‘F*** Antifa,’ members of the white supremacist group America First – also known as Groypers – shouted while wearing blue hats and carrying flags donning ‘America First.’
They were protesting against the city’s Covid-19 mandate. Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio recently revealed that he’s considering requiring children aged five to 11 to show proof of vaccination once enough have gotten their shots.
The idea infuriated parents – many who have expressed severe hesitancy about giving their children shots and noting the low Covid rate among children – and anti-vaxxers alike.
While Mayor-elect Eric Adams hinted that he’ll reverse De Blasio’s widely-criticized vaccine mandate when he takes office on January 1, it didn’t stop the fired-up groups from protesting outside the mayor’s residence.
Antifa members (right) clashed with white supremacist group America First (left) while rallying against vaccine mandates outside of Gracie Mansion in New York City on Saturday night
Videos circulating social media gave a glimpse of the clashing protests, where Groypers were seen chanting: ‘F*** Antifa!’
The Groypers, which Antifa referred to as the Groyper Army – was led by far-right activist and internet influencer Nick Fuentes (pictured), who ran a podcast titled America First. The audio show was cancelled after the internet influencer attended the Capitol riot
Conservative members wore blue hats and carried flags donning ‘America First’
‘We need to revisit how we address the vaccine mandates. What I’m going to encourage him to do is to sit down with the unions. We can work this out,’ Adams said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week.
The Groypers, which Antifa referred to as the Groyper Army – was led by far-right activist and internet influencer Nick Fuentes.
Fuentes headed a podcast titled America First where he openly supported closing America’s borders to immigrants and opposed ‘liberal’ values such as feminism and LGBTQ+ rights, according to Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) website.
But he had his audio show banned after he attended the January 6 Capitol riot and has since also been kicked off YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, TikTok, Spotify and Venmo for violating hate speech terms.
In videos circulating social media the high-pitched sirens counter-demonstrators planted to drown out the shouting can be heard in the background but they appeared to have little effect.
In another clip, a Groyper donning a shirt that read: ‘I will not comply’ above an image of a broken needle was seen repeatedly yelling an Antifa member: ‘This is my city, p****.’
‘Do something about it,’ an off-camera voice said in response as the Groyper continued to call the man a ‘f****t.’
Fuentes addressed members of the far-right during the protest against De Blasio’s vaccine mandate
Hundreds of Groypers – formally known as America First members – protested outside of Gracie Mansion, the governor’s residence
Fuentes was seen shouting shouting with one of his supporters and holding up their middle fingers. Other white supremacist members held Fuentes back, presumably to avoid a physical altercation
Many Groypers held crucifixes and wrapped rosary beads around their fists as they punched the air and as they chanted: ‘Christ is king!’
Unmasked NYPD officers stood in a line to separate the white nationalist group from the opposing Antifa members
In yet another video Fuentes was seen shouting in a man on the opposing side’s face and holding up his middle fingers. Other white supremacist members held Fuentes back, presumably to avoid a physical altercation.
Many members also held crucifixes and wrapped rosary beads around their fists as they punched the air and as they chanted: ‘Christ is king!’
ADL’s website described Groypers: ‘Like the alt-right and other White supremacists, Groypers believe they are working to defend against demographic and cultural changes that are destroying the “true America – a White, Christian nation.”‘
However, Saturday night’s events are just the latest in a string of anti-vaccine protests across the Big Apple.
Two weeks ago NYC firefighters and anti-vaxx demonstrators rallied outside De Blasio’s residence to protest his vaccine mandate ahead of the city’s October 28 deadline for city workers to get the shot.
During the protest at Gracie Mansion FDNY union members reiterated the catastrophic consequences of a possible shortage of firefighters and EMS personnel, predicting a 20 percent drop in staff.
Around 160,000 municipal employees, including cops, firefighters, and sanitation workers, rallied outside De Blasio’s residence to protest his vaccine mandate ahead of the city’s October 28 deadline for city workers to get the shot
Protestors held up American flags and one placard readd: ‘F*** your mandate’
UFA President Andrew Ansbro spoke to hundreds of city workers at the rally outside Gracie Mansion
Around 160,000 municipal employees, including cops, firefighters and sanitation workers, had until 5pm the day of the deadline to get the jab or face being placed on leave without pay.
Meanwhile, De Blasio said he was ‘not having second thoughts,’ about the mandate during a Covid-19 press briefing. ‘We expected that a lot of the vaccinations would happen toward the end of the deadline. We also know a lot of people make the decision once they really realize that they’re not going to get paid. That’s just the human reality.’
Despite union leaders’ remarks that the rally was not political nor anti-vaccine – just anti-mandate – some marchers held banners with racist rhetoric.
Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said that his members felt ‘insulted’ by Mayor De Blasio’s order, and warned that firehouses would have to close.
‘I have told my members that if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty,’ Ansbro told a news conference last month.
‘If they are told they cannot work, it will be the department and city of New York that sends them home. And it will be the department and the city of New York that has failed to protect the citizens of New York,’ he added.