LGBTQ+ protestors back as they shout expletives at the pro-LGBTQ+ protestors, calling them “sick people.” The anti-LGBTQ+ protestors break the police line and beat several LGBTQ+ people, including one wearing a pink bandana. Another person was thrown to the ground and beaten; Olmos said that they were arrested by Glendale police.

Police declared an unlawful assembly and some of the anti-LGBTQ+ protestors refused to disperse. One lay on the ground and got arrested. He said that conservatives are “weak because they will not do the hard things, like this.”

According to Olmos, the anti-LGBTQ+ protestors went to the Glendale city hall afterwards and continued their protest.

“Whose kids? Our kids,” they chanted, part of the conservative belief that children aren’t human beings with rights but are instead the property of their parents.

They then went back to the school board meeting. One of them had a trailer on a truck with enormous signs that read, “LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE.”

Police were present when they got back and many of the anti-LGBTQ+ protestors recorded the police line.

At the meeting, many people who attended spoke in favor of declaring June Pride Month.

“I’ve never spoken before,” said one woman who said she had a queer middle school child in the district, “but as an actual parent, I felt that I had to be here because a lot of the opposing people don’t believe that I exist.”

Some of the speakers opposed the Pride Month resolution.

“I’m here on the side of parents who want to keep the focus in schools on academics rather than on sexual orientation,” said anti-LGBTQ+ speaker Belissa Cohen.

The livestream of the event went dark during the comments, and board President Nayiri Nahabedian said that police weren’t letting more people into the building and that people who were in the building were being advised not to leave.

The violence comes several days after similar fighting broke out at another LA-area school district. Anti-LGBTQ+ protestors demonstrated at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood over an optional Pride assembly, saying that “any topic that is related to LGBTQ” is “sexually explicit.” The protesters held signs saying, “No pride in grooming,” “Parental choice matters,” and “Leave our kids alone.”

At around noon, some unidentified people threw punches.

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