An anti-immigrant man made sexually-explicit remarks, yelled racial slurs, and defaced a poster at a Latino voter mobilization event in Las Vegas last Friday.
The event was hosted by organizers from groups including Latino Victory Project, PLAN Action, and America’s Voice, and endorsed no political candidate for office.
The event — part of the #CuentaConmigo campaign in collaboration with Mexican rock band Maná — was instead encouraging Latino, immigrant, and APIA voters to commit to turning out in November.
A video released by event organizers shows the moment the man defaced the poster, which featured the painted handprints of community members pledging to exercise their right to vote in November.
Closer viewing of the clip shows that the man appears to be saying, “There’s your f—- papers.”
— Alexander Zapata (@AlexZapataU) September 16, 2016
Viridiana Vidal, State Director of Nevada’s Voice, tells the Las Vegas Review Journal the unidentified man repeatedly harassed the group over the course of the afternoon:
“It was not even political. We were just asking people to commit to vote,” Viridiana Vidal, Nevada director of America’s Voice, said of the event. “We were there having fun and then this guy came along and started saying horrible things to us.”
She did not list the slurs he yelled, but said the man also “came up to me and said he wanted to grab my butt.” A video one of the group’s volunteers posted to Facebook shows part of the interaction.
The man soon walked away, so the group of about 20 volunteers brushed the encounter off.
But the man quickly returned, then poured soda all over the group’s canvas. He also kicked some of the volunteers and yelled more slurs, Vidal said.
“We didn’t call the cops,” she said. “We just decided to leave.”
As the group packed up the soda-stained canvas, which they planned to send to Maná — a popular Mexican pop band — for an event in Florida, the man returned once more. This time, Vidal said, the man spilled canned beer on the canvas and volunteers, then threw the beer can at them.
“We’re just getting used to it now. The election has been very polarizing, and I think harassment is becoming kind of common,” Vidal said. “It’s sad that this is happening. Hopefully we’ll get through it until November.”
Vidal said the volunteers still plan to send the stained canvas to Maná for the Florida event, which will feature canvases submitted to the band from across the country, filled with symbolic “votes.”
“We’re still going to send it,” she said. “Ours is just going to stink.”