Armed Ohio Neo-Nazis Waving Swastika Flags Target Drag Event Again

Neo Nazis with a swastika flag led by Christopher Pohlhaus
Neo Nazis with a swastika flag led by Christopher Pohlhaus

It has happened once again. On a Saturday afternoon in Ohio, neo-Nazis displaying swastikas and chanting neo-Nazi slogans threatened people with their flags and chants while at a drag brunch.

For the second time in as many months, neo-Nazi white supremacist skinhead Christopher Pohlhaus led his group, Blood Tribe, to protest LGBTQ-affirming events.

As part of the drag brunch event, Land Grant Brewing Company in Columbus hosted a fundraiser for Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an Ohio-based organization dedicated to providing safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in the community, according to local TV station WBNS.

As the affair started, a group of about two dozen right-wing extremists, some chanting and waving Swastika flags, protested the event, videos posted online show.

In contrast to most neo-Nazis in attendance, Pohlhaus did not cover his face to hide his identity.

The group held a banner reading “There will be blood,” behind which they performed Nazi salutes while chanting about “no transgenders on our streets” and other bigoted sentiments.

Pohlhaus led a similar protest last March against a drag queen story hour in Wadsworth near Akron, the video of which was jarring and widely distributed online.

At times, he led the crowd of his adherents in chants of “blood” and “under the Aryan sun” as onlookers observed and members of the Columbus Police dialogue team monitored the interactions.

Among the neo-Nazi group members was at least one who wore tactical gear and carried an AR-15-style rifle.

In response to the presence of actual neo-Nazis in Columbus, council president Shannon Hardin tweeted his dismay.

“LGBTQ+ kids & families shouldn’t have to deal with obscene hate from literal nazis. While @ColumbusCouncil has an existing budget earmark for @KYCOhio, I’m donating today to support the great work they do & show that our community stands with KYC and the community they serve,” he wrote.

During a protest in March, Pohlhaus’s group joined Patriot Front, the Proud Boys, the III Percenters, and other conservative Christian groups in descending upon a public park in Wadsworth to disrupt Drag Queen Story Hour, an event planned at the park.

As hundreds of armed, snarling far-right extremists threatened their safety, 15 children and their parents watched a show.

At that event, police arrested several people.

In recent months, as Republican politicians and far-right extremists have targeted transgender Americans with laws restricting their access to medical care and seeking to erase their existence from society, radical white supremacist groups and conservatives have joined in a dangerous coalition against a common target.

The Columbus Police Department did not immediately respond to The Advocate’s request for information on Saturday's arrests.