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Powerful image proves that while coronavirus is changing our way of life, it will never slow down homophobia or antisemitism

Emma Powys Maurice May 22, 2020
Coronavirus

Coronavirus lockdown protestors in Huntington Beach, a city south of Los Angeles (Instagram/@Adameli)

A rally against California’s coronavirus lockdown revealed many protestors’ true colours, and surprise: those colours are incredibly antisemitic and homophobic.

On May 12 a crowd of around 200 people gathered in the city of Huntington Beach to express their anger at the state’s mandated stay-at-home order.

As well as shuttering bars, restaurants and businesses, governor Gavin Newsom has also ordered the temporarily closure all Orange County beaches to prevent the spread of coronavirus – an act which protestors say is a violation of their constitutional rights.

But Nazism and homophobia are just fine with them, it seems.

A powerful image of the protest shows a handful of angry protestors proudly raising a huge Nazi banner with a swastika. In the foreground, a man holds a sign bearing the improbable words: “COVID is fake and gay.”

 

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A post shared by Adam Eli (@adameli) on

“A picture is worth a billion words,” wrote the photographer Adam Eli on Instagram.

“Queer people and Jewish people have an obligation to stand in solidarity with all oppressed people because a world that is less homophobic will be less racist, transphobic, Islamophobic, authoritarian, antisemitic, xenophobic, misogynistic and more.”

The protestors blocked traffic as they flanked the corners of the intersection of Main Street and Walnut Avenue. Other passersby held signs out of car windows and sounded their horns, and some slowed down to take videos.

Event organiser Lisa Collins, who carried a sign proclaiming ‘COVID-19: A test run at socialism’, told the LA Times: “It’s time that California opens back up. We can’t [complain] about our freedoms and liberties being taken away if we aren’t willing to do something.

“Now is the time. We’ve complied… It’s time for America to get back to work.”

At least 95,087 people are known to have died from coronavirus in the US, with 3,542 of that number being in California.

The state’s relatively low number of deaths is largely credited to the early implementation of strict stay-at-home orders, which protestors now call “tyranny”.

More: antisemitism, California, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Homophobia, Huntington Beach, Nazi

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