Proud Boys Interrupt Pride Event for Children at North Carolina Library

North Carolina residents attending a children's Pride Storytime event at a public library in New Hanover were confronted by protesters, including members of the Proud Boys.

The event, which was held on Tuesday at the Pine Valley branch of the New Hanover County Public Library, included books featuring LGBTQ+ families, and arts and crafts, according to a WWAY 3 report.

Parents, who were attending with their children, said they felt unsafe and spoke of a confrontational atmosphere from those protesting the event.

The incident comes weeks after Proud Boys members disrupted a drag queen event being held for children and families at a public library in California.

Proud Boys
Counter protesters wearing the yellow and black colors and insignia of the Proud Boys gather outside the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on May 28, 2022. North Carolina residents in New Hanover were confronted by protesters, including members of the Proud Boys, at a public library holding a children's Pride Storytime event. Patrick T. Fallon/Getty

"I came to Pride Storytime with my two kids. My 7-year-old is gender creative," said one parent who wished to remain anonymous as he spoke to WWAY 3.

"We came in, there were protesters, there were probably about 15, and they were very local.

"They yelled at me, they yelled at my kids. They told my kids they were going to hell.

"They told me I was a child abuser, they quoted scripture. We were escorted inside by a library employee."

Another parent, Emily Blankenship Jones, said she was intimidated by the presence of the Proud Boys members, according to a Port City Daily report.

"I didn't see the large men in Proud Boys' outfits with masks, at least not at first," she said.

"They were much scarier than the people there when I first arrived. I would have turned around, honestly.

"I actually thought this would be the one event that would be safe."

Images have also emerged showing the Proud Boys members eventually entering the building that have been shared on social media.

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The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office has since released a statement regarding the incident and the protestors entering the library.

"On June 21, 2022, the New Hanover County Library hosted a Pride story time reading at the New Hanover County Library Pine Valley branch," the statement read.

"During the event, which was held in a private room in the library, a group of demonstrators assembled in the parking lot of the library.

"Sheriff Deputies responded to a call of a disturbance. After a period of time a small group of the demonstrators entered the library which is open to the public."

The statement also clarified the suggestion that the Proud Boys were escorted into the building by a member of the Sheriff's Office.

"A Sheriff's Office supervisor entered the library and positioned himself between the private room holding the reading and the demonstrators.

"The supervisor instructed the demonstrators that they were not allowed to enter the room.

"At no time did Sheriff Deputies witness nor did any library staff report any of the demonstrators causing a disturbance within the library or try to enter the private room that was holding the reading.

"After the reading, all participants left the library with no incident."

The Cape Fear Proud Boys sent WWAY 3 a statement explaining why members were protesting the event.

"Pride events nationally have experienced a shift in focus from celebrating two consenting adults to introducing sexuality to small children," the statement read.

"As concerned citizens, we will continue to utilize our first amendment rights to ensure public events for children are age-appropriate.

"The Cape Fear Proud Boys will never initiate a violent confrontation. Our organization will always operate within the confines of the law."

Newsweek has contacted the The New Hanover County Public Library and the New Hanover County Sherriff's office for comment.

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