A loud group of alleged neo-Nazis and fascists showed up uninvited to a reading of “The Communist Manifesto” at a nonprofit community library in Providence, Rhode Island, on Monday night.
Red Ink Community Library was hosting a reading of the manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, for Red Books Day to mark the 174th anniversary of the manifesto’s publication.
A live recording of the event shows the reading being suddenly interrupted by a loud sound heard from offscreen. Then came the insults, slurs and shouts of “white power” from the disruptive mob, who also banged on windows and performed Nazi salutes outside the library.
Nazis attacked a book reading tonight in providence pic.twitter.com/gWS2pO8wJg
— Third Int’l Players Anthem (@guateguanaco) February 22, 2022
The group, which brought a flag that featured a large swastika, shouted “131,” reportedly referring to the 131 Crew or the Nationalist Social Club. Categorized by the Anti-Defamation League as a neo-Nazi group, its members “see themselves as soldiers at war with a hostile, Jewish-controlled system that is deliberately plotting the extinction of the white race.”
Due to the constant disruptions, the organizers of the event decided to end it earlier than planned.
“We held a peaceful celebration of the Communist Manifesto tonight for 45 minutes until it was interrupted by a crowd of fascists and Nazis,” Red Ink Community Library wrote in a series of tweets.
“They showed up on our sidewalk, banged on our glass windows, shouted horrible slurs, and attempted to assault our members,” the thread continued.
We held a peaceful celebration of the Communist Manifesto tonight for 45 minutes, until it was interrupted by a crowd of fascists and Nazis
— Red Ink Community Library (@RedInkPVD) February 21, 2022
The organizers lamented that they could not do much about the incident since the mob outnumbered them “at maybe 10:1.”
The library’s director, David Raileanu, said the mob arrived at around 6:40 p.m. Six or seven people inside the library were starting the reading at the time, according to The Providence Journal.
Around 15 to 20 masked neo-Nazis reportedly showed up. They only stopped once local authorities arrived and told them to leave. No one was injured or arrested during the incident.
“I don’t know what they wanted,” Raileanu was quoted as saying. “I know they did an effective job of disrupting our event. They did an effective job of being terrorizing.”
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee slammed the incident on Twitter, saying that “There is no place for hate in our communities or state.” He called the incident “unacceptable and disgusting.”
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza also released a statement condemning the act, saying, “Providence is home to diverse people, cultures and ideas, and our city has no room for hate-filled actions meant to intimidate and cause fear. My administration is committed to making every resident feel safe and protecting the rights of people who are gathering peacefully.”
Featured Image via Alexander Herbert