The far-right demonstrators seen waving in Orlando last week have been identified as , according to experts who specialize in hate groups.
Ben Popp, an investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Orlando Sentinel that the group, which is known by its initials “OBS,” is “a small white supremacist network based in the state of Florida.”
“They formed earlier this year, from individuals who have been involved in other whites supremacist groups and organizations in the state of Florida for the past couple of years,” Popp said.
“So these individuals are well known to us.”
Popp told the Sentinel that OBS and other extremist organizations “work together in the state of Florida in order to make themselves appear bigger than they are to both intimidate communities, but also to normalize their anti-Semitism and normalize their other forms of hate as well.”
“You know, they want these sorts of things to be a common occurrence. So that people will sort of get used to this and become desensitized.”
“That’s really their whole goal is to desensitize communities to their hate,” Popp told the Sentinel.
Anna Eskamani, a state legislator who represents Orlando in the Florida House of Representatives, posted brief clips on her Twitter account Saturday showing several individuals waving flags with the infamous swastika as well as other fascist symbols and homophobic signs outside the famous theme park.
Eskamani’s images showed a banner touting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign.