Fighting protests and transgender rights outside a Los Angeles spa became violent Saturday, resulting in projectiles being fired, police firing rubber bullets and more than a dozen arrests, according to a report.
Wi Spa in Koreatown had also been clashing earlier this month during protests over a viral video that appeared to show a customer complaining that a transgender woman had exposed herself to children.
On Saturday morning, LGBTQ activists gathered in front of the spa for counter-protesters who had gathered there to oppose transgender, condescending business, the LA Times reported.
Those protesting the spa’s policy waved signs saying “Save our children” and “Stop defending pedos,” the report said.
An illegal assembly was declared by police after members of the crowd threw projectiles, including some aimed at police, according to the report.
Recordings posted to social media, police showed in riots firing beanbags and rubber bullets at protesters.
“Most people left the area, but at present a number of arrests have been made for non-proliferation,” LAPD It. Meghan Aguilar told the newspaper, who reported that no one was injured.
A journalist from The Guardian covering the protest said she was attacked by protesters shouting about Jesus.
“Just thrown to the ground by right-wing anti-pedophile protesters when a crowd converged on me and chased me,” Lois Beckett tweeted.
Dueling demonstrations appear to have been spurred on by the same June 24 Instagram video that sparked the violent protests outside the spa on July 3.
“He’s a man,” an annoyed woman told staff in the clip. “He is not a woman. There are girls down there, other women who are very offended by what they just saw, and you did nothing. You stood next to him. ”
Questions have since been raised about the accuracy of the clip, according to the Los Angeles Blade, a local LGBT newspaper.
Law enforcement sources told the outlet they were unable to find evidence to confirm that a transgender person had actually been present at the company that day, leading to concerns that the video was being staged.
“I’m recording this because I’m going to make a big deal, I want to take this all over the world,” the complaining woman in the video sounds promising.
The spa defended its practice in a statement to Los Angeles Magazine.
“Like many other metropolitan areas, Los Angeles has a transgender population, some of whom enjoy visiting a spa,” the statement said. “Wi Spa strives to meet the needs of all its customers.”