The cast of Shakespeare in the Park, Public Theater’s “Julius Caesar” has blood on its hands, said the protester who broke up the show’s pivotal assassination scene.
“People just saw the consequence of this normalization of political violence this week when Congressman [Steve] Scalise was shot,” said Laura Loomer, an alt-right journalist who live-streamed her rush onto the Central Park stage Friday night.
“People on the left who have ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ now, they are influenced by these ideas and they’re desensitized to violence,” Loomer said.
“Everybody who has condoned political violence, cheered Kathy Griffin on, supported violet imagery against the president, anybody who has supported ‘Julius Caesar,’ they have blood on their hands because it contributes to the overall desensitization of violence,” she said.
“When are they going to stop?”
Loomer, who works for The Rebel, a right-wing Canadian Web site, said that Delacorte Theater audiences should brace themselves for more disruptions during the show’s final performances.
“There are people that are going to show up [Sunday], too,” she promised.
Loomer — who halted the show with shouts of “Stop leftist violence!” and “New York Public Theater is ISIS!” — was arrested Friday and charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
“I’m not upset that I was arrested,” she said. “But I have nothing to apologize for.
“The theater needs to apologize,” she added. “It’s a public park. I’m not sure how they can claim I was trespassing.”
The Public Theater’s Twitter account claimed early Saturday that a pair of “paid protesters” had briefly disrupted the performance.
“While we are champions of the first amendment, this interruption unfortunately was part of a paid strategy driven by social media,” the statement read.
Loomer disputed that account, saying that she had not been paid for the stunt and that she did not coordinate with a second protester at the same show.
Right-wing writer Jack Posobiec — who denounced the Public and its audience from his seat and streamed Loomer’s stage-rush on Twitter while shouting, “You are all Goebbels!” — was not arrested.
And social-media personality Mike Cernovich offered $1,000 to any show attendee who would protest “Julius Caesar” during its final three performances this weekend. Cernovich picked up Loomer’s live-stream on Friday, sending the video to his 300,000 followers.
BREAKING: Julius Ceasar Gets SHUTDOWN pic.twitter.com/ITgfMR0tHE
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 17, 2017
William Shakespeare’s 400-year-old play, a cautionary tale about the futility of political violence, is frequently staged in modern dress to make points about current events. A range of leaders — from US presidents like Lyndon B. Johnson and Barack Obama to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini — have been mimicked in the title role.
But Loomer argued that the Public Theater’s Trump-like characterization of Caesar — “You can’t tell me that this play is not about Donald Trump . . . they have him tweeting in the bathtub” — is contributing to a wave of violent threats against the president.
“There’s been over 12,000 tweets calling for Trump’s assassination on Twitter since he’s been elected,” Loomer said. “I haven’t seen 12,000 stories in the news about people who have been arrested for planning to kill the president.”
An hour after Loomer’s arrest, The Rebel Web site asked readers to donate to her legal defense fund.
Meanwhile, Shakespeare festivals and theater companies nationwide are being inundated by angry and threatening messages, phone calls and social-media posts from confused conservatives blaming them for the Public Theater’s production.
Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., Shakespeare Dallas and the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, DC, have all heard complaints about the New York show, the Boston Globe reported Friday.
“I don’t know that it’s ever been this acute,” Shakespeare & Company artistic director Allyn Burrows told the paper. “We’re in an environment now where the verbal gloves are off.”
Loomer was unmoved.
“I think it’s disgusting,” she said. “There’s a difference between free speech and promoting the assassination of President Trump.”
Julia Caesar meets Laura Loomer https://t.co/THlerwmODp
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) June 17, 2017