- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2022

A group waved a flag emblazoned with a swatiska and signs bearing antisemitic messages over the weekend outside a conservative convention in Florida attended by former President Donald Trump and several Republican lawmakers.

The chairman of the Florida Holocaust Museum called Saturday’s demonstration outside the Tampa Convention Center, where the Turning Point USA was hosting its Student Action Summit, a “direct threat” to the local Jewish community.

“Carrying the Nazi flag, or that of the SS, the organization responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust, is an indefensible act of pure hatred,” museum Chairman Mike Igel said in a statement. “This isn’t about politics or religion. It’s about humanity.”

A spokesperson for Turning Point said the demonstrators were not affiliated with the conference and event security attempted to remove them.

“Since these individuals were located on public property, our security attempted to, but was not permitted to remove them,” Andrew Kolvet told The Associated Press. “We have no idea who they are or why they were here. They have nothing to do with TPUSA, our event, or our students.”

Mr. Kolvet said a group of students attending the conference confronted the demonstrators before taking “the mature route” and disengaging.

The neo-Nazi demonstrators also clashed with pro-abortion protesters who had marched to the convention center from a nearby park.

Speaking at the convention over the weekend were several Republican politicians including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also spoke.

Florida politicians from both parties condemned the protesters on Sunday.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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