A man was arrested by the University Police Department Sunday afternoon after he allegedly hit another man during an anti-fascist demonstration in front of Lisner Auditorium.
Sydney Ramsey-LaRee, 24, was charged with simple assault after allegedly biking up to the demonstration and hitting Jack Posobiec, the Washington bureau chief of Rebel Media, a Canadian right-wing media outlet, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.
Posobiec showed up at the demonstration with a friend and was filming his interactions with the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition – a left-wing activist group – when Ramsey-LaRee allegedly punched him in the hand as he was recording video on his phone at about 3:50 p.m.
UPD officers stationed across the street at the corner of H and 21st streets responded immediately after seeing Ramsey-LaRee punch Posobiec. They arrested Ramsey-LaRee and took him to MPD’s Second District station, the report said.
The man was not affiliated with the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition, members of the group said at the scene.
Posobiec said the man rode up on a bicycle and after members of the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition called him a “Nazi,” he punched Posobiec in the hand.
“He screamed ‘Where’s the Nazi? Where’s the Nazi? And then a bunch of them pointed at me and said “‘He’s the Nazi. He’s the Nazi,’” he said.
Posobiec said he wanted to see what the anti-fascist activists were doing on campus and was trying to hand out Pepsi to the demonstrators – in a nod to a widely vilified online advertisement from the soda brand depicting protesters and police sharing the drink together. He said the demonstrators didn’t take any soda.
Members of the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition were holding a community outreach demonstration to recruit new members, Jason Charter, a member of the group, said. Representatives from the group wore masks over their faces and handed out fliers to passing pedestrians.
The group came to campus in response to signs promoting the United States as a “white nation” that were posted in various places in the D.C. and Maryland area, including on campus last month, Charter said.
“Since this has been as the center of activism for many years and it’s known as the most politically active campus in the country, we thought it would be a good place to go,” he said.
Lacy MacAuley, a member of the D.C. Anti-Fascist Coalition, said the man pushed the video camera away because he didn’t want to be videotaped.
“What happened was a whole lot of nothing,” she said.
MacAuley said Posbiec and his friend came to the demonstration to antagonize the anti-fascist activists.
“They just came to harass us, and unfortunately that’s what’s happening right now,” she said.