Antifa militants are being blamed for vandalism at the historic Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City — not only because the GOP group supports President Donald Trump but also because the club scheduled a celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah the same day, Fox News reported.
What are the details?
The club held its annual "Christmas and Hanukkah Social" on Thursday evening, but the cable network said when members arrived they saw anarchist graffiti and Antifa symbols spray-painted in red across the entrance to the building — along with the phrase, "You're canceled" on the dark double doors:
Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @spotnews_tv
Fox News also said a circle with three arrows — a symbol often used by Antifa based on 1930s German anti-fascist resistance movement symbolism — was spray painted on the sidewalk. In addition, the letters "ACAB" — which stands for "all cops are bastards" — was spray painted on the building, the network said.
Black bags symbolizing dead bodies of non-white COVID-19 victims were left on the sidewalk, Fox News added.
The Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan was vandalized with antifa graffiti. The vandals left fake body bags… https://t.co/F4q6wYzCj9— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô) 1607435605.0
What did the club have to say?
"I am deeply disturbed and disgusted at this attack," club president Ian Walsh Reilly told the cable network, adding that members came together that night "under social guidelines."
"We were then having a celebration of religion — of Christianity and Judaism and their holidays — and that was the date they chose to attack the Met Club," Reilly added to Fox News. "It shows such intolerance from the very people who say they are anti-fascist."
In a Twitter statement, the club called the perpetrators "cowards":
Statement regarding last nights attack on the Metropolitan Republican Club. https://t.co/kAnXXNJaS0— Metropolitan Republican Club (@Metropolitan Republican Club) 1607032287.0
Fox News said New York City police are investigating, and Reilly told the network that four black-clad men clad carried out the deed in the darkness of the early morning.
"We do openly put the words 'Christmas' and 'Hanukkah' in the title of the party because we should be open and honest," he added to Fox News. "This is a celebration of two wonderful religions, and as the club is the most visible symbol of the Republican party in New York City — a city that is becoming more and more intolerant of opposing opinions — I am afraid that is going to continue."
#HappeningNow Red paint stains the Metropolitan #GOP headquarters on the #UES—vandalized ahead of tonight’s annual… https://t.co/819MPpEZHS— SpotNews.tv (@SpotNews.tv) 1607028116.0
More from the network:
The club was founded in 1902 by Republican reformers who supported President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1930 the club constructed the elegant Federal-style townhouse to serve as its home and has had a long historic role in the city's political life. The club is where two storied Republican mayors announced their successful candidacies for City Hall, Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1989 and the legendary Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930s. Other Republican mayors and governors have also been among its members.
In 2018 anarchists were blamed for smashing some of the club's windows and spray painting graffiti including the letter "A" inside a circle, what is considered an anarchist symbol. Police said a note was left behind that warned "Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize."
In 2019 two members of the far-right "Proud Boys" were sentenced to four years in prison after a street fight near the club erupted between members of the group and Antifa following an appearance by "Proud Boys" founder Gavin McInnes at the club.
As for how the club members are reacting, Reilly told Fox News they felt "disgust and horror" but "will not be intimidated."
"People were just sad but also defiant," he told the network. "They just wanted to come together and honor our traditions."
He added to Fox News that "we will not be intimidated, and if our vocal and unending support for the NYPD continues to bring this type of hatred upon us, we will not back down from it,."