In yet another unsurprising showcase of stupidity, a group of anti-mask protesters streamed themselves assaulting shoppers in a Los Angeles mall on Sunday (Jan. 3). As Newsweek reported, the protesters staged a demonstration against COVID-19 safety protocols at a Ralph's and the Century City shopping mall. Some of the individuals behind the protest were streaming their efforts online, and violence quickly broke out among shoppers and protesters.
Shiva Bagheri, one of the people who streamed the protests via Facebook Live, described people taking part as "freedom lovers." In the clips that have since surfaced online, the protests can be seen yelling at shoppers who are wearing masks. In one such clip, a maskless woman can be seen attempting to hit a shopper who she claims hit her. "A mask does not protect you from a deadly virus," said science-denier Bagheri. In another clip, they alleged that they couldn't spread the virus if you're asymptomatic.
In other distressing clips, shared by Beverly Hills Courier writer Samuel Braslow, the protesters could also be heard yelling "this isn't Communist China" and that anyone complying with the safety protocols is a "mask Nazi."
When the protest group migrated from the grocery store to the Century City Mall, they continued endangering the public with chants such as "no more masks" and "fuck communist China." Incidents included protesters pretending to be victims of violence after instigating confrontations with store employees, many of whom were quick to tell them to put a mask on or leave.
One particularly disgusting moment was caught when a woman who's a doctor told the anti-maskers that her mother is in hospital with COVID-19 because of people like them, to which the protester replied, "People die. Your father's not special." When an official at the mall asked them all to leave, one of them said, "In the '40s, would you ask a group of Black people to leave if they were harassed? Trump supporters are oppressed in America today."