By Gabriel Roshan
On August 19th, anti-fascists in Charlotte confronted proto-fascist Brian Talbert and his organization Deplorable Pride. During the Summer of 2018, Talbert has led multiple rallies in favor of his ultra-nationalistic program that includes rallying LGBT people in support of Trump, the police and standing up for “freedom.”
Deplorable Pride first came on the scene in 2017 after the election of Donald Trump, where they rose to national prominence because Charlotte Pride denied them a float in the annual Gay Pride Parade. Deplorable Pride claims that there was no diversity of thought amongst Charlotte Pride organizers and that they were stifling the voices of LGBT conservatives. Instead of participating in 2017 Pride, they choose to protest it. As the number of anti-LGBT bigots who protest Pride every year shrunk, Talbert and his kin have taken up the mantle in harassing LGBT people.
According to a person associated with anti-fascist Charlotte, “Brian Talbert himself is not a fascist, but is creating the ground for fascists to organize and has been seen affiliated with fascist groups like the Proud Boys.” On June 9th, Talbert had hosted a “Rally for Freedom” in response to being thoroughly shut down on May 12th by anti-fascists. This time Talbert was accompanied by the Proud Boys from across the western part of North Carolina. That same person said, “that’s why we call him a proto-fascist, he may not be calling for the extermination of races, LGBT people or women but his racist, ultra-nationalistic agenda attracts that type and he refuses to back away from them.”
Talbert and his organization in keeping with their tradition chose to protest 2018 Pride. In pathetic showing only a handful of them showed with the anti-fascists outnumbering them 3 to 1. However, over 40 cops were deployed for this event. Ranging from bike cops, to undercovers, private security guards and cops with assault rifles. Watching their movements, it became easy to tell they were terrified of what anti-fascists had planned. The coalition of anti-fascists showed up in black bloc wearing red masks emblazoned with a yellow hammer and sickle reminiscent of the Communist Party of Peru’s.
Within 15 minutes of the anti-fascists arriving, the cops began issuing threats of arrest for wearing masks. In North Carolina, anyone over the age of 16 cannot wear a mask to conceal any parts of their identity, unless it is for work or special holidays. The cops knew nothing of this law, until Talbert informed the police to have anti-fascists arrested. “He is a coward, a paper tiger, he only holds events when 100s of cops will be there or during festivals. He is even helping the pigs arrest us because they can’t do their jobs correctly” another anti-fascist mentioned. As the cops began to move in to make arrests instead of passively acquiescing to their laws, the anti-fascists dispersed, and all safely escaped. Not before the message was sent loud and clear—anti-fascists will do everything to be more prepared ready to fight to the last breath any fascist and their supporters who tries to bring harm to any of the masses of Charlotte.
The urgency of stopping these bigots from organizing hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. The movement to stop all fascists and their supporters from organizing in Charlotte has grown, and will continue to grow, Deplorable Pride is a group of racist, conservatives who create platforms for actual fascists—therefore must be stopped at all costs. The masses of Charlotte must unite against the tide of rising fascism, to drown all fascist activity in sea of resistance.