The election of Donald Trump to the presidency has allowed for intense, violently hateful white nationalism to come out of the woodwork on a scale not seen in decades. In the most infamous incident of white nationalist fueled violence, thousands of white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, intending to protest the planned removal of a statue honoring Robert E. Lee and sparking violence that ended with three people dead.
The president has since made his allegiances clear by asserting that “fine people” were among the right wing demonstrators.
In the weeks since Charlottesville, national attention has been turned upon white nationalist cells in pretty much all 50 states, and there hasn’t really been a very public airing of white nationalist grievances — until now.
Last week, on Sunday, September 24, Houston area radical leftists held a book fair and speaking event at the MECA community center. After that event got underway, dozens of white nationalist demonstrators, many with bandannas over their faces, showed up and made a violent show of force outside the book fair venue.
The white nationalist demonstrators weren’t at the venue for very long, but they were there just long enough to make a scene. Some of the men tried to enter the building, the Houston Press reports, but attendees of the Houston Anarchist Book Fair held the door shut, according to event organizer Kit O’Connell. The demonstrators set off items described as both flares and smoke bombs, and chanted racist slogans while holding a banner reading “For Race and Nation.”
Police reportedly were nearby but did not intervene. It’s not clear if event attendees attempted to garner police support; Houston Police Department spokesman Victor Senties told Houston Press that “it is routine for officers to monitor rallies and demonstrations,” adding that he was “unaware” of any demonstration related arrests corresponding to when the book fair took place.
An individual described by AlterNet as “a member of the San Antonio chapter of the Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation who witnessed the altercation” described the situation by saying that the white nationalists were “being really irresponsible” since there were children allegedly present at the event.
The event went on after the white nationalists left. O’Connell told the Houston Press that the encounter “was an unpleasant and frankly terrifying event, but we didn’t let it interfere with the book fair.” The white nationalists who showed up were apparently affiliated with the same group — known as Vanguard America — that counts the man who rammed his car into counterprotesters in Virginia, killing one, among its members.
Watch a video apparently taken by one of the white nationalist demonstrators below.
An image from inside the community center taken as the confrontation unfolded is below.
Check out a selection of Twitter’s reaction below.
Featured Image via Twitter