A rally held to bring awareness to current activism that encourages children to question their gender identity and sexual orientation went forward peacefully on Dec. 3, despite reports of Antifa threats to "bring rage."
Rallygoers could be heard in unison yelling, “leave the children alone,” while surrounded by large law enforcement and Proud Boys presence. The group brought their message of standing against sexualizing children, alienating them from their parents, and helping them pursue gender transition treatments.
Rally organizers said that even though they appreciate the national publicity to bring about awareness, it may have deterred others from attending due to divisive and threatening comments on social media.
On Dec. 1, the Miami chapter of Antifa posted to their Twitter page that Protect the Children organizers were “fascists” advancing “stochastic terrorism” and distributed fliers that read, “We can’t allow this kind of bigotry to go unchecked.”
Fathers for Freedom organizer Elon Gerberg said that during past rallies, the group had been allowed to use microphones, bullhorns, and play music but was then asked not to use them by law enforcement.
“What was unique about this [rally] is it got so much national coverage that incited the counter-rally,” Gerberg told The Epoch Times. “But the effectiveness of the rally was successful, and the main thing is that the narrative was put forth.”
Counter-protesters were located across the street and vocal, sometimes hurling obscenities from across the three-lane road but otherwise peaceful. Most appeared to range from 18 to early to late 20s.
The Epoch Times attempted to interview some, but they denied comment and asked reporters to leave.
Eulalia Jimenez, Miami Moms for Liberty chapter president, said she was “pleased with the outcome of the rally.”
“Despite the presence of opposers and their efforts to disrupt our gathering, we stayed focused and delivered our message,” she told The Epoch Times.
Anthony Raimondi, a board member with "Gays Against Groomers," told The Epoch Times that he attempted to “reason” with the opposing group members during the rally. He was met with yelling and was called a “Nazi” because the Proud Boys were in attendance.
“I tried to have a conversation with them,” he told The Epoch Times. “In the end, extremists will ruin any group of good people.”
Raimondi said that the point of having the rally and spreading awareness is to “have conversations together.”
“It’s not a left or a right issue,” he continued. “It shouldn’t be an issue to protect the innocence of children, and it’s sad that there’s a group out there that wants to come out and cause havoc without listening to why.”
Protecting the LGBT community is important to Raimondi, who said the group has been “hijacked,” setting the movement back 30 years.
“Years ago, gays were labeled as pedophiles; now, we’ve been set back,” he said of the opposing faction. “We’ve come so far to be able to marry each other and love whom we want to love.”
Raimondi said he and his partner have been together for 13 years, and want to expand their family and advocating for protecting children’s innocence.
“We’ve always said that if we had a son or daughter, we would never push our lifestyle on them,” he said. “We would let them choose it on their own.”
Jimenez, whose 30-year-old daughter is gay, agreed and said that children “would figure things out on their own” and did not need encouragement from one side or another.
“This is about peace,” she said about the rally. “This is about uniting and empowering others and informing parents and citizens.”
The rally also gives people the courage to speak out against “atrocities against children” when they see like-minded people coming together peaceably, Gerberg said.
“There are people who are afraid to speak out against atrocities in their own communities,” he said. “But we’re seeing that by putting it out there on a national scale it’s like more people will speak out because they’re saying I’m not alone.”
Gerberg said that their opposition’s narrative is coming “unraveled” when diverse groups come together for a common cause.
“Their narrative, which is that you’re attacking the LBGT community, is starting to get obliterated,” he said.
“Their narrative doesn’t work when you have gays and trans people on your side saying the same thing: leave the children alone.”