Protests and fighting broke out in front of Old Nick’s Pub in Eugene on Sunday, with a crowd of people defending or attacking the pub for hosting a drag story time event with an 11-year-old performer.
Some 250 people lined the sidewalks next to the pub on Washington Street to support the pub and event. About 50 protesters were on the opposite sidewalk protesting it.
The event was packed where the 11-year-old drag performer Vanellope Macpherson Dupont was the show’s guest of honor instead of performing.
Via The Register Guard: The conflict began a week ago after online commenters and right-wing personalities caught wind of the drag show and accused the event of sexualizing children who perform in it. A protest was organized targeting the pub, and in response, community members planned a counterprotest titled “Eugene stands against hate.”
At one point, protestors threw rocks and smoke grenades at each other, and at least one person on both sides was hit in the face with pepper spray. there were no arrests.
The pub said Monday in a Facebook post that the event went on safely despite the protests, but the business expects to be “a target for violent extremists for a good while” and said it spent $2,000 on private security Sunday.
“We love you all so much, and we will not ever back down to hate,” the pub said in its Monday post. It added.