A group of neo-Nazis tried to disrupt the pride parade in Detroit on Saturday, with one man photographed as he appeared to urinate on an Israeli flag.
Several dozen members of the National Socialist Movement, waving swastikas and carrying weapons, intercepted the Motor City Pride by marching into the parade.
NSM members ripped a rainbow pride flag and one man was seen facing a pillar as he appeared to urinate on an Israeli flag that was on the ground at his feet.
It was unclear where the flag came from.
White supremacists tear apart Pride flags and appear to urinate on an Israeli flag at Motor City Pride https://t.co/RAeSnOuH7G
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) June 10, 2019
Police marshaling the parade reportedly did not stop the white nationalists but did prevent clashes between them and those participating in the event.
One woman who tried to confront the neo-Nazi group was reportedly pushed to the ground. However, there were no reports of injuries and the parade continued as planned.
Yesterday on assignment for @reuters in Detroit – A woman who tried to block the path of members of the National Socialist Movement, a white nationalist group, is shoved to the ground as they demonstrate against the LGBTQ event Motor City Pride in Detroi… https://t.co/h8XYadkXPD pic.twitter.com/q96EyxNaHS
— Jim Urquhart (@jimurquhartpixs) June 9, 2019
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NSM is “an organization that specializes in theatrical and provocative protests” and is one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi movements in the US.
“The group is notable for its violent anti-Jewish rhetoric,” the SPLC says.
Motor City Pride bills itself as the largest LGBT event in Michigan, with tens of thousands participating each year.
On Friday a handful of protesters demonstrated at the Washington Dyke March over a ban on the Jewish Pride flag of rainbow colors with a white Star of David in the middle, which organizers said too closely resembles the flag of Israel.
Organizers said the flag came under the ban on “nationalist symbols,” including flags and banners that represent “nations that have specific oppressive tendencies.” Palestinian flags were permitted.
Last Thursday, pride month events in Israel were launched with the Jerusalem Pride Parade. Under heavy police protection some 10,000 people participated in the march, which followed a 2.5-kilometer route through the city.
JTA contributed to this report.