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Fresno Drag Festival Appearance Part of Proud Boys New National Strategy

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The far-right, neo-fascist, all-male Proud Boys have shifted their street focus to anti-LGBTQ activities. (Shutterstock)
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It wasn’t happenstance that the Proud Boys protested a drag festival at a Fresno church on Saturday.

VICE News reported Wednesday that the far-right, neo-fascist, all-male organization has shifted its street focus to anti-LGBTQ activities.

“Since June, the biggest focus for the Proud Boys this year has been anti-LGBTQ activism, a hard pivot from its actions in the first half of the year,” reports VICE News. “Proud Boys in at least 11 different states showed up to venues such as libraries and restaurants to intimidate drag shows, especially events touted as ‘family-friendly’ such as drag brunches or the popular reading series ‘Drag Queen Story Hour.’ ”

VICE News reporter Tess Owen notes that “Proud Boys continued to target pro-LGBTQ events even after a 22-year-old gunman stormed a drag queen’s birthday party at a gay club in Colorado Springs and opened fire last month, leaving five dead and dozens injured.”

Proud Boys Loud and Confrontational in Fresno

According to The Fresno Bee, the event Saturday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 2101 N. Fruit Ave., went off as planned.

“While the confrontation was at times loud and boisterous, police on hand to monitor the situation said it did not devolve into physical altercations,” reported The Bee’s Tim Sheehan.

City councilmember-elect Annalisa Perea reportedly relayed her concerns to Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama about possible threats to the LGBTQ community ahead of the event.

Proud Boys Leader Faces Sedition Charge in Capitol Attack

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other far-right extremists are scheduled to stand trial this month for their participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Tarrio and the others face seditious conspiracy and other serious charges.

Read more about the Proud Boys and their frequent appearances at protests highlighting abortion, vaccinations, and race issues at this VICE News link.

In this Aug. 17, 2019, photo, Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore. Outside pressures and internal strife are roiling two far-right extremist groups after members were charged in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former President Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election united an array of right-wing supporters, conspiracy theorists, and militants on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP File)

 

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email