An older woman defended the Proud Boys’ right to free speech after five separate groups fought for protest space at a Texas park.
Wooldridge Square Park in Austin on Saturday became an unexpected battleground as several groups struggled to be heard.
Fox 7 Austin reports that in addition to Women’s March Austin, other groups included the Proud Boys, Trump supporters with Texans for America, Just Another Channel and Info Wars.
Five separate groups, including Women’s March Austin (pictured) arrived to Wooldridge Square Park in Austin, Texas, as part of a protest on Saturday
The left-leaning woman’s group and the bevy of conservative demonstrators clashed as their partisan ideals came to a head.
Anne Sigler, an 86-year-old Women’s March participant, plopped down her foldable chair on the park’s grass and prepared herself for the day’s protest.
While holding a sign that read ‘I’m the liberal, pro-choice outspoken feminist you were warned about,’ Sigler told Fox 7 Austin that she wasn’t deterred by the confrontations.
Anna Sigler (pictured) was an 86-year-old woman who attended the Women’s March Austin event on Saturday
Sigler: ‘I think it’s great. I think people have to get out and say what they wanna say even though I disagree with the ones over there… pretty bad’
‘We’ve suffered a lot over the last four years, I’m ready to do something’, she said.
The Proud Boys, according to Fox 7 Austin, spewed numerous misogynistic and transphobic remarks at Women’s March Austin participants.
According to Southern Poverty Law Center, the Proud Boys are a general hate group that describe themselves as ‘western chauvinists.’
Pictured: Proud Boy members gathered at Wooldridge Square Park in Austin, Texas, on Saturday for a demonstration
Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists’
‘Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric,’ SPLC wrote.
The Anti-Defamation League added that Proud Boys have fostered a reputation of violence.
In one of the most prominent cases, two Proud Boy members were sentenced to four years in prison for taking part in a ‘political street fight.’
Prosecutors said 10 men attacked four protesters who opposed a speech given by Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys founder, at Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City.
The group was catapulted back into public discourse after President Trump told Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by’ during the first presidential debate.
Sigler told Fox 7 Austin that although the five groups spent the afternoon going back-and-forth, the discussions were needed.
Fox 7 Austin reports that the five groups dissolved into arguments and disagreements with each other on Saturday. Pictured: Proud Boys members
Organizers of the Women’s March Austin said they planned their event with the city council and a permit was not required for the event
Pictured: Members of the Women’s March Austin rally in the park and present speakers to the crowd
‘I think it’s great. I think people have to get out and say what they wanna say even though I disagree with the ones over there… pretty bad,’ Sigler said, referring to the Proud Boys.
‘But, that’s okay. That’s alright. We’ve got to be able to keep on disagreeing with each other.’
Jen Loh of Texans United for America told Fox 7 Austin that the right-wing groups scheduled a Trump rally at the park months ago. Organizers for the Women’s March Austin said they cleared their demonstration with city officials.
Organizers from both groups admitted that once they realized the overlapping protests, they did not try to contact each other.
Neither group was required to get a permit for the space.