The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke to two of the people seen in that video clips that circulated over the weekend about their behavior. First of all, the woman in the “Nazi Lived Don’t Matter” t-shirt who drank someone’s beer is named Nique Craft. Craft claims there is another side to the story which doesn’t appear in the video clips. Regarding the man hit over the head with a skateboard, here’s her claim:
Craft, who identifies as nonbinary, said the videos show only one side of the story and that there were three men from outside the protest who were screaming “Blue lives matter” at the protesters. When protesters began to confront them, one man began swinging a bike at people.
According to Craft’s account, a man began grabbing Craft’s hair and placed his hand on Craft’s chest, saying he was trying to stop Craft from engaging with another man.
Here’s that clip again:
PITTSBURGH PA pic.twitter.com/xXn6EQpENb
— Next POTUS Dr RollerGator PhD Rt’d by DJT (@drrollergator) September 7, 2020
Conveniently, Craft claims not to know who the man with the skateboard was, i.e. the guy who committed a violent assault on camera who was marching with the same group she was with all day…She doesn’t recognize him.
As for drinking the bystander’s beer, Craft claims that was a misunderstanding too:
When the confrontation ended, Craft said, a man in the restaurant began condemning the protesters’ actions. The woman who was with him offered Craft to come over, have a beer and talk about the situation.
“So, being a theatrical, snarky type of person that I am, I said that I don’t have time to wait for you to order another beer; I will take the one you have,” Craft said.
Here’s that clip:
PITTSBURGH PA pic.twitter.com/PxZGxpJIca
— Next POTUS Dr RollerGator PhD Rt’d by DJT (@drrollergator) September 6, 2020
Obviously if someone invites you over to have a beer and talk, they are trying to de-escalate a violent situation. When you walk over, take a beer that belongs to them and walk away, you’re not respecting that offer to have a discussion, you’re spitting on it. All of which makes sense because, according to another interview Craft gave to Pittsburgh Current, she believes anger should be playing a bigger role in the protests.
Along with that fear of coddling white protesters, Nique believes that anger has not played a large enough role in Pittsburgh’s protest. While we happily celebrate the death of the Pinkertons, dozens of people were arrested in East Liberty essentially because someone may or may not have thrown a water bottle at a riot cop.
“Logically, I think we should f**k s**t up like everybody else is. Also logically, I feel like we’re not ready for that,” Nique admits.
I don’t think logic has a lot to do with her thinking.
Another activists in the crowd is telling a similar story. Lorenzon Rulli is the tall person who shouted obsenities at the diners and gave them the finger. He said, “We were talking to people that were talking to us. The beer that was consumed was an offer. The glass that fell was a mistake.” The glass he knocked over may have accidentally fallen on the ground but someone else then came up and intentionally swiped another glass on the ground, breaking it. That wasn’t a mistake.
The most relevant point about this is that both Craft and Rulli have previously been arrested for rioting back in June:
In the last week, Pittsburgh police have charged several leaders of local ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests. Those charged include Christian Carter, Nique Craft and Dena Stanley.
All three are accused of riot, harassment, and other offenses related to a June 24 protest at a Downtown bar, 941 Saloon, where marchers allegedly chanted “burn it down.” Police affidavits say the protesters tried unsuccessfully to gain entry to the business, and then trapped patrons inside for about 25 minutes by duct-taping the front door shut. Marchers are also accused of damaging a security vehicle outside the bar by stabbing one of its tires and jumping on it.
Last week, activist Lorenzo Rulli also surrendered to police after being charged with 14 offenses related to the protest at the bar and two other demonstrations. Rulli was released from the Allegheny County Jail on the day he turned himself in. Carter, Craft, and Stanley also secured release pending further proceedings.
So harassing diners isn’t new for this group. They’ve already been arrested and charged for this sort of thing once before.
Even without that history, I wouldn’t believe these people aren’t telling the truth and here’s why. That video I posted as an update yesterday shows the same group nearly getting into a fist fight with a McDonald’s manager. They repeatedly scream about being touched even as they are shoving their bullhorns in people’s faces and their bodies into other people. It’s clear who is trying to escalate things.
Hopefully prosecutors won’t drop the previous charges if they see that this group’s behavior hasn’t changed.
The manager(Ed) @ this McD’s was upset that the protest was in front of the store. The crowd agreed to go in and give them a few hundred dollars worth of food orders. As they were giving the food to the protestors, the manager; started to get nasty with them @PghCurrent @WPXI pic.twitter.com/K3lwfF3ATc
— Ed Thompson (@ThompsonFoto12) September 6, 2020