Another day, another horrifying protest outside of a Planned Parenthood. In this case, as reported by the Modesto Bee, about 30 “straight pride” protesters appeared outside of the clinic in Modesto, California, to protest not only against LGBTQ+ people but also against reproductive rights. According to local outlet ABC 10, this was the group’s fourth annual event in Modeo. The group is part of a far-right Christian movement that advocates on behalf of cisgender, heterosexual people who want to ban abortion and fight against contraception, in addition to the obvious queerphobia. In a word: Yikes!
More than 100 folks showed up to counter the protest over the weekend, and reportedly actually showed up before the straight folks arrived. The counterprotesters arrived to defend the clinic and folks trying to access these safe, legal procedures and forms of health care. The local police department closed off the street but cops approached the scene in full tactical gear before long anyway, as reported by The Guardian.
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Police brought batons, bean bag guns, and pepper spray. They allegedly attacked people on both sides of the protest. One counterprotester told the outlet that police came at people with batons and “hit the crap out of us.” Another protester told the outlet she’d come to fight against the “increase in white supremacy and hatred” here in the U.S.
Three people were arrested for failing to disperse, though four were originally detained. An additional two people were injured. We don’t know if the folks arrested and hurt were counterprotesters or not.
A video from the scene shared on Twitter appears to show a bush on fire from a smoke bomb going off. It also appears folks were throwing glass bottles.
During a brief interview with local outlet CBS Sacramento, one witness says he witnessed someone get hit in the face with a bottle.
And here’s a photo from the event, where we can see police in full gear.
I wish we could just laugh off the concept of a “straight pride” event. I wish it wasn’t scary, dangerous, or a thinly veiled attempt of pushing extremist far-right views. But it is scary and it is dangerous. Here at Daily Kos, we’ve covered the infamous Straight Pride parade in Boston, Massachusetts, where wanted the chance to neo-fascists run amuck with their queerphobia on full display. (You might remember my colleague Laura Clawson covering that Straight Pride organizers were afraid of … glitter).
Each time these anti-queer, anti-equality folks get together to proudly promote their hate, allies, advocates, and innocent random people who happen to be in the area—or happen to want to get health care at Planned Parenthood, in this case—are at risk. It’s not fair and it’s not okay. We have to be brave in standing up to extremists at every turn, and that includes getting to the voting booth for the upcoming midterms.
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