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Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:06 AM

Officials, advocates offer differing versions after Proud Boys disrupt Pride Storytime event

Officials, advocates offer differing versions after Proud Boys disrupt Pride Storytime event

WHQR | By Benjamin Schachtman
Published June 22, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT

On Tuesday evening, the Pride event for young kids at the Pine Valley Library was interrupted by protestors, including members of the local Proud Boys group. Officials say there was no disturbance and participants were never in danger — but advocates for the queer community describe the event differently.

Most parties agree on some basic facts: the Tuesday event, “Pride Storytime,” was held for children under 7 in the Osprey Room of the Pine Valley Library from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. According to the county, the event would include “books featuring LGBTQIA+ families and all the many different varieties families come in, like Daddy & Dada by Ryan Brockington and Isaac Webster and Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman” and would be followed by a crafting session. ... The event was limited to people accompanying children and who had registered ahead of time. ... Outside of the library, protestors gathered with signs with messages like “pedophiles are using LGBTQ to groom kids,” “stop supplying pornography to our students” and “New Hanover County guilty of child abuse.” ... Then the Proud Boys decided to enter the library and, at that point, there are different narratives.

What advocates report

Community advocates Angie Kahney, Ashley Daniels, and Sandy Eyles were all present at the event. They showed up after seeing social media posts indicating a protest was being planned. Kahney shared screenshots with WHQR, taken from the library social media site. ... According to Kahney and Daniels, who were inside the library, a Black man wearing a ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ hat left the protest outside, came inside, got directions to the Osprey Room and unsuccessfully tried to enter. He then left and went back outside. ... Shortly after, seven or eight Proud Boys entered the library and headed directly to the Osprey Room. Daniels was further away, but recognized one from New Hanover County Board of Education meetings. She heard them make disparaging comments about the event. Kahney, who was closer, said she heard speaking loudly and shouting, calling the event “wicked,” making comments about “using taxpayer money for pornography,” and asking to “see the drag queen” – an apparent reference to other Pride events around the country which have featured drag queens.

{snip}

What officials are saying

NHCSO confirmed that it was aware of concerns about the event and had adequate resources available. NHCSO stated that the Proud Boys had not broken the law, and denied any allegations that deputies had ‘escorted’ them to the Osprey Room or had been otherwise fraternizing with them. ... In a statement, NHCSO declared there had been no disturbances and that participants had left the event “with no incident.”

On June 21, 2022 the New Hanover County Library hosted a Pride story time reading at the New Hanover County Library Pine Valley branch. During the event, which was held in a private room in the library, a group of demonstrators assembled in the parking lot of the library. Sheriff Deputies responded to a call of disturbance. After a period of time a small group of the demonstrators entered the library which is open to the public. ... A Sheriff’s Office supervisor entered the library and positioned himself between the private room holding the reading and the demonstrators. The supervisor instructed the demonstrators that they were not allowed to enter the room. At no time did Sheriff Deputies witness nor did any library staff report any of the demonstrators causing a disturbance within the library or try to enter the private room that was holding the reading. After the reading, all the participants left the library with no incident.

Linda Thompson, the county’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity officer, was present at the event, and provided her perspective in a statement, also saying there was “no disturbance.” ... "The library staff worked collaboratively with the Sheriff's deputies throughout the event, and had coordinated safety protocols ahead of time as well to help ensure the safety of patrons and their ability to participate in activities without disruption, while also respecting the public’s right to protest outside. ... " Prior to the Storytime event and during it, deputies and library staff worked to ensure the protesters were not blocking the entrance to the library so patrons could enter. And after the Storytime program had ended, several members of the protesting group wanted to come inside. Anyone from the public is permitted inside the building as long as they are not actively protesting or disturbing other patrons, based on the library's code of conduct. The library director came inside with them and deputies quickly made their way to the door of Storytime, to ensure safety for library patrons and staff who were still in the room.{"} {snip} Thompson also noted that legally anyone who isn’t violating library policy can be there. She also said parents and children were not in danger at any time.

Benjamin Schachtman

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.

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Reply Officials, advocates offer differing versions after Proud Boys disrupt Pride Storytime event (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 23 OP
2naSalit Jun 23 #1
Miguelito Loveless Jun 23 #2
littlemissmartypants Jun 23 #3
IngridsLittleAngel Wednesday #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:44 AM

1. There's video showing that...

The officials are lying.



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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 09:50 AM

2. The police lie reflexively

Always remember that.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 12:04 PM

3. Thanks for sharing this, mahatmakanejeeves. I appreciate you keeping the

North Carolina Group alive.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2022, 02:43 AM

4. The fucking pigs have made it clear they stand with the Proud Blobs on this shit

I have yet to hear of a single out of these Proud Terrorists being arrested for their actions all month long. It's always "we asked them to leave" or "they left before we arrived" or "they were just protesting." Now we have witnesses and footage completely contradicting their claim of "no disturbance." Incident after incident of harassment, intimidation, threats, guns... And the next arrest will be the first.

Why should we be shocked, though? I think it's safe to say that more than a few cops are also Proud Incels, so of course they stand with them. I'm really beginning to feel like the cops are there to protect the Proud Brats and not the drag queens or the people there for the events.

I fully expect that should one of these showdowns go violent, there ones going to jail will be drag queens and anyone trying to protect them. Maybe even the cops decide to "kick some ass" too - after all, it can just be another Stonewall?

The cops are not our friends. I can't say I expected them to be, honestly. After all that's been allowed to happen this month, and now this blatant pack of lies? Well, they've erased all doubt on how much we can count on them.

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