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Group displays Nazi flag from Pinellas Trail overpass

Mark Parker

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Screengrab from Aug. 27 video.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that deputies responded Aug. 27 to an incident involving Nazi symbolism and inflammatory banners displayed on the Pinellas Trail overpass, at the intersection of Tyrone Boulevard and Park Street.

A video, taken Saturday, shows a group of six unidentified people holding a Nazi flag and anti-abortion banners to get the attention of passing motorists.

Sgt. Amanda Sinni, public information officer with the PCSO, told the Catalyst in an email that the group was not yelling or utilizing microphones, and did not affix the flags or banners to the fence. After deputies responded to the scene, she said, the subjects left the overpass and entered a large parking lot nearby.

“There were no reports of criminal activity, and no violations were observed,” wrote Sinni. “No one was taken into custody.”

Eric Lynn, Democratic candidate for the county’s 13th District in the U.S. of Representatives, posted the video to his Twitter account. The video, shared 1,805 times, shows a banner reading “End abortion, Save white Babies.” Another displayed the Star of David with the word “problem” written above.

“Another Nazi display, right here in Pinellas,” wrote Lynn. “We must all condemn these acts of antisemitism, as hate must have no home in Pinellas, Florida or the USA.

“If you don’t speak out against hate, antisemitism & Nazis, they will keep coming back.”

Saturday’s demonstration is the latest in a string of incidents promoting white supremacy in the region.

A group of antisemitic protestors waved Nazi flags at the Tampa Convention Center during a July 22 Turning Point USA Student Action Summit. On Aug. 5, several St. Petersburg residents received hate fliers promoting replacement theory and white nationalist ideology.

In a social media post, State Senate candidate Eunic Ortiz shared that notes in the Greater Woodlawn neighborhood of St. Pete were placed in plastic bags with a rock and thrown onto doorsteps. An SPPD spokesperson subsequently said they received reports of people receiving the fliers throughout the area.

Just 11 days later, St. Pete’s Florida Holocaust Museum held a private event celebrating $5 million in state funding to enhance visitor engagement and bolster security at the facility. Museum Chairman Mike Igel said the incidents are tiresome and frustrating attempts by a small minority of people to garner attention.

Igel said the civilized community – or everyone else – should instead focus their attention on the battle against hate and the people pushing back against that type of behavior.

“And thankfully, there’s a lot of that,” he said. “What they’re really doing is creating more attention for the fight against antisemitism.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John Donovan

    August 29, 2022at6:42 pm

    An ugly display of racist memes. But as likely as not- it was a false flag operation. Editor, add #falseflag to your keyword list bottom of article. You’ll look smart.

  2. Avatar

    Donna Kostreva

    August 29, 2022at6:42 pm

    Freedom of speech, even this repulsive, repugnant, asinine speech , is protected by our beloved Constitution. These three need to be ignored like a boil on the buttock. It will fade through a lack of attention.

  3. Avatar

    Scott Simmons

    August 29, 2022at9:38 pm

    Why even cover this. Faux news!

  4. Avatar

    Tae Williams

    August 30, 2022at6:24 am

    Ignoring this example of freedom of speech as a “false flag” is like Ignoring a 4 alarm fire and calling it a “false alarm”.

  5. Avatar

    Paul

    August 30, 2022at9:27 am

    I see that the talking points have been disseminated.

    Just remember those harsh words to address the fascist/racist proud boys: “Stand back and stand by”.

  6. Avatar

    Steve Lawson

    August 31, 2022at6:01 am

    Turning point USA makes Nazis

  7. Avatar

    Raymond Baker

    August 31, 2022at10:53 am

    So many hate crimes and hate events turn out to be fake. Like the NAZI protesters at the recent Tampa event, or the “torch bearers” at the Youngkin rally, or the … I have that feeling here. We have “National Socialists,” sorry folks, that’s what they stand for, waving Socialist regalia. But just to be sure that you’re fooled, that you associate National Socialists with the party that actually opposes socialism, they throw abortion in. You’re not supposed to remember that abortion is predominantly about killing minority babies so these “protesters” create this narrative that National Socialists are worried about killing white babies. What a strange brew and I’m not buying it. People who are anti-abortion are anti-abortion for all babies, all human life. Groups like the KKK might have a thing about “white babies,” but lets not forget history and which political party sponsored the KKK for a century after the Civil War. Right Robert KKK Byrd, George Wallace, Orval Faubus, …? You’d think in a story like this it would be important to include the names and photos of those involved. Where is that? Why was it left out?

  8. Avatar

    Dan

    August 31, 2022at7:52 pm

    “If you don’t speak out against hate, antisemitism & Nazis, they will keep coming back.”

    Uh no… they’ll keep coming back if you get your panties in a bunch over some idiots being idiots.

    Do you think they changed any minds to their side? Then calm down.

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