Miami-Dade Republican Party Chair Nelson Diaz turned up to protest House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during an event in southern Florida on Wednesday, right alongside the far-right “Proud Boys” street gang — a group that engages in political violence across the United States, according to Law & Crime.
> On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was attending an event in southern Florida for congressional candidate Donna Shalala at a Democratic Party campaign office. As Pelosi arrived, the Proud Boys and others circles around her but she was quickly guided inside a backdoor entrance by staff and security.
> According to footage obtained by Splinter, Proud Boys members and Miami-Dade Republican Party Chair Nelson Diaz began shouting and pounding on the doors of the building. The mob rush eventually prompted a lock-down by both Capitol Police and local law enforcement.
Diaz allegedly guided the gang to Shalala’s event, according to media reports, but after the planned protest turned into the scene of an angry mob, the GOP leader contended he was unaware the Proud Boys had attended until after the fact.
> Several commenters—including talk show hostMontel Williams–took issue with Diaz’s attempts to disavow the Proud Boys, however, noting that the GOP leader was in earshot as a gang member yelled:
> Open up! It’s the Proud Boys in here!
> Politico’sMarc Caputoalso noted that “Diaz was pounding on the Shalala campaign’s door while the Proud Boys leader was yelling ‘fucking communist!’ at Pelosi as she went into Shalala’s campaign office.”
The Miami-Dade GOP issued a statement after receiving heavy criticism over the event, though Diaz did not personally sign the statement: