The Detroit Pride parade was interrupted by white supremacists, as members of NSM — the National Socialist Movement — gave Nazi salutes at the event in Michigan.
The Daily Mail says that one of the protesters was photographed appearing to urinate on the Israeli flag while wearing an armband with a swastika on it. The Detroit Pride event, which was meant to be a family-friendly celebration, was shaken up by people holding signs with negative slogans and Nazi flags.
Photographs of the event show LGBT supporters trying to block the NSM members from joining the event while police monitored the skirmish. Motor City Pride started at noon on Saturday with entertainment, food stalls, music, and merchandise for sale along the parade route.
Members of NSM showed up in what they call “Battle Dress Uniforms,” complete with shields they used in an effort to push their way into the parade. One photo showed a woman with the opposition attempting to block an NSM member but instead ending up on the ground.
The Independent says that LGBT supporters tweeted messages of support to their fellow parade attendees on Twitter.
“Literally f****** Nazis are at Motor City Pride right now, please be safe out there y’all. Even if they deserve it, do not engage. Our safety at our Pride is the most important thing.”
“Tell me again we don’t deserve pride month?” https://t.co/J0m9NtuIMn
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) June 9, 2019
Pink News quoted attendees as saying that the Detroit police on the scene were protecting the protesters over those who were celebrating the Pride parade. As police stood between the white supremacists and those celebrating the LGBT community, people chanting in the background were questioning their actions.
“Why are you protecting them? These are literal Nazis.”
Burt Colucci, who calls himself a commander of NSM, posted details of the protest on a social media website called VK. He stated that his group would be armed at the Detroit event and encouraged others to attend.
“NSM, lets put some boots on the ground!! I don’t really give a damn about op-sec or Antifa in this situation. We go in with Swastikas blazing and if people don’t like it, tough s**t…”
After the event, Colucci posted that he had told police that they didn’t want them or need them there, and could take care of themselves, but the Detroit police insisted.
Beyond the counterprotest, the event went off as planned. The Motor City Pride parade stems from a gay rights event from 1972, which protested homophobic laws.