Aug 30, 2022 - News

Roanoke, Texas, drag brunch draws armed clash

Armed counter-protesters face protesters
Photo courtesy of Steven Monacelli

Armed protesters clashed with armed counter-protesters outside a drag brunch in Roanoke during the weekend.

Why it matters: This is another sign that the affluent suburbs have become the front lines in America's culture war.

What happened: A viral video taken by Dallas-based independent journalist Steven Monacelli shows anti-trans activists with signs suggesting the event, held at Anderson Distillery and Grill, "sexualized children."

  • The protesters were outnumbered by anti-fascist counter-protesters, many of whom wore masks and carried AR-15s.
  • One protester in the video approached the armed counter-protesters, called them names, then said he'd been spit on.
  • There were no arrests, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The intrigue: The clash quickly became a talking point for national conservative commentators alarmed by the presence of armed anti-fascists.

Flashback: After a similar event at a bar in Dallas in June, some Texas lawmakers suggested banning minors from watching drag shows.

What they're saying: "​​It was never my intention to host an event that would result in controversy, hate and divisiveness," the distillery's owner, Jay Anderson, wrote on Facebook.

  • "It is my intention to welcome people from ALL walks of life into Anderson Distillery & Grill."
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