Just in time for Hanukkah, in what was definitely not a stunt specifically orchestrated to get attention, conservative personality and self-proclaimed "citizen journalist" Laura Loomer donned a Holocaust-era Star of David and handcuffed herself to Twitter's NYC headquarters in protest this afternoon. "You can still subscribe to my website," Loomer told reporters while claiming that she had been "silenced in America" after her account was permanently removed from the social media site.
Loomer's account was removed last week for violating Twitter's terms against hateful conduct. The removal was in response to tweets by Loomer in which she accused newly-elected congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim, of being "anti-Jew," homophobic, and "pro-Sharia" because of her faith. The tweet itself was Loomer's way of criticizing the use of Omar's picture in a Twitter feature celebrating "women, LGBTQ, and minorities" because apparently, as a Somali refugee who just became one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, Omar is not an appropriate person to be associated with such celebrations.
"Twitter is upholding Sharia by banning me for stating facts about Sharia law," Loomer said as she stood outside of the building with a bullhorn and enlarged prints of her own tweets. What she conveniently neglected to tell reporters, however, was that she falsely attributed the "facts" of Sharia law to Omar's beliefs. By that logic, Loomer, herself Jewish, surely spends her Friday nights sitting quietly by candlelight, definitely not plowing, and avoiding the urge to shear any animal at all costs.
Earlier in the day, Loomer announced that she was joining a class action lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, Instagram, and YouTube for "discrimination against conservatives."
Police arrived at Loomer's protest and urged her to move, citing a fire hazard. However, because she had only cuffed herself to one of the building's double doors, people were able to enter and exit the building with only the slight inconvenience of the crowd and the grating, false equivalencies of the protester.
Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde