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Sunday, June 9, 2019

White supremacist appears to urinate on an Israeli flag as nationalist group interrupts LGBT celebration in Detroit by tearing apart Pride flags and giving Nazi salutes

White supremacists caused outrage among the LGBT community when one of them appeared to urinate on an Israeli flag and gave Nazi salutes during a Pride event in Detroit.
The National Socialist Movement  (NSM) interrupted the family-friendly event on Saturday, holding placards with their slogan and swastika flags.  
The white nationalist group is one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the United States and is known for anti-Jewish and racist protests.
Images show LGBT supporters attempting to block them joining the event. Police are seen in the vicinity.
Motor City Pride began at noon and had four stages of entertainment, in addition to over 100 food stalls and other merchandise on sale. The city's main parade takes place on Sunday. 
One image of the day's events appears to show an unidentified neo-Nazi group member urinating on an Israeli flag, with one LGBT supporter watching in horror at his actions. 
Counter-protesters were pictured being blocked by law enforcement from intervening as members of the National Socialist Movement demonstrated.
Thousands of people, many in colorful costumes, kicked off 2019 Motor City Pride Festival weekend on Saturday amid rainbow flags in downtown Detroit's Hart Plaza.

Described on its website as Michigan's largest pride celebration, the event is estimated to have been attended 40,000 people celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. 
However the day's celebrations took a sour turn when the NSM showed up and amplified tensions among the LGBT community.   
Until 2007, NSM members protested in full Nazi uniforms, and traded in their look for black 'Battle Dress Uniforms,' according to their website.
The group was founded in 1994 in Michigan, claiming that it 'specializes in theatrical and provocative protests' and is one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the United States.
The resurgence of the NSM began in 2004, in the wake of the deaths of the country’s two major neo-Nazi leaders, William Pierce and Richard Butler.
Unlike other neo-Nazi outfits, the NSM adopted an open-arms recruiting policy that allowed members of other white supremacist groups to participate in NSM actions and join the NSM.
Meanwhile in Washington DC, several people were injured at a gay pride paradeon Saturday when some in the crowd ran to escape what they mistakenly thought was the sound of gunshots.
Seven people were taken to hospitals from injuries they sustained in the panic, a reporter for NBC 4 in Washington said on Twitter, citing details from police.
The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.
Washington Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue had earlier said on Twitter that people in the city's Dupont Circle were injured 'running from what they thought were gunshots but that there was no active shooter.'
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser added on Twitter, 'There were no shots fired, and there is no active threat.'
A representative for Washington police did not immediately return emails seeking comment.
Gay pride is celebrated around the world in June, with some parades set on or around June 28 to mark the anniversary of a 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York, where patrons fought back and inspired the modern LGBT rights movement.
Parade organizers Capital Pride decided to cut the parade short after the scare, but say that after consulting with police the rest of the events scheduled for the weekend will go on as planned.
Police are calling the disturbance an isolated incident and say it does not pose a threat to other events. 
The rainbow flag has been a popular symbol of gay rights since the late 1970s and has been used in various forms at gay pride events for years.
President Donald Trump also tweeted in support of LGBT people to mark LGBT Pride Month. His tweets come one week after his administration moved to revoke newly won health care discrimination protections for transgender people.
That move was the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration that aim to reverse gains by LGBTQ Americans in areas including the military, housing and education.
In his tweets Friday, Trump says he wants to 'recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation.'
The president says other nations 'punish, imprison or even execute individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.' He says the U.S. has a 'global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.'
Advocates for LGBT people say the Trump administration has been undermining nondiscrimination protections.

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