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Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters mace counter protesters outside Pasadena Courthouse, no arrests made

Vishal P. Singh

On Wednesday, September 13th, a small group of conservative protesters and far-right extremists from Freedom Angels, Leave Our Kids Alone, Mom Army/Dad Army (Moms For Liberty copycat groups), and Gays Against Groomers held a rally outside of the courthouse in Pasadena, California in Los Angeles County to support a transphobic father named Adam Vena— who is trying to take custody of his transgender child from the gender-affirming mother. The name of the rally as well as protest signage dead-named the transgender child, a clear act of collective bullying against Vena's child spearheaded by Vena himself. Capitol rioter and fascist militia leader Denise Aguilar, a close ally of Chino Valley Unified School Board President Sonia Shaw as well as the Proud Boys, was also present.

Two days before the rally, Vena and Mom Army shared a "Code of Conduct" for demonstrators to follow. At the top of the list was "be peaceful & respectful." Predictably, the far-right coalition of extremists and activists failed to follow this basic suggestion. Livestream video uploaded to Instagram by Mom Army's East Los Angeles chapter and Leave Our Kids Alone lead organizer and spokesperson Manuk Grigoryan show two pro-LGBTQ+ counter protesters pulling up next to the anti-LGBTQ+ rally in a vehicle and honking.

The anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrators immediately surrounded the vehicle and used Gays Against Groomers signs to cover the front window of the truck and obscure the vision of the driver. One of the far-right extremists, wearing a fake NBC news shirt, approaches Grigoryan and asks about using pepper spray. Grigoryan replies, "no..." But a few moments later, the man walked up to the passenger window of the vehicle and fired mace from a large white canister into the vehicle, hitting both occupants— including the driver. Video from independent journalist Tina Berg corroborates this.

As the pro-LGBTQ+ counter protesters attempted to treat their own eyes, anti-LGBTQ+ activists mocked them. In the videos: one extremist yells, "have a nice drive home!" Another remarks, "aw, I think [they're] having a mental breakdown or something, what's going on?" Another person interjects, "they got pepper sprayed." The anti-LGBTQ+ extremists would repeatedly admit, on their livestreams, that the pro-LGBTQ+ counter protesters in the vehicle were maced. Law enforcement inside of the courthouse did not bother responding. Leave Our Kids Alone lead organizer and spokesperson Manuk Grigoryan walked away angrily from the assault from his side and said, "damn it, why'd you guys do that, man?" The counter protesters drove away and got to safety as the anti-LGBTQ+ extremists and activists cheered and celebrated getting away with an unlawful use of mace without provocation. Even though this anti-LGBTQ+ attack happened in broad daylight, on camera, in front of a courthouse, and had extremists involved confess to the crime: there were no arrests made. After the incident, the judge for Vena's case announced that he has now recused himself. According to Vena and his attorney, they will be assigned a new judge tomorrow morning, Thursday September 14th at the Stanley Mosk courthouse, department two, in Downtown Los Angeles at 8:30 A.M.

1 Comment

Sep 15, 2023

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