This article was updated at 3:20 p.m., 5:10 p.m., 5:50 p.m., and 6:32 p.m. with additional quotes.
Montgomery County Police say that they dispersed a Proud Boys protest outside a drag queen story hour event at the Loyalty Bookstore in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday afternoon.
The drag queen story hour with Charlemagne Chateau was held at the Loyalty Bookstore at 823 Ellsworth Dr. in the Downtown Silver Spring development. An MCPD spokesperson confirmed that officers responded to the area at approximately 1 p.m. following a confrontation between two groups.
Several pictures and videos posted to social media from this incident show masked Proud Boys holding signs outside the event.
Parasol Patrol, a group of volunteers who shield children and their families from the harassment of protesters, was present. NBC Washington reports that Parasol Patrol volunteers were kicked, their feet were stomped on, and one volunteer was punched in the face.
No arrests were made, according to police.
Parasol Patrol volunteers said that despite the MCPD report, the Proud Boys were not dispersed by police. “They did not disperse the PBs [Proud Boys],” volunteer John Zittrauer said in a comment on Facebook. “…I’m the guy with the bloody nose.”
“The incredible @parasolpatrol and the MoCo chapter of @DragStoryHour did wonders to not only push back and hold the safe space, but to keep cheering and singing joyfully in the face of hate speech and disgusting threats. Because of their efforts the children inside the store got to enjoy doing the Hokey Pokey, hearing beautiful books read aloud,” Loyalty Bookstore said in a tweet thread.
TW: hate speech/ anti LGBTQ
Yesterday afternoon Loyalty came under attack from hate groups who tried to force their way into our store during a Drag Queen Story Hour with physical violence. The incredible @parasolpatrol and the MoCo chapter of @DragStoryHour did wonders 1/?
— Loyalty Bookstores (@Loyaltybooks) February 19, 2023
“Proud Boys showed up in Silver Spring and got violent today, trying to scare away families and children attending Drag Story Hour at Loyalty Books,” Councilmember Kristin Mink (D-District 5) said on Twitter. “But the community held a wall of 🌈 safety and support. The kids had a great time and were none the wiser. We will never back down.”
The Proud Boys left when the event ended, Mink said.
Proud Boys showed up in Silver Spring and got violent today, trying to scare away families and children attending Drag Story Hour at Loyalty Books.
But the community held a wall of 🌈 safety and support. The kids had a great time and were none the wiser. We will never back down. pic.twitter.com/pQlHWvLQNx
— Kristin Mink, Montgomery County Council (MD) (@KristinMink_) February 18, 2023
9/ The PBs continued coming directly up to us the entire event, kicking & pushing on occasion, shouting at families on megaphones, trying to show explicit images to kids upon entry & exit. We held the line and drowned them out with music & cheers.
They left when the event ended. pic.twitter.com/cLZ4NrLPl6
— Kristin Mink, Montgomery County Council (MD) (@KristinMink_) February 19, 2023
Graphic Courtesy of Loyalty Bookstore
We are expanding our coverage, and we need your help. Click here for more information.