A white nationalist conference held at a federal building in Washington, D.C., in celebration of “the year of Donald Trump” ignited violent clashes between protesters and attendees of the hate group gathering.
Scores of demonstrators swarmed the downtown D.C. conference venue, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, on Saturday afternoon shouting, “Fascists, we will shut you down!”
Images and videos of the protest show that at least one person was injured — a man reported to be a white nationalist who suffered a bloody gash across his forehead after getting pummeled by a group of protesters. A man can be heard screaming “F–k Nazis!” in a video of the attack.
Washington D.C. police reported no arrests as of Saturday afternoon.
The weekend-long conference called “Become Who We Are — 2016” was organized by the alt-right think tank National Policy Institute to mark the emergence of the racist movement by way of the presidential campaign, according to the event page.
“It was a time when more people joined our movement than ever before and when our ideas began invading the mainstream,” reads a description of the event on NPI’s web site.
The once fringe alt-right movement entered popular discourse due to its association with the Trump campaign, most notably through the president-elect’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Before he became Trump’s campaign manager, Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a haven for white nationalists and news with an extreme right bend.
Richard Spencer is the head of the National Policy Institute and is slated to speak at the conference in D.C.
(The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
A reporter attending the alt-right conference on Saturday afternoon quoted an unidentified speaker as saying “It is hopeful that Steve Bannon is open to our ideas.”
Tickets for the white nationalist conference in D.C. ranged from $175 for “Millennial” guests and up to $1,250 for “Patron’s Registration.” Discounted tickets for millennials were sold out on Saturday afternoon.
Richard Spencer, NPI’s founder who coined the term “alt-right,” is slated to speak at the conference in addition to at least five other “important thought leaders in the Alt Right” from the U.S. and Europe.
Tila Tequila tweeted out this photo captioned “Seig heil!” on Nov. 18, 2016.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the D.C.-based National Policy Institute as one of four white nationalist groups that espouse “academic racism.” The think tank’s mission is “to elevate the consciousness of white, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights,” according to the SPLC.
Earlier this week, Twitter suspended Spencer’s account as well as the accounts for NPI and Spencer’s alt-right publication Radix Journal, citing a violation of the social media company’s “hateful conduct policy.”
Among the conference’s attendees was Tila Tequila, the former reality star best known for her 2007 bisexual dating show “Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” which aired on MTV.
Tequila, whose real name is Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, fired off several tweets identifying herself as a Neo-Nazi and an enthusiastic participant in the white supremacist event. She posted numerous photos, including a picture of her and two men raising their right arm in a Nazi salute.
She captioned the photo with “Seig Heil!”
A dinner marking the start of the conference was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy at Chevy Chase in downtown D.C., according to a Facebook page for protesters that encouraged members to call the restaurant and condemn them for hosting the hate group members.
An employee for the restaurant declined to comment when reached by the Daily News on Saturday.
The Ronald Reagan Building released a statement on Friday — without directly naming the NPI conference — saying that their “contract policies state that unless there is a security threat by an organization or individual who requests meeting space, the building is available for rental.”
“TCMA (Trade Center Management Associates) does not always share the views held by its clients but as managers of a federal government building, we also cannot prohibit rental of this space based on political or religious beliefs,” the statement reads.