Chelsea Manning was a surprise guest at last night’s “Night for Freedom” gala in New York City attended by about six hundred pro-Trump activists and supporters of President Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda. Although Manning tweeted that she was crashing the “fascist/white supremacist hate brigade party,” all indications are that the interactions inside the event were respectful and polite.
Outside of the venue was another matter, where about one hundred left-wing protesters showed up and harassed some of the party-goers, one of whom was assaulted and was hospitalized for his injuries.
Manning is the transgender former Army private who was convicted of leaking thousands of classified or unclassified documents to WikiLeaks and is now running for U.S. Senate from Maryland as an anti-Trump Democrat.
“A source who attended and who knows Manning told BuzzFeed News that ‘while she was not there protesting, she was there in a effort to bridge gaps between left and right,'” BuzzFeed claimed.
Although the media tends to brand controversial journalist, author, and filmmaker Mike Cernovich and others in his like-minded orbit as “alt-right,” they have disavowed any connection with that cohort, and generally refer to themselves as new right. Other MAGA media luminaries headlining the event included the often equally controversial Stefan Molyneux, Gavin McInnes, Owen Benjamin, and Jack Posobiec.
Yes I literally shook hands with Chelsea Manning tonigut, the left is freaking out, it was not a big deal. It was a huge and amazing party. Glad she stopped by. All are welcome to party with me.— Mike Cernovich ???????? (@Cernovich) January 21, 2018
The original venue for “a Night for Freedom” cancelled at the last minute, prompting Cernovich to scramble to find a second venue, which also later cancelled. The third time turned out to be the charm because the event did go forward at the REQNYC nightclub on W. 50th St in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reported. For security reasons, ticket holders received an email notification of the exact location on the day of the event, but demonstrators evidently found out where to assemble.
Added the Daily News.
“The Night for Freedom event — billed as a ‘gathering of patriots and political dissidents who are bored with mainstream political events’— featured a comedy routine, speeches and a deejay set.”
here’s her tweet suggesting she was crashing the event. but was no confrontation inside that i could see. everyone seemed very civil to her and all sides seemed to be enjoying themselves. https://t.co/ROHFi5fBf9— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) January 21, 2018
On the sidewalk outside the club, a protester allegedly punched a 56-year-old Trump supporter who was rushed to Bellevue Hospital and is currently listed in stable condition, the New York Post reported. The suspect age 30, was arrested on a variety of charges. Mike Cernovich accused the protesters of being terrorists.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe says he was also swarmed outside the venue.
Antifa spotted me walking outside @Cernovich Night for Freedom, had me surrounded, bypassed NYPD, started to charge, had to turn phone off as was trapped in violent mob for 10 minutes w a few cops escorting me to car, jumped into backseat of @ImAndrewMarcus car. @JackPosobiec pic.twitter.com/MD2KDYLxmM— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 21, 2018
In the run-up to the event, Mike Cernovich characterized the party on Medium as a combination cultural event, art show, and comedy special. “We don’t want to sit around eating rubber chicken while some boring person repeats platitudes from behind a podium,” he declared.
The “Night for Freedom” gala and its aftermath constitutes a fast-moving, developing story. Please check back for updates.