The speakers and hosts at this weekend’s Turning Point USA conference found themselves confronted with accusations of ties to anti-Semitic beliefs once again on Saturday after a group of neo-Nazis held a small rally outside of the conservative group’s conference in Florida.
Video taken on Saturday and published online by Stop Anti-Semitism showed a small group of roughly a dozen individuals carrying flags and signs with neo-Nazi imagery including swastikas outside of the convention center in Tampa Bay, Florida, where inside leaders of the Republican Party including Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis spoke to the crowd of far-right students and other devotees.
The rally occurred as a similar gathering of white supremacist demonstrators cropped up thousands of miles away in Maine, and were met by hundreds of local counter-protesters.
Turning Point USA immediately released a statement to local news organisations disavowing any possibility of connections between the neo-Nazi demonstrators and the conference itself, according to WKMG-TV Orlando.
Local Jewish organisations were furious at the display of hatred.
“This isn’t about politics or religion. It’s about humanity. The Florida Holocaust Museum calls upon everyone, Jew and non-Jew, regardless of political affiliation, to condemn this blatant antisemitism in the strongest possible terms. This should matter to everyone,” Florida Holocaust Museum chairman Mike Igel said in a statement.
At least one Republican who spoke at the gathering this weekend, Florida Senator Rick Scott, condemned the protesters as well.
“This is a disgusting act of hateful anti-Semitism and doesn’t belong in Florida, our nation or anywhere across the world. We stand with our Jewish community and against this hate. It must end,” he tweeted.