Anti-mask protesters aggressively approached shoppers at a Ralph’s grocery store in Los Angeles’ Century City neighborhood and then moved to the nearby Westfield mall, leading to minor altercations and the police at times intervening.
The protest, captured in a series of videos from a Twitter thread Sunday and livestreamed by the protesters, took place as Los Angeles COVID-19 cases soar, as safer-at-home orders remain in effect and as Southern California ICU are stuck at 0% availability.
“This thread is so embarrassing to the human race,” filmmaker Judd Apatow said in a tweet.
At the Ralph’s grocery store, one female protester falsely claimed a man hit her and began pursuing the man with a shopping cart as other protesters shouted. The woman then was seen kicking the man. Another protestor called a shopper a “mask Nazi” and said he didn’t have to wear a mask because he had tested negative for the virus.
The protest then moved to Bloomingdales and other stores throughout the Century City mall. Protesters were asked to leave various stores and had a brief dance party to the tune of YMCA in the corridors. When one shopper says that her father was in the hospital with COVID-19, the man shouted back that, “People die. Your father’s not special.”
LA Mag contributor Samuel Braslow, who shared the Twitter thread, said that police briefly intervened involving a shopper who was seen pushing a protester, but no charges were pressed.
The Twitter thread concludes with a video of one woman appearing to be detained. LAPD officer Rosario Cervantes told TheWrap that police were present on site to keep the peace and maintain First Amendment rights and that individuals entered each location without masks. No arrests were made, but battery reports were taken, one at each location.
It’s the latest example of anti-mask demonstrations in Los Angeles after TMZ reported that anti-mask groups staged a similar event over the New Year’s holiday.
See the full Twitter thread below.
Today, a group of anti-maskers protested at Ralph’s and the Century City shopping mall. Lots of angry confrontations with customers and a few physical altercations.
— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) January 4, 2021