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Two arrested at NYC councilman’s apartment in ‘gays against groomers’ protest over Drag Queen Story Hour

Two women were reportedly arrested after a group of self-proclaimed “gays against groomers” protesters allegedly targeted the office and apartment building of an openly gay New York City councilman Monday in apparent outage of his support for a recent drag story time session at a Manhattan library. 

“Tonight the Drag Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry. My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing,” Erik Bottcher, a Council Member representing District 3, tweeted Monday. “This is pure hate, unmasked. If they think this is going to intimidate us, they’re mistaken. Our resolve is strengthened.” 

After protesters allegedly vandalized Bottcher’s office in the Chelsea neighborhood around 3 p.m., they arrived outside his apartment building. Two women were arrested when they breached the building around 5 p.m., N.Y. Daily News reported. Charges against them were pending Monday night. 

Fox News Digital followed up with the New York City Police Department for more information Tuesday. 

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Meanwhile, Bottcher shared four photos of messages scrawled on the sidewalk in front of the apartment building. 

The messages, appearing to be written in chalk, included, “OK, Groomer,” “Erik Boccher [sic] is a pedo child groomer,” “child predator,” and “b****er.” 

The incident prompted responses from New York City Mayor Eric Adams and U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. 

“This is outrageous. Completely outrageous,” Adams wrote, sharing Bottcher’s tweet. “Erik, you stand up for our city every single day and these cowardly bigots have no place here. Thank you to the NYPD for your quick work and sending the message that this hate will not go unchallenged.” 

“I stand with my friend @ebottcher, Drag Queen Story Hour, and the LGBTQ+ community against this disgusting display of hate,” Nadler added. “Elected officials have a responsibility to condemn this false, dangerous rhetoric that’s being used as a new way to discriminate against the community.” 

In another tweet, Bottcher shared several photos of vandalism in the hallway outside his district office. 

The councilman said a group people who call themselves “gays against groomers” scrawled the term, “B****er,” a vulgar variation of his last name, on the walls. “We will not be cowed,” Bottcher wrote, sharing another three photos. “We will not be silenced. We will continue to stand up against hate.” 

In a related video shared by the councilman, an unidentified voice inside his office says, “I would love to be in drag and read the Bible to the children.” Someone outside the closed office door responds, “How come you don’t have police officers reading to the kids? How come you don’t have firefighters reading to the kids? How come you don’t even have a circus clown reading to the kids?” 

“Only drag queens,” the protester outside the locked door shouts. “What’s up with that Erik? What’s up with that? Are you grooming them, Erik? You’re trying to sexualize children.” 

One or several people are heard knocking on the door and trying to open it, but the door is locked. 

“Some gay people in the community don’t approve of that!” the voice says. “And I’m one of them.” 

“The gays against grooming, they don’t approve of this at all,” another voice adds. 

Accompanying that video, Bottcher tweeted, “This is what the anti-Drag Story Hour mob subjected my staff to at our office, before they vandalized the hallway. This is not okay.”

In another video shared by the councilman from a high vantage point, a group of people are seen pushing and yelling on the street below Bottcher’s apartment building. The councilman said it was, “Video of the Drag Story Hour protesters physically attacking one of my neighbors last night.” 

Drag Story Hour NYC, formerly Drag Queen Story Hour NYC, is a program that “produces storytelling and creative arts programs for children and teens, presented by local drag artists, in libraries, schools, and other community spaces in all five boroughs of New York City, and virtually,” according to its website. 

In June, the New York Post reported that the program has received approximately $207,000 in taxpayer cash from New York City’s budget set aside for LGBTQ services. The program, which involves cross-dressed performers reading and interacting with children as young as age three, has been criticized for organizing activities during the school day often without first seeking parental consent, the report says. 

Bottcher reportedly assured protesters outside the recent drag story hour that just “normal books” were read to children at the event he also was in attendance for at a Manhattan public library.

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