Snipers Defend Drag Queen Story Hour From Mom-Led Protest

Youtube+Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ellie Gardey Contributor
Font Size:

A SWAT team of two snipers was stationed on the roof of a public library in Spokane, Washington June 15. Their mission, along with 30-40 police officers, was to defend Drag Queen Story Hour from 300 concerned mothers and allies protesting the event. 

The snipers, decked out in camouflage, were photographed on the roof of the library monitoring the protesting mothers with binoculars.

“Was anyone else disturbed that the library had 30+ police officers and 2 snipers with rifles on the roof pointed at us to protect men in dresses from women defending their dignity and praying?” 500 Mom Strong, the organization protesting Drag Queen Story Hour, said on their Facebook page following the event.

There was also a counter-protest in support of the story hour that numbered in the hundreds. The counter-protesters “yelled and screamed” at 500 Mom Strong, Anna Bohach, who organized the protest against Drag Queen Story Hour, told the Daily Caller.

Women from 500 Mom Strong were photographed praying the rosary on their knees as police offers stood guard behind them.

Pastor Afhsin Yaghtin of New Covenant Baptist Church was arrested for obstructing an officer after he told police he should be allowed to protest next to the library, instead of across the street in the designated protest space for 500 Mom Strong, according to 

Police at South Hill Public Library on June 15. (Youtube)

Police at South Hill Public Library in Spokane, Washington on June 15. (Youtube)

Bohach told the Caller a city councilman informed her the snipers were from a SWAT team. She believes the significant armed presence for the story hour could be a result of the counter-protest organization, 500 Drag Queen Strong, filing false police reports that her group made death threats against them. 

Bohach says the allegations of death threats made by members of 500 Mom Strong are completely false. She told the Daily Caller that instead, women from 500 Mom Strong have “received several death threats.”

Scott Herndon, an ally of 500 Mom Strong, attended the Drag Queen Story Hour on June 15. In a Facebook post, he detailed his experience at the story hour.

“She casts off her clothing in front of two and three-year-olds and four-year-olds, with her hairy armpits and her huge breasts pouring out of her minimal top, and now she’s gonna read this story,” Herndon said, describing a moment in which drag queen Andrea Tate removed an outer layer of clothing during the story time.

Herndon explained there were no microphones at the twenty-minute-long story hour, so “you couldn’t tell a word she was saying.” (RELATED: Houston Public Library Apologizes For Allowing Sex Offender To Read To Kids During ‘Drag Queen Story Time’)

The two books read at the event, according to Herndon, were “Princesses Don’t Always Wear Pink” and “A Family Is A Family Is A Family.” He explained that he learned the titles of the books from a library employee after the event, as he could not hear their titles during the event.

Prior to the story time, Tate, a female drag queen, filmed a video response to 500 Mom Strong’s planned protest in which she was visibly angry and used profanity.

“Spokane is not the frickin’ South in the goddamn ’50s,” she said, adding, “I will not allow this to be a win for bigots.”

Tate also implied that 500 Mom Strong teaches girls that they are less than boys. “We don’t teach our girls that they’re less than our boys. We don’t teach our girls to be meek and to be quiet and to be silent and to be submissive to a man. That’s not what we teach our girls,” she said.

Bohach told the Daily Caller she believes drag “subjugates women,” “sexualizes young children” and sends the message that “men are made better than women.”

“Drag queens act like clowns as if that’s the way women act. It is used to make fun of the way women act,” she said.

A drag queen prepares for a performance September 12, 2018 (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

A drag queen prepares for a performance September 12, 2018. (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

Justine Daily, a supporter of Drag Queen Story Hour, brought her two children, Shannon, 13, and Sean, six, to the story time. Shannon identifies as gay and Sean wore a dress to the event “after learning about those who oppose it,” Daily told the Spokesman-Review. Her husband, Goff Daily, told the Review, “If Jesus was around today, he would be on this side.”

The same library is hosting another Drag Queen Story Hour June 22. Protesters on both sides intend to come out again in the hundreds. The national media will also be present, 500 Mom Strong says on their Facebook.

Bohach told the Caller that a city councilman has informed her that the FBI and US Marshalls will also be present at the story time.

Follow Ellie Gardey on Twitter