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VIDEO REPORT: Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ rally in downtown Los Angeles

Vishal P. Singh

10:33 A.M. It is August 22, 2023 and I'm reporting live from Los Angeles City Hall where the anti-LGBTQ+ extremist movement Leave Our Kids Alone, who describe themselves as a parental rights group, is rallying alongside several January 6th Capitol rioters and members of the white supremacist fascist group the Proud Boys. The protest group is known for targeting LGBTQ+ student protections in local school boards and for telling young LGBTQ+ activists outside of an elementary school to hang themselves. They have recently stripped LGBTQ+ students of civil rights in two local school districts. Pro-LGBTQ+ counter protesters are here across the street at Grand Park. LAPD has the sides separated. I can already see far-right militant Mike Ancheta, who broke my bones and hospitalized me for reporting in 2021, hanging out by the police line.

10:45 A.M. Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists in downtown Los Angeles announce they want to march from Los Angeles City Hall to Los Angeles Unified school district headquarters.

10:52 A.M. LAPD deploys a large unit to protect Proud Boys, Capitol rioters, and Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists as they march to Los Angeles Unified school district headquarters. Officers have riot munition guns out and are only facing the pro-LGBTQ+ side. LAPD has a long track record of biased enforcement when far-right groups hold violent rallies here.

11:03 A.M. Anti-LGBTQ+ extremists with Leave Our Kids Alone, LEXIT (a far-right group advocating for a so-called 'Latino exit' from the Democratic Party), and the Proud Boys are marching through downtown Los Angeles with police protection.

11:06 A.M. Bakersfield Proud Boys member Jose Paez approaches me without provocation and whips me in the face and camera with a Leave Our Kids Alone shirt while multiple LAPD units behind me and to my side watch.

11:16 A.M. Leave Our Kids Alone marchers enter the 3rd street tunnel in downtown Los Angeles, still with an LAPD escort. Emergency workers from LAFD are being blocked by the path of the march. At this point, far-right militant Mike Ancheta has been closely following me around as I film at every corner for at least 45 minutes.

11:44 A.M. After the Leave Our Kids Alone march exits the tunnel and approaches the Los Angeles unified school district headquarters, Proud Boys member and January 6th Capitol rioter Adam Kiefer speaks to LAPD and points at me as I film from a distance behind the march. In front of the march: pro-LGBTQ+ protesters are already in front of the Los Angeles unified school district headquarters, having marched there using a faster route in order to cut off the Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ march.

11:45 A.M. Several fascist militants and Leave Our Kids Alone activist Narek Palyan, a documented neo-Nazi supporter, stand by an anti-LGBTQ+ banner drop that they just put up over the freeway while spewing anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech against me. One of the men has a Three Percenters fascist militia tattoo and a "Fuck Antifa" t-shirt celebrating fascist Chilean dictator and war criminal Augusto Pinochet and his preferred execution method for political dissidents: throwing them out of flying helicopters.

11:54 A.M. Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, along with Proud Boys and Capitol rioters, repeatedly thank LAPD for working with them. LAPD officers confirmed to me that this march and rally was not permitted by the city, despite the preferential treatment.

11:58 A.M. Multiple LAPD officers watch and walk away as Bakersfield Proud Boys member Jose Paez approaches me again without cause, starts hitting me, repeatedly shoves and walks into me, knocks down my camera, and forcibly restricts me from reporting on the Leave Our Kids Alone protest. He even pushes me into an LAPD officer. I am unable to report on what the LAPD officers are doing due to the Proud Boy violently restricting my access to the protest area.

12:05 P.M. Minutes later, Bakersfield Proud Boys member Jose Paez rushes me again and escalates his violence against me to a hate crime, hitting me and shoving me harder and faster while calling me a homophobic slur. I am pushed back all the way into a construction area near a freeway onramp with no exit route as Paez attempts to shove me to the ground into the many rusty nails littering the site. LAPD officers continue to watch and do nothing as other far-right extremists, like Proud Boys member and Capitol rioter Adam Kiefer, jeer. I am forced to flee the area and have to spend the next 45 minutes evading violent extremists tailing me as I searched for another way around the Proud Boy roadblock to continue reporting on the protest. I miss key moments of protest coverage due to this denial of access by the Proud Boys which was witnessed and sanctioned by LAPD.

12:18 P.M. This footage from my associate, documentary filmmaker Rocky Romano, shows what the Proud Boys prevented me from filming: LAPD violently attacking LGBTQ+ supporters on behalf of far-right anti-LGBTQ+ extremists. The Leave Our Kids Alone movement was given special treatment to engage in fascist street terror by LAPD.

12:54 P.M. Outside of the Los Angeles Unified school district headquarters: LAPD surrounded and attacked the pro-LGBTQ+ side while allowing the Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists to march near the location and assault anyone they wanted. Meanwhile, the anti-LGBTQ+ march had to hold position on the bridge in front of the headquarters, mere feet away from their goal but unable to advance for the duration of the protest. Pro-LGBTQ+ supporters later declared victory because of this, celebrating the fact that their arrival to the headquarters ahead of Leave Our Kids Alone prevented anti-LGBTQ+ extremists from surrounding the building as they intended.

1:00 P.M. Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists yell at me me: “remember when you got knocked out?” They are referring to the far-right assault against me in 2021 that left me hospitalized. My attacker, Mike Ancheta, spent at least 45 minutes during today's protest following me on a bicycle and waiting to catch me isolated.

1:27 P.M. Mainstream journalists from local news outlets like KTLA uncritically interview confirmed far-right extremists, providing them with potent anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda with a veneer of legitimacy.

1:31 P.M. Leave Our Kids Alone supporters call me the homophobic f-slur again while speakers on stage claim that their movement isn't against LGBTQ+ people.

1:37 P.M. Proud Boys affiliate and January 6th Capitol rioter Josh Fulfer was allowed behind the police line and got in my face. He and his sister pulled a gun on LGBTQ+ activists in Sacramento earlier this year.

1:40 P.M. Leave Our Kids Alone supporter threatens to dox me in front of LAPD: “I’ll have your address by 6 o’clock tonight.”

1:48 P.M. The press media viewing area is moved by LAPD at the request of anti-LGBTQ+ extremists.

1:49 P.M. Anti-LGBTQ+ extremists begin thinning out.

2:00 P.M. Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, including neo-Nazi supporter Narek Palyan and Proud Boy Capitol rioter Adam Kiefer, mingle with police while threatening journalists. Palyan tells journalist Sean Beckner-Carmitchel that he is Jewish and will be "burned."

2:03 P.M. Leave Our Kids Alone supporter Narek Palyan performs a very quick Nazi salute while telling a reporter to “come over to the far-right.” Palyan then walks over to Leave Our Kids Alone lead organizer and regular Fox News guest Manuk Grigorian and gives him a hug. I have reported on Palyan filming himself perform Nazi salutes in the past outside of Glendale Unified school board meetings. He also praised Adolf Hitler and American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell on social media.

2:06 P.M. Final moments: Proud Boy Adam Kiefer, while on a scooter, shoves documentary filmmaker Rocky Romano. Another Leave Our Kids Alone supporter shoulder checks me as I film the last of the Leave Our Kids Alone anti-LGBTQ+ extremists disperse from the area.

NOTE: This report was written in the field and edited later for clarity.


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