Posted on June 17, 2024

Rightwing Conference in Detroit Is Canceled After Police Respond to Dispute

Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, June 15, 2024

The leader of a controversial rightwing group canceled their conference in Detroit, alleging they were kicked out of the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit, where he said they had plans to hold events. The move comes after Detroit police had responded to a dispute involving the group on Friday.

Nicholas Fuentes of the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) said Saturday on social media that the group was setting up the stage on Friday at the industrial center when people with the center told them they would not be allowed to proceed. Fuentes says they had a contract for the venue.

But an official with the Russell Industrial Center said they were tricked by the group and never had any contract directly with Fuentes or AFPAC. The center was working with a third party, “a local and reputable production company that does large scale corporate events for other reputable companies,” the spokesman said. He said they would have never accepted such an event if they had known what they promote.

“The event was canceled due to fraudulent, knowing misrepresentation of the true nature of the event by the production company for their client, and our concern of safety for our facility, employees, tenants, and the surrounding communities,” a spokesman for the Russell Industrial Center told the Free Press in a statement. “The amount of hate mail we’ve been receiving and terrible things being said towards us by the AFPAC following is disturbing and only affirms our decision as the right one.”

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Fuentes posted a photo on X of what appeared to be himself inside a center on Friday with some police officers near him.

“Yesterday we finished setting up our stage and then the venue called the cops to kick us out 24 hours before the event,” Fuente said on X. “It would have been our biggest yet with ~2,000 attendees.”

In addition to his post on X, Fuentes posted more details on Telegram about what he said happened. Fuentes said they were trying to negotiate Friday with the property manager when police arrived and threatened them with trespassing charges if they didn’t leave. Fuentes said about 100 people with their group were there and that the doors were then locked, with some of their equipment still inside.

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