Sacramento, California – Clashes broke out inside the Sacramento City Council chambers on May 23rd, as angry community members chanted, held banners, and shut down a small group of neo-Nazis who threw up Hitler salutes and attempted to address the council.
The group of white supremacists was led by Ryan Messano of the bay area, who made headlines last week for attending a previous city council meeting, spewing racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Writing on the neo-Nazi friendly social media platform Gab, Messano gloated, “I’ve commented 20+ times under my name. None of the Leftists have put it together.”
A resident of Solano County, located in the Northern bay area, Messano is a Navy veteran and a former insurance salesman for Allstate. In 2018, Messano lost a run for school board and in recent years, has repeatedly made the news for pushing neo-Nazi conspiracy theories at various city council meetings across Northern California, attacking Jews and the LGBTQ+ community. Last week, Messano traveled to Sacramento to deliver an anti-Semitic rant, again generating headlines.
After announcing his return to the Sacramento City Council on Gab, Messano was joined on by a group of four other neo-Nazis, including a white supremacist who wore a shirt promoting the Goyim Defense League (GDL), emblazoned with the numbers “88,” which stands for “Heil Hitler.” As a group, the GDL are responsible for anti-Semitic vandalism and hate crimes across the US.
Also in attendance was violent Proud Boy, Jeffrey Perrine, who increasingly has embraced full on neo-Nazism. Both Messano and Perrine have been attendees of the yearly “Straight Pride” demonstrations in Modesto, California, organized by self-described white nationalist Don Grundmann, and anti-Semitic Qanon conspiracy theorist, Mylinda Mason. Perrine is perhaps most well known for his disastrous school board campaign and also being kicked out of the Sacramento GOP for calling for the murder of migrants at the border.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
The confrontations followed when a homeless advocate shouted at and pushed two people seated with Messano in the back row of the chambers. “Get the f— out of here, you f—— Nazi,” the man said as police officers stepped forward to quell the unrest.
The meeting was adjourned a second time at 7:02 p.m. as Councilman and Vice Mayor Eric Guerra asked Sacramento police officers to clear the chamber. At 7:16 p.m., Keyan Bliss, the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission vice chair, ushered the last protesters out as interrupters continued to stand behind a wall of police officers. At this point, Perrine asked, “Do we get to speak now, or what?”
In videos posted to social media online, antifascist protesters could be seen holding banners reading, “Never Again” and “Your Hate Is Not Welcome Here,” as Ryan Messano attempted to take the podium. In response, the Sacramento City Council was shut down, as the crowd erupted into shouting as the neo-Nazi wearing a Goyim Defense League shirt was seen throwing up a Hitler salute.
Things then escalated as protesters continued to confront the group of neo-Nazis, eventually pushing them out of their chairs and to the side of the room, at which point, police separated both groups. The city council chambers were then cleared, and the small group of neo-Nazis left the building.