Three people were arrested in Boston after a group of masked white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters at a “drag queen story time” event for kids on Saturday, reports said.
One of the three arrested for disturbing the peace was reportedly the leader of the Nationalist Social Club, or NSC 131, which is categorized as a New England-based neo-Nazi group by the Anti-Defamation League.
The other two arrested were apparently counter-protesters who clashed with the 131 members in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood on Saturday afternoon.
The protests began outside an event at Loring Greenough House, with videos showing members of NSC 131 chanting and holding a banner that said “PEDO SCUM OFF OUR STREETS,” video of the protest showed. Members wore hats, sunglasses and masks emblazoned with “131,” according to the videos.
“It turned out they were calling people within the LGBTQ community pedophiles,” witness Richie Cadet told WCVB-TV. “They definitely were saying certain words that should never be said about anybody.”
Kids were escorted out of the event by Boston cops, but counter-protesters later confronted the men, CBS Boston reported. The 23-year-old leader of the group and a 27-year-old counter-protester fought and both were arrested, the station said. A 21-year-old man was arrested for hitting a car with a metal object, CBS added.
Elected officials condemned the presence of the white supremacist group.
“We are prepared and will not be intimidated in our work to make Boston a city for everyone,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement provided to the Boston Herald. “We remain ready for citywide deployment of extra public safety resources with a zero tolerance approach to any groups looking to intimidate or harass residents in our city.”
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden called it an “organized white supremacist action” and said Boston was a “way point in the crusade of hate” launched in Charlottesville, Virginia five years ago during the infamous “Unite the Right” rally.
“The presence of white supremacists at a Jamaica Plain book reading today, like their downtown Boston march earlier this month, is at once a disgrace and a warning,” Hayden said in a statement. “Society everywhere is targeted by these groups, and society everywhere must reject them.”
The march Hayden was referring to involved about 100 members of the group Patriot Front marching through the city.
With Post wires
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