Gamer hangout Esports Arena cancelled a scheduled event featuring Alt-Right speakers in downtown Santa Ana, one day after scuffles broke out between Trumpsters and protesters at Congressman Lou Correa's town hall in the city leading to arrests. Before getting canned, Irvine-based Make Cali Great promoted "The Summer of Conservatism" as the "biggest gathering of young conservative voices, influencers and community." The nixed July 9 event boasted a lineup of speakers including "Alt-Knight" and repeat felon Kyle Chapman, whose claim to "Based Stickman" fame came when getting arrested in Berkeley for assault with a deadly weapon after hitting an antifa protester on the head with a stick.
Troy Worden (President of the UC Berkeley College Republicans), Mac Young (Trump's California Campaign Technology Director), Scott McAffee (SmackTalk Studios) and someone named Susan Walsh planned to join Chapman on the panel of conservative speakers. "The Summer of Conservatism" was to dish on a whole host of topics including sanctuary city policies (like SanTana?), voter fraud (like Trump's baseless claim of 3 million illegal votes in the presidential election?), illegal immigration (like our Mexican-in-Chief's dad coming to the U.S. hidden in the trunk of a Chevy?) and others—all in the name of free speech.
Earlier this month, the event had a longer list of participants including vlogger Tim Treadstone (better known as "Baked Alaska") whose Nazi-flirting, anti-Semitic tweets were even too much for OC's own Alt-Righter Mike Cernovich who disinvited him from January's pro-Trump "DeploraBall" in Washington D.C. The event page reappeared with a shortened list of special guests sans Baked Alaska, but with a note saying "several other conservative speakers" would be featured. More than 100 guests already reserved seats with $30 tickets and $100 VIP passes.
Even in revised form, "The Summer of Conservatism" came as an affront to Santa Ana activists when they learned of the planned event a block away from La Cuatro. But there won't be any need to protest in July after a chorus of complaints came Esports Arena's way. "We reviewed the scope of the event and have concluded the event will not be held at Esports Arena for a variety of reasons, including concerns for safety, property damage and the well-being of our neighbors," Esports Arena states in an email to the Weekly. "On Sunday, July 9, we will host an event for community members who have not yet experienced Esports Arena to see the venue and play video games at no charge."
Make Cali Great didn't respond to the Weekly's request for comment on the cancellation.
Esports Arena further states that "The Summer of Conservatism" was booked through a third-party event planning platform unaffiliated with the venue's owners, operators or staff. "We are proud to have hosted many successful third-party events at Esports Arena, including fundraisers for the Children's Hospital, LGBT Center of Orange County and Make-A-Wish Foundation, and look forward to hosting many more in the future," the venue's statement reads. "At the same time, we want to highlight that we are primarily a video game event and broadcast venue, and our loyal fan base will continue to be our top priority."
Don't fret, Based Stickman fans. Make Cali Great and OC Proud Boys are bringing him to speak at Old World Restaurant in Huntington Beach this August alongside OC GOP Central Committee member (and Bircher) Deborah Pauly. Oh wait, that ain't happening, either. Old World released a statement on Facebook yesterday calling promotion of the "Celebration of Western Culture" event all were slated to speak at as "false advertising" while not condoning its message.
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The Bavarian boldness didn't last too long. Old World retracted its statement last night in favor of a more watered-down one. "Old World Restaurant and Festival Hall Management has not booked or cancelled any event by the group 'Proud Boys,'" the new Facebook statement reads. "Our venue does not wish to become embroiled in any political divisiveness." The condemnation of the event got scrubbed in favor of a non-political stance. Old World now tells its patrons it wants to provide the public with a "safe, non-discriminatory, and politically-neutral venue for the exercise of any speech protected by the First Amendment."
SanTana and HB on the same page about nixing extreme right-wing events—on the same day to boot? That's not even the shocking part. Is Old World's reputation as a skinhead hang out—even after frowned-upon Holocaust revisionist meetings and neo-Nazi Hitler birthday parties decades ago—now a thing of the past? My, how the OC turns...