Screenshot via SamBraslow/Twitter
We may have officially left 2020 behind us, but the drama surrounding the pandemic is still alive and well in 2021. As safety precautions like social distancing and masks remain in place in order to curb the spread of the virus, COVID-deniers and anti-maskers have become further emboldened.
But there hasn’t been such a blatant and obnoxious display of anti-masker activism as what happened recently in Los Angeles.
On Monday, a video went viral of an anti-mask woman screaming and appearing to attack a young man in the grocery store.
The video shows an anti-mask woman angrily running after a young man wearing a mask, at one point trying to plow him down with a shopping cart. As she charges towards him, she cusses at him and accuses him of having tried to hit her. There is no footage of the alleged hitting.
The woman follows the man throughout the grocery store as he tries to get away from her. She continues to strike at and scream at him. At one point, the young man tries to ask a security guard for help to no avail. More anti-mask protestors surround him and yell at him as he tries to distance himself from the situation.
The video was one of many incidents incited by an anti-mask mob in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The mob stormed Los Angeles’s Century City mall and nearby Ralph’s grocery store on Sunday. The group held pro-Trump and anti-mask signs, as well as signs that expressed doubt over the severity of the coronavirus.
In a Twitter thread, reporter Samuel Braslow documented the hours long “protest” of a group of anti-maskers. As the group swarmed the popular Los Angeles Century City mall, they were loud, relentless, and sometimes violent. They yelled inflammatory rhetoric such as “F–k communist China!”.
The Twitter thread also shows the mob storming into a Bloomingdales and chanting “No more masks!”. At one point, a few members of the group start performing a “MAGA” version of the YMCA.
The incident in the grocery store wasn’t the only time that the group had aggressive run-ins with onlookers.
Various videos show the group getting into various arguments, including with a food court worker, a shopper walking with his girlfriend, and an emotional woman who revealed to them that her mother was in the hospital with COVID-19. A male protestor responded: “A lot of people are. That’s life. People die. Your father [sic] is not special.”
While the LAPD and mall security ended up closely monitoring the situation, they never tried to arrest the protestors or force them to leave. According to Braslow, they opted to instead only intervene “when necessary”.
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