Politics

Conservative leaders condemn Nazi protesters outside TPUSA event

A conservative event in Florida, which included speakers such as Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump attracted protestors waving Nazi flags and antisemitic images.  

Mike Igel, who is chairman of Florida’s holocaust Museum, said that the protestors posed “a direct threat’ to the Jewish citizens in the area. The Holocaust Museum is located in St Petersburg, which is in the vicinity of the Tampa Bay Convention Center where the protests took place.

“Carrying the Nazi flag, or that of the SS, the unit responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust, is an indefensible act of pure hatred,” Igel said in a prepared statement. “This isn’t about politics or religion. It’s about humanity.”

Igel later thanked DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for approving a $750,000 appropriation to the museum last session. The funds will go towards efforts to digitize, index and preserve testimonies and artifacts from the Holocaust. As noted by Florida Politics, the state legislature previously approved the same amount of funding for the museum last year and hopes to do so again this year.

“Today’s demonstration shows we have much work left to do but we thank Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Legislature for their leadership this year to significantly expand The Florida Holocaust Museum’s ability to educate students, our community and state about the atrocities of the Holocaust and to show the way forward to a future free of hate,” Igel said.

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) condemned the Nazi protestors on Twitter: “This is a disgusting act of hateful anti-Semitism and doesn’t belong in Florida, our nation or anywhere across the world. We stand with our Jewish community and against this hate. It must end.”

According to The Associated Press, the event was run by the company Turning Point USA, which was formed by Charlie Kirk in 2012. The group promotes conservative values at college campuses and different arenas throughout America. In addition to DeSantis and Trump, Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz also spoke at the event.

Turning Point’s spokesman Andrew Kolvet addressed the issue by saying that the Nazi protestors were not in any way affiliated with Turning point and Kolvet went onto condemn their actions. “Since these individuals were located on public property, our security attempted to, but was not permitted to remove them,” Kolvet said, per The Hill.

“We have no idea who they are or why they were here. They have nothing to do with TPUSA, our event, or our students. Our students, after initially confronting them, ultimately took the mature route and vacated the space. Once that happened, these individuals left,” Kolvet went onto say.

The Nazi protestors also clashed with other protestors nearby who were protesting against the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court, and against Turning Point themselves.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WUSF NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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