Houston and Katy Defend Church Drag Bingo Against Fascists

a crowd of anti-fascists protesting in the grass

From queers and their accomplices in the Screwston Anti-Fascist Committee and the Space City Anarchist Organization

Summary

On September 24th, Saturday afternoon, the First Christian Church of Katy held a Drag Bingo fundraiser to buy supplies for transitioning youth. The event was heavily protested by a wide range of right-wing and white supremacist groups and was successfully defended by Anti-Fascists from the Houston and Katy area. Both sides were heavily attended, and small scuffles broke out throughout the event, primarily between Proud Boys and Anti-Fascists. No serious injuries were sustained by Anti-Fascist protesters and the Drag Bingo Fundraiser went on successfully without disruption.

The First Christian Church of Katy lacks access to resources that other gender-affirming institutions have that are closer to the inner Houston area. Isolated in gentrified suburbia, this island of trans-inclusivity created a fundraiser for their transparent closet, which provides clothing, makeup, accessories, and other gender-affirming items for trans, queer, and gender non-conforming youths.

Although we were able to successfully prevent fascist violence against the event, and the drag bingo happened without major complications, Saturday could potentially be a sign of what’s to come. Community defense and organizing are more important than ever to keep each other safe.

Detailed Overview

Starting around 3pm, Anti-Fascists and right-wingers began staging on both sides of the street in front of the First Christian Church of Katy. Anti-Fascists occupied the grass directly in front of the church and right-wingers staged across the street. The Anti-Fascist side was confined to a small strip of land in front of the church, with cops forcing us away from stepping anywhere on the property. The first notable event was when a group of evangelicals came over to attempt to drown out the Anti-Fascists with loud music, chanting, and speaking in tongues. They eventually were forced to move back by the police once the Proud Boys showed up. More people on both sides gradually started trickling in, and by around 5 PM when the drag bingo event began inside, there were nearly a hundred fascists and somewhat fewer people defending the church against the bigots of various stripes. The bigots’ crowd consisted of explicit fascists like the Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and the Aryan Freedom Network standing and protesting alongside Evangelicals, Trump Supporters, out-of-towners from Protect Texas Kids, the Fort Bend County Young Republicans, and traditional Catholics that had all converged from across Texas – and across the US in some cases – to harass a church fundraiser. Our side was organized by a coalition of Anti-Fascists in radical anarchist and socialist groups such as The Screwston Anti-Fascist Committee, The Space City Anarchist Organization, and The Houston United Front Against Fascism. Smaller groups and individuals such as queer Houstonians and Katyites, parents of queer people, veterans, and others also came in solidarity with queer youth and made up the bulk of the crowd.

There were various loudspeakers and sound systems on both sides, with the fascists screaming profanities and condemning us, and our side chanting and playing music. Our side held signs showing messages of support for the oppressed and resistance against those who want to see us dead, while the fascists displayed explicitly genocidal signs preaching hate and conspiracy nonsense. We received an outpouring of support from cars passing by –drivers regularly honked at us and shouted messages of support. The people of Katy showed they support tolerance and acceptance over hate and bigotry. Although the day started out hot and humid, by the time most of the protestors had left between 7 and 8, it had significantly cooled down. Fortunately, our side stayed cool with plenty of water, umbrellas, and some shade.

Fascists tried crossing the street on multiple occasions to start fights, almost exclusively associated with the Proud Boys. The more explicit fascists like the Aryan Freedom Network and Patriot Front avoided confrontation, opting instead to hide by the MAGA crowd where they could for once hold their signs in public without being run off by Anti-Fascists. Despite our smaller numbers, we were able to force the Proud Boys back every time they attempted to come over, and none were able to get past us towards the Church. At one point a group of about 6 Proud Boys came over and a minor scuffle ensued. They quickly dispersed after one was struck with a pole and pepper spray was deployed, nobody on our side was injured.

The police presence was sparse and when interventions were made it was in defense of rightwing instigators. They made no effort to stop proud boys and fascists from coming over to our side unless they were being confronted, and they were clearly unprepared for the scale of the event. On multiple occasions, after we pushed back proud boys, they’d go whine to the cops. If we weren’t there, it’s unlikely the cops would’ve done much to stop fascists from approaching the property and harassing congregants and attendees. Police yelled at leftist protesters throughout the event for crossing invisible lines in the grass where the public property supposedly ended. After the event, police followed a group of Anti-Fascists and ambushed them while they were traveling across a field to leave, claiming they were trespassing and threatening them with arrest. No such effort was made by police to follow or harass the multiple groups of fascists who also likely crossed over private property lines while marching out.

Ultimately, the drag bingo event took place safely inside the church and was a great success, raising thousands of dollars to support queer youth. Aside from right-wing Journalist Tyler Hansen sneaking inside, the attendees didn’t face any harassment or harm, and the church was successful in meeting its fundraising goal. We want to extend a huge thank you to First Christian Church Katy for choosing to continue the event despite consistent harassment and threats of violence. Now more than ever, queer people need allies who won’t back down and show true solidarity, like FCC Katy has and continues to show.

Rightwing Presence

There were a number of different organized hate groups at this event, ranging from homophobic religious groups to explicitly Neo-Nazi groups as well. While they did fight amongst themselves on occasion throughout the event, generally speaking, they all protested on the same side of the event together and held space together. Some of the organized groups present at the event are listed below.

Fort Bend County Young Republicans

The right-wing youth wing of the Fort Bend County Republican party. Hannah Nehad (pictured far left below) is one of their most prominent members and is heavily associated with Kelly Neidert. They were the first to publicly call for a protest against this event.

Protect Texas Kids

Led by Kelly Neidert of Dallas, Texas, Protect Texas Kids is an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group that organizes disruptions of queer and trans events under the false premise of protecting kids.

Proud Boys

The Proud Boys are a far-right group who have been characterized by violence and street fights against leftwing groups since their founding in 2016. They are not explicitly a white supremacist group but generally have large overlaps in membership and ideology with other fascist and white supremacist groups.

Patriot Front

Patriot Front is an openly fascist, national white supremacist group with various chapters around Texas including Houston. They likely had members travel in from elsewhere for this event, as their Houston chapter is generally not very active.

Aryan Freedom Network

Aryan Freedom Network is a Neo-Nazi group with a Houston chapter primarily run by Ronald Murray. Many of them have formerly organized under the name “White Lives Matter” in the past.

Rightwing Media

There was some tension between these groups, as many of the more mainstream conservatives were annoyed by AFN’s presence, but there was no real effort to push out the nazis, and many of the conservatives were chanting alongside and associating with Patriot Front and the Proud Boys.

What this means for the future

Although we succeeded at protecting this event and keeping each other safe, nobody should be complacent. This event may be a sign of resurgence for the far right and the street-level cooperation between rightwing moderates and open fascists that has not been seen since the early Trump era. Saturday was the largest gathering of fascists in Houston we’ve seen in a long time, and even more significantly it was a gathering of multiple fascist groups who typically only host private rallies with their own immediate membership. Multiple groups from across the right united to threaten a peaceful event, and this is just part of a growing trend across America. This event also showed how violent bigotry against queer people is increasingly mainstream among conservatives. As mentioned earlier, this event was originally announced by a group officially affiliated with the Republican Party after Don Huffines, a Texas politician and failed governor candidate with ties to white supremacist Groypers, posted in opposition to this event. Although there were some disagreements among the protestors and certain individuals such as Kelly Neidert officially “disavowed” the more explicit fascists in attendance, this event still shows an increasing link between mainstream conservatives and violent neo-nazis and fascists. As one counter-protestor with a megaphone put it, “isn’t it weird how every time you [Kelly Neidert] show your face in public, Nazis show up?” Whether the mainstream conservatives want to admit it, they are united with nazis and fascists in wanting to see all queer people dead. We’ll almost certainly see increased violence and terrorism against queer people while Republican politicians continue to legislate against our existence.

The situation isn’t hopeless, though. Opposing this will take all of us. Voting won’t save us – if we want to keep our queer friends, loved ones, and neighbors safe, we have to oppose fascism and bigotry however we can. We strongly encourage everyone reading to start taking action. We need to begin reaching out to spaces holding queer-affirming events to make sure they’re safe, join existing groups working against fascism and create new ones, create networks to support queer people, and train in self-defense and hand-to-hand combat to make sure that when fascists bash us, we bash back. The threat to our existence is daunting, but as long as we fight with love in our hearts, we can keep each other safe, just like we did on Saturday.

For more details about the cycle of rightwing violence from social media to news networks to local fascist groups, visit this link.

To see an FCC Board Member speaking about this event, visit this link.

Houston Defends Drag Show Against Christian Fascists

Houstonians gathered outside drag show at Hamburger Mary's defending the entrance from fascists.
About the Event

On Sunday, July 10th, 2022, Protect Texas Kids, a hate group led by self-proclaimed Christian fascist Kelly Neidert from North Texas, attempted to disrupt an all-ages drag show brunch event at Hamburger Mary’s downtown Houston location. Having discovered their plans beforehand, local Houstonians rallied together in a counter-demonstration to defend the event. A crowd of about 100 local Anti-Fascists and members of Houston’s queer community mobilized around the venue to guard the entrance, dwarfing the roughly dozen bigots who yelled across the street from behind police and their barricades.

While the fascists’ tiny group stood around occasionally rambling into megaphones, queer Houstonians were drowning them out with our own chants, dancing to music, and staying cool with water, super soakers, and drinks provided by Hamburger Mary’s. The drag show was able to go on as planned, and the fascists were escorted out by police shortly after the drag brunch ended.

large crowd defending a Drag Show against christian fascists.
A crowd of over 100 Anti-Fascists guarding Hamburger Mary’s in Downtown Houston

Kelly’s attempt to disrupt this event with her group was the latest in a series of actions they have organized against trans and queer gatherings. In general, the group pushes age-old homophobic myths about pedophilia in the queer community as an excuse to show up to events and harass people. They are typically based in Dallas and North Texas, where other Anti-Fascist groups have mobilized against them before. This is one of their first notable appearances in Houston to date, aside from a small group of them trying to counter-protest this year’s Pride Parade last month. We hope after how poorly their rally went, that it will be their last. As far as we know, Kelly and others traveled here from North Texas specifically for this event, despite their turnout struggling to reach a dozen people. While planning the rally, Kelly claimed that “Antifa” in Houston “isn’t very active and it’s likely they won’t show up.” She continues on to say “If they do, I think we will outnumber them.”

an email from kelly neidert reading "I've been told by some of my Houston friends that the antifa group there isn't very active and it's likely they won't show up. If they do, I think we will outnumber them."

Some of the same fascists who came to Hamburger Mary’s on Sunday also participated in a Houston White Lives Matter rally in December 2021, where they had a similarly low turnout despite bringing people in from across the state on both occasions. Among them was Ronald Murray Jr, a Neo-Nazi we recently exposed for his actions in the Houston area. Ronald gave an interview during the event and shouted slurs over the megaphone. Kelly and her crowd had no problem hanging out with these Neo-Nazis until the cameras started rolling at which point she made an effort to stand farther away from them. Regardless, it was clear they felt welcomed to Kelly’s event and knew they would be safe on her side.

Some of the more explicit Neo-Nazis from the crowd. One giving a Sieg Heil salute (right).

 

At past events Protect Texas Kids have invited Proud Boys to attend, which we also witnessed this time around. Alongside the actual “Protect Texas Kids” membership, a few non-uniformed Proud Boys were seen in addition to the contingent of Neo-Nazis mentioned above. Neidert claimed our own call to action caused the Neo-Nazis to attend. This is a ridiculous claim for a self-proclaimed Christian fascist to make who has appeared on a holocaust denial podcast and who buddies up with Proud Boys. The only difference between Ronald Murray and Kelly Neidert is a swastika necklace and years of unpaid child support. Members from the fascists’ side attempted to walk towards the venue repeatedly, including three Proud Boys who were forced back to their side and a “radical centrist” who immediately was booed away. Of course, the cops made no attempt to stop them from coming over, and the community had to defend themselves.

One of the Proud Boys (left) who attended the rally.
Attempts to Police the Counterprotest

There were many attempts to police the community defense of Hamburger Mary’s, from both the cops and from people within the protest. Cops forced us into an increasingly small area, keeping us off curbs, and eventually set up barricades to make a “pathway” that split up the protest in two. The police put up barricades on the fascist side as well, but laid out theirs on the street, giving their tiny group plenty of room. They placed our barricades on the sidewalk, which reduced the room we had even more. As mentioned earlier, the cops made no effort to protect anyone from the fascists. They only intervened when fascists who came over to our side were at threat of getting hurt by the much larger crowd they were harassing. Their role at the protest was clear – to pacify our crowd and keep the fascists safe throughout their demonstration.

As often seen at Houston protests, policing of the crowd also came from selfproclaimed “organizers”, who had not organized this event but still attempted to co-opt it. These peace police scolded people for dressing in masks so they don’t get doxxed by fascists, told people to stop militant chants that the rest of the crowd was fine with, and tried to get people to stop waving any signs they didn’t like. These “organizers” made no effort to get in contact with us to help organize or coordinate the event, and instead tried to position themselves as leaders of a crowd that largely came out because of our call to action. Their justifications were that they wanted the event to be a safe place for the community even while ordering around the trans and queer people who actually organized the event – and that they wanted to present queer people in a positive light to the children in the fascists’ crowd who are being indoctrinated (there were about 2 or 3 kids in their crowd total). Despite their concerns for “safety”, they were nowhere to be seen when cops were boxing us in or when fascists tried entering the crowd. Outside of this small group, however, nobody else seemed to have an issue with the more militant members of the crowd. Instead, people in bloc and those who directly confronted fascists were often thanked, the crowd joined in on militant, anti-cop chants, and people asked to take photos of signs with slogans like “these queers bash back”. Ultimately, the peace police gave up on their efforts to control the counterprotest when the threat of nazis and cops became too clear to ignore.

The ‘sacrificial’ role that march-and-vote peace police continue to sloganeer about illustrates the fundamental logic and limitations of liberal ‘bodies and spaces’ politics. Peace policing directly contradicts and undermines our own capacity to truly take up community self-defense is fundamentally repressive and serves as willing counterinsurgency which directly benefits the fascists, cops, and the capitalists they protect.

Only a burgeoning revolutionary subjectivity and practice can hold its own against the surge of present and rising fascism. As the class is recomposed into a fighting force capable of liberating itself and smashing capitalism, such a revolutionary subjectivity & practice must be upheld.

Conclusion

The counterprotest stretched far beyond our own membership and relied on the other organizations and individuals that belong to no group to succeed. We want to thank the nearly 100 people who came out to defend our community and Hamburger Mary’s for keeping the drag brunch running despite the pressure. We also want to thank the numerous groups and organizations that came out, including (but not limited to):

Belly of the Beast Media Collective

Space City Anarchist Organization

Houston United Front Against Fascism

Houston DSA

Sunday showed that Houstonians are strong, resilient, and do not accept hate towards our neighbors. The counterprotest ended up being a celebration of queerness as we kept each other safe from fascists and pigs, and a reminder that our queer community is rooted in protest and rebellion. From Stonewall to Houston’s protests against Anita Bryant that started Houston Pride, to Sunday at Hamburger Mary’s, queers will always bash back and will look beautiful while doing so.

Pre-Event Press Release:

You can view the press release we posted prior to the event here:

https://screwstonafc.noblogs.org/post/2022/07/10/houston-community-stands-against-christian-fascist-harassment/

White Supremacist Behind Houston Nazi Flyers Exposed as Ronald Murray

Header image of Ronald Murray and his Nazi flyers
Update 6/22/22

We have updated this article to clarify that Ronald Murray no longer drives his sister’s white truck. At this time he is only known to be driving theTan Acura SUV registered to his brother-in-law mentioned later in this article.

Summary
Ronald Lee Murray Jr. has been responsible for flyering Houston and other cities with Neo-Nazi propaganda through a variety of white supremacist groups he has been a part of. He has also played leadership roles in many of these organizations and attended a hate rally at the Jewish Anti-Defamation League building in Houston this year. Ronald has a giant swastika tattooed on his back and has been seen wearing a swastika necklace and a Nazi SS hat. He currently lives in northwest Houston, Texas.
Ronald Murray’s Political History and Activism

Ronald is known to have been a member of the National Socialist Organization, 14 First the Foundation, National Socialist Movement, White Lives Matter, and the Aryan Freedom Network. He served in leadership positions for 14 First The Foundation from 2020 to 2021. The group largely participated in flyering similar to those recently seen throughout Northwest Houston, although the group always had a seemingly small membership. In 2021, the group merged with the National Socialist movement briefly after Murray attended an NSM rally in Phoenix.

Ronald Murray (Right) at an NSM Rally in Phoenix
Ronald Murray (Right) at an NSM Rally.

Soon after the merger, 14 First seemingly ceased to exist and its website became inactive. At roughly the same time, White Lives Matter (WLM), a white supremacist network that operates throughout the U.S and Canada with a small presence across Europe, began re-emerging in public telegram channels after a few years of inactivity since their original appearance in 2016. Murray seems to have been involved in the Houston area chapter since its new beginning. Later on, he joined the Neo-Nazi group Aryan Freedom Network (AFN) and repeatedly flyered for them as well. His most recent case of flyering was promoting 14 First the Foundation, but sometimes White Lives Matter flyers are found mixed throughout. Formerly Murray used the telegram name “Ronald 14 First”, but now uses the name “Racist Pamphleteers” to highlight his frequent flyering sessions. Below are some screenshots from his Telegram activity.

It seems Murray continuously hops from group to group as he attempts to find a place for explicit Neo-Nazism within a fascist movement that increasingly rejects the imagery of old-school Nazi skinheads. 
Ronald appeared to play a very involved role in the White Lives Matter rally that took place in Houston this year at the ADL building. He maintained a front and center presence at the rally and was one of the only people there not masked.

 

Ronald Murray's back swastika tattoo at White Lives Matter Houston Rally in 2022
He also likely used his sister’s white truck to charter members to and from the rally, which was witnessed by attendees. He has been seen flyering in a white truck as well, which he admitted to on the news on at least one occasion. However, to our knowledge, Ron no longer drives his sister’s white truck. It should also be noted that, while Ron does appear to do a heavy amount of flyering, there are also other members of his group(s) who may occasionally flyer as well in an assortment of different vehicles. Most recently, Ronald distributed Neo-Nazi flyers around the Northside of Houston in a tan Acura MDX SUV which is registered to his brother-in-law Alvin B. Daugherty. The SUV is the vehicle Ron drives regularly and is the same vehicle caught on Ring camera footage by victims of recent racist flyers in Houston. Ron used to live with his sister and brother-in-law at their home in Cypress. Ronald’s brother-in-law, Alvin B. Daugherty, is a retired Deputy Sherriff from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Although Ron no longer lives with them, it has been reported to us that some non-white neighbors have had prior disputes with the Daugherty household where Ron was living. It has also been reported that Ron has been seen occasionally coming and going to the house throughout the last few months.
Ronald Murray's Tan SUV is pictured in front of his apartment, compared to the same vehicle seen in Ring footage by victims of his racist flyers. A National Socialist Movement (NSM) sticker sits on the back windshield of the vehicle.
Ronald Murray’s Tan SUV is pictured in front of his apartment, compared to the same vehicle seen in Ring footage by victims of his racist flyers. A National Socialist Movement (NSM) sticker sits on the back windshield of the vehicle. Plate number FPS9676.
Personal Information
 

Ronald Murray has since moved to an apartment in a nearby region, potentially hiding out from police who had reportedly come looking for him at his Sister’s address before. He has an active warrant out for his arrest for missing child support payments and has a prior criminal record for a marijuana possession charge.

Visit our Pastebin page to view his address and other details.

 
Printable Flyer
Printable Flyer PDF Here  (Previewed Below – Address only visible in PDF)

Houston Nazis Doxx Each Other Following Anti-Fascist Actions

On Saturday, June 8th, anti-fascists exposed a realtor named Paul Preston as being the leader of a local Neo-Nazi Group called the Houston Goylers. On the same day they confronted him outside his home in Houston’s Near Northside neighborhood where he lives with his Neo-Nazi girlfriend, Ariel Gherman. Before news even had a chance to spread about the confrontation, active members of Houston’s Alt-Right were already well into an uproar of infighting and blame on Facebook. Weeks prior to the event, tensions were already running high between “AK Lane”, an Alt-Right woman who was dating a Patriot Front member, and Paul Preston. AK Lane had vaguely accused Paul of being a “Nazi LARPer with a Jewish girlfriend” (Ariel bears a commonly Jewish surname), and Paul had in turn been making jokes about AK Lane’s body and appearance for some time. Preston further inflamed tensions by implying it was preferable to date an attractive non-white woman over an opinionated fascist white woman, angering the more “principled” Nazis. This infighting, driven largely by the hopelessly dramatic Paul Preston, ironically rendered him helpless and friendless just a few days later when a large bloc of anti-fascists arrived at their doorstep. Demonstrations continued for well over an hour, with Ariel hiding inside with no one to call upon for aid.

After finding out the hard way that being a Nazi in the real world won’t be tolerated, Paul and Ariel took their anger back to the internet looking for someone to blame for this series of humiliating defeats – while others made laughable claims they could have done something differently to stop us. Over the next few days arguments among fascists flared and it was revealed by AK Lane’s boyfriend that she had previously threatened to doxx Paul Preston.

Upon seeing this, Paul and Ariel became convinced that AK Lane had been solely responsible for doxxing them. Incapable of believing that anti-fascists could collect such extensive information on their own, a number of stories began circulating online about AK Lane working with antifascists and doxxing her former friends.

In actuality, Paul had doxxed himself by posting pictures from his home office, and by identifying himself as Wooderson on film during a fascist “Texas Is Ours” rally in Austin the year prior. AK Lane had not, despite her threats, communicated any information about Preston but it ultimately didn’t matter. His unprincipled, panicked, childishly dramatic demeanor lead him to doxx AK Lane as Kathryn Powell, a name not previously known to us. Both Paul and Ariel made a concerted effort to distribute this information widely online, including photos of Kathryn’s work badge as a TMS Transit Specialist for TAPS Public Transit in North Texas. It’s unclear if that is her current or former employer.

Throughout the weeks following, Kathryn Powell has been the target of continued harassment from her former Nazi associates. Memes, jokes, and threats about her have been circulating across fascist social media circles and are being shared by fascists not even originally involved in these disputes. She is no longer dating her boyfriend from Patriot Front, who appears to have betrayed her by releasing her threats to doxx Paul Preston. It’s no surprise that the first people they are ready to betray are women. The Alt-Right is deeply rooted in misogyny, and they will always seek to blame their own failures and weaknesses on women first. 

Kathryn is still active in some fascist circles such as the “Othinn Folk” Nazi Pagan group which she administers on social media along with other Neo-Nazis. Paul Preston and his friends have gone out of their way to make a fake Facebook group where they make fun of Othinn Folk and Kathryn Powell herself. These events seem to have pitted Paul Preston and his friends in the Houston Goylers and Patriot Front against anyone who supports or tolerates Kathryn in other groups.

White supremacists, and in this case “Chad Nationalists” in particular, build themselves up as strong, disciplined fighters who put their “movement” above all else. In reality, these are fragile, childish white men terrified of being exposed and ready to throw each other under the bus at the first sign of trouble.