Like most days in Phoenix, the sun was shining with blue skies. The city was playing host to a pro-Team Trump “Make America Great Again” effort. However, there were some activists seemingly not having it, as they were flanked with an arsenal of weapons. Hoping for instant rapport and cooperation, liberal and Phoenix New Times’ Stephen Lemons approached the gang of what he called “about 40 or so assorted anarchists, Brown Berets, and members of a group calling itself the Phoenix John Brown Gun Club across the street from the state Capitol, openly armed to the proverbial teeth.”
Liberal Lemons impulsively felt akin to the activists and thought, “Hey, lefties with guns, that’s cool.” But his hopes were almost instantly shattered. “While I was taking photographs of them, a woman approached me and told me that the group would not be granting interviews,” Lemons wrote in his article. “She gave me a flier with a statement from something called the ‘Redneck Revolt,’ which, according to the flier, aims to ‘put the RED back in redneck.’”
Lemons stayed with the activists, followed their shoddy formation on the sidewalk—the majority displayed their guns across their chests. Once Lemons activated his camera for Facebook live, some of them turned irritable.
In his attempt to gather footage, Lemons accidentally bumped into one of the activists, who reversed his march—“pushing” the reporter.
“Oh, that’s interesting,” Lemons said as the heat turned onto him. “I like to see the left wing get feisty. You assault reporters a lot? You’re a big, bad ass ’cause you got a gun—you wanna shoot me?”
Shortly after the Lemons-bully-activist exchange, the quasi-platoon came to a halt—one of them requested Lemons’s professional information. Upon Lemons declining to provide it, the bearded man wanted Lemons to “stop following us.” Exercising his right as a reporter being in a public place, Lemons did not adhere to the request.
“Usually, I’m documenting right-wing hate groups,” Lemons said to Beard ‘n’ Shades, “and I’d be cool with you guys being down here. But the hostility is not cool.”
“If you cared about right-wing hate groups and stopping them, then you’d get out of our face with that phone,” Beard ‘n’ Shades said.
“Well, tough s**t,” Lemons staunchly said.
“I’m just going to warn you that we’re not responsible for anything that might happen to that phone,” Beard ‘n’ Shades said.
Lemons kept his camera up amid his dealings with the activists. “I’ve actually seen more respect for the right-wing side,” Lemons said.
It was then when their apparent leader stepped forward, spoke to Lemons and instructed his people to vacate. After his discussion with their leader, Lemons was inspired to write, “…progressive goons with guns tried to block me…”
Take a little break and check out the video, which contains language that may not be suitable for some audiences: