Jon Jacobsen had just passed a peaceful Saturday afternoon at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and made his way back out the front door.
Jacobsen stopped in his tracks when he realized something was amiss.
On one side of the entryway, a crowd of leftist protesters held signs and chanted in the general direction of the entrance. A group of Minneapolis police officers were present.
As Jacobsen would later figure out, the left-wingers, members of the local Industrial Workers of the World chapter, had heard word of a small gathering of neo-Nazis in the museum that day. They'd shown up to demonstrate in favor of immigrants, and present a vocal oppositon to the right wing.
According to Jacobsen, one man got the demonstrators' attention and let them know where he stood.
"Heil Trump!" he called out, repeatedly, Jacobsen says, flashing his right hand into the air in a Nazi salute.
That's when Jacobsen took out his phone, recording the tense aftermath of that provocation.
The police presence was enough to head off a physical confrontation, though it seems one had already happened inside.
The Star Tribune reports a "trio" of guys "said to look like neo-Nazis" entered the museum on Saturday afternoon and headed for the third floor. According to a witness, they were there to "guard" classical European (read: white) art that happened to be placed near a protest-themed exhibit with photos of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. (The horror.)
Turns out the alleged neo-Nazis were the ones who could've used guards: Quoting the same witness, the Star Tribune says some protesters had followed the three fellows in and confronted them. Words were exchanged, and a "shoving match" ensued, with at least a few "punches thrown." A museum spokeswoman says one among the right-wingers was "attacked," but declined to press charges.
Cops were called to the scene, and made no arrests, but are in possession of museum surveillance tape of the incident.
The reported (tiny) neo-Nazi gathering comes in the wake of a series of Nazi-related episodes on the University of Minnesota campus, as well as the appearance of swastikas in prominent areas around the Twin Cities.
No injuries were reported related to the museum fight, and none of the art was harmed. Witnesses cannot confirm Dr. King, Gandhi, and several religious figures depicted in nearby paintings were seen shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads.
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