A group of men alleged to be Proud Boys attempted to shove their way into a bar Thursday night after threats led the Woodland, California venue to cancel a previously-scheduled drag show.
For the last night of Pride Month, Mojo’s Lounge & Bar and Elevate Queer Yolo, a local group for LGBTQ youth, planned to host a “Drag Happy Hour,” before having to call it off the night before due to online threats. Then, the night of the canceled event, Luke Cleary of ABC10 shared a video showing police reacting outside of the bar to the extremists, who he said were alleged members of the alt-right group, attempting to force their way into the bar.
Alleged Proud Boys members attempt to get into The Mojo in Woodland, CA and are met with pepper spray. The bar had planned an all ages Drag Show tonight, which was postponed due to security concerns pic.twitter.com/7Boln64uJ6
— Luke Cleary (@LukeCleary) July 1, 2022
In an event invitation welcoming local LGBTQIA+ people to “come be proud, loud, and full of joy,” Elevate Queer Yolo wrote that the drag show was “all ages.” Though no posts or public comment from Mojo’s mention age and the bar did not respond to our call for comment, the alleged welcoming of children to the event sparked threats online when Twitter account Libs of Tiktok posted about the event.
The far-right account circulated a detailed flier to 1.3 million followers on June 8, heavily emphasizing the “all ages” invites.
After increased threats of violence and working with the Woodland Police Department as well as local security services, Mojo’s announced the cancellation via Instagram. Citing a recent trend in attacks on such performances, they said, “organizers and performers still did not feel comfortable putting the event forward with the recent escalation from Hate Groups in and around Northern California towards Drag Events.”
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Though the drag show was canceled, Mojo’s bar and kitchen were still open that night when an estimated ten extremists arrived. In an official statement on Elevate Queer Yolo’s Instagram, they said that their team went to Mojo’s for an informal celebration and to welcome some who may not have been aware of the cancellation. They said, “That gathering was interrupted by a hate group who stormed the restaurant.”
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“There was an altercation,” Woodland Police Department Deputy Chief Anthony Cucchi told KCRA3. “People were here, upset about the bar having their Pride event. We tried to intervene as quickly as we could. It was a pretty chaotic scene.”
Police recognize the antagonizers to be an organized group, but Cucchi said they are still investigating their exact affiliation and no arrests were made, as the group eventually left of their own volition. Investigation also continues into who used pepper spray while the group yelled at the guests inside.
In the face of attacks against their communities, Mojo’s Lounge & Bar and Elevate Queer Yolo shared plans to re-schedule later this summer on their respective Instagrams.
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