Fighting broke out after several hours of tense protests in front of Old Nick’s Pub in Eugene on Sunday, with division over defending or attacking the pub for hosting a drag story time event with an 11-year-old performer. 

Some 250 people lined the sidewalks next to the pub on Washington Street to support the pub and event. About 50 protesters were on the opposite sidewalk. 

The conflict began a week ago after online commenters and right-wing personalities caught wind of the drag show and accused the event of sexualizing children who perform in it. A protest was organized targeting the pub, and in response, community members planned a counterprotest titled “Eugene stands against hate.”  

In a Facebook statement Friday, the pub said those outraged at the event have “twisted what is a fun and innocent event for kids and families into something disgusting and vile.”

Protesters are reflected in the sunglasses of drag performer Emma Lavin, 49, as she talks with them during a protest outside Old Nick’s Pub.

Supporters Sunday shouted: “This is what protecting kids looks like,” “Go home Nazis,” and six people held a large banner reading “Protect trans youth.”

The protesters held signs that read: “What kind of monster exposes kids to this” and several yelled, “Save our children.”

After arriving a little before 10 a.m., both sides began drifting into the middle of Washington Street, which Eugene Police closed off at 11 a.m. Officers did not try to stop either group’s protest but staged police cars around the area and several on the nearly Interstate 105 overpass. 





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