Proud Boys swarm Pride Month book event for kids and families at North Carolina library

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Community members attended the event on Tuesday evening, expecting to make crafts, read two inclusive books that include LGBTQ+ families (Daddy and Dada and Heather Has Two Mommies) with a drag queen, and hang out. The event was aimed at children under the age of seven but adults had to accompany them. The event also required registering ahead of time. Seems pretty safe and normal to me.

“We came in, there were protesters, there were probably about fifteen, and they were very vocal,” a parent of two children, including one they describe as “gender creative,” told the outlet in an interview. “They yelled at me, they yelled at my kids. They told my kids they were going to hell. They told me I was a child abuser, they quoted scripture. We were escorted inside by a county… a library employee.”

The parent, who says they first encountered protesters on their way into the event, recalled that at one point these folks actually entered the library. The parent said that while the library did a good job of handling the situation, the kids were “very, very upset” about the protesters and being yelled at. Again… Makes sense because they’re literal children and that is scary for anyone.

“I certainly felt like I was in danger when they entered the building,” parent Emily Jones, who attended the event with her baby, told Star News Online in an interview. 

There are varying accounts of what actually went down both inside and outside of the library. For example, per a statement from the New Hanover County Sherriff’s Office shared on Facebook, protesters gathered in the parking lot of the library before entering the library, at which time a supervisor from the sheriff’s office stood outside the room where the event was being held and the protesters. The report says event participants left the library afterward without any incidents.

According to a statement from Linda Thompson, who serves as the county’s Chief Diversity and Equity Officer, protesters did not enter the library until after the event was over. 

Either way, local outlet WECT reports receiving pictures from parents and other witnesses inside the library showing protesters both inside the library and standing outside of the room. The outlet says it has received “multiple messages” alleging that an altercation took place. 

According to the Los Angeles Blade, things got very, very bad, with witnesses claiming protesters were essentially allowed to scream at families—including children–leaving the event. The outlet reports that more than one witness alleges protesters were allowed to scream through the door during the event, and one witness says no deputy placed themselves between the door and the protesters. 

You can check out brief local reporting below, including brief interviews with parents who describe feeling “unsafe” and that the Proud Boys were “loud and disruptive.”

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