“I couldn’t keep nearly as quiet [at Rikers Island] as I’d planned. Nerdy white guys kind of stand out in there.”
Huffington Post, August 10, 2021
I was arrested in January 2018 at an anti-fascist protest of an alt-right gala in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Nearly a thousand people, many of whom were Proud Boys, were celebrating the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration inside a venue there. Outside, roughly a hundred protesters milled around with signs and slogans. Most, including myself, were in black bloc attire, but the protest was very tame, which was fine with me.
Unfortunately, around 10:30 p.m., a cluster of attendees from the gala, clearly drunk, ran into a cluster of protesters. I don’t know how it started, but it soon became a melee with a half-dozen people from each side fighting. I had been in the streets since the Women’s March that morning, over 12 hours by that point. I was tired, cold and hungry, and I’d been about to leave. Before I did, drunk alt-right guys in suits started trying to punch me and I defended myself.
Shortly after the fight broke out, a cop appeared and grabbed the first person in black he saw: me. Much larger than me, he attacked me from behind without a word and threw me to the pavement, shattering my shinbone. I spent four days in the hospital in handcuffs.