Three people were arrested at protests held by anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrators outside of a school in Los Angeles this week after fighting broke out.
Content warning: This story includes topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable and/or upset.
Police were called to a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District board on 6 June, where members were discussing officially recognising June as Pride Month – an agenda item that was unanimously approved late in the evening.
The public comment part of the meeting was disrupted due to the violence taking place outside of the building, where about 200 people were gathered.
Protesters from both sides turned up to demonstrate, some of which waved American flags and others Pride ones.
Police said the protest was mostly peaceful, though noted that “a small group of individuals engaged in behaviour deemed unsafe.”
Those arrested faced charges including obstructing officers and unlawful use of pepper spray.
Videos shared on social media show the scale of violence that took place, with people on either side hitting each other.
A physical brawl breaks out between anti-LGBTQ protestors and LGBTQ supporters outside the Glendale unified school board meeting in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/jcqML9NmAi
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) June 7, 2023
Following failed attempts to “deescalate” the situation, an unlawful assembly was declared by authorities and additional officers were called in as the crowd was ordered to disperse at about 6pm local time.
It is believed that members of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys were in attendance, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Exactly when and how violence broke out remains unclear.
Various board meetings have been attended by protesters in recent weeks, though authorities noted that this never escalated beyond shouting.
“Recently, intentional and harmful disinformation has been circulating about what is being taught in our district and the ways we serve our students,” the Glendale Unified School District said in a statement on 5 June. “This includes disinformation about LGBTQIA+ curriculum, sex education, and supporting transgender and gender nonconforming youth.”