Mill Avenue had a strange visit today from a belligerent set of street preachers led by Ruben Israel.
Amid his group, Israel brought five extremely well-girthed men, five large plastic signs, and one bullhorn. They stopped in front of the popular Mill Ave bar the Mill Cue Club—a place where other preachers have done a similar thing—the major exception, however, is that Israel’s crew are actively abrasive. The men with Israel used a particular tactic of insulting first and then asking questions later, they would pick elements on a persons clothing, their attitude, or racial features and throw epithets and slurs to gain attention.
Marcus Mattingly, one of the proper Mill Ave Christian street preachers, describes Ruben Israel as a heretic and people shouldn’t listen to him anyway. The presence of the new preachers and their signs did not affect the major Mill Ave preachers at all. The crowds did start to clutter around the Mill Cue Club, but it didn’t draw attention from the street preachers nor did it cause them any frustration. Other than a few shrugged shoulders and rolled eyes, thus was the entirety of Israel’s impact.
The Mill Avenue Resistance, in the persons of Gadfly and Kazz, quit their usual position protesting the usual street preachers and moved next to Israel and his crew in front of the Mill Cue Club.
Instead of putting up any sort of rational discussion or civil conversation, Israel and his posse only spat back insults and vituperations. Responses consisted primarily of non sequitur nonsense, abuse, racial slurs, and political insults. Gadfly brought the brunt of the attacks with her femininity being called into question and other hyper-misogynistic speech. Kazz was met with name-calling about his appearance every time he spoke, being called a hippy and branded as effeminate. These men obviously have massive problems with women—it certainly explains why there wasn’t a single woman among them.
Passersby also absorbed some abuse from them as they tried to shout over the noise from within the bar.
Mostly they would stop random people and call them “gay” as if that were actually an insult.
When I attempted to stop Rube Israel himself to ask him who he was with and what they were doing he chose to insult me ineffectually. At one point he called me out for not being able to read his sign even though I wear spectacles (wouldn’t that be why I’m wearing spectacles?) The address of his web page, whilst visible on the signs, was printed over the point where the pole inserts into the sign itself and thus made it difficult to make out. He also casually claimed that I was a Satanist. Not that I am, nor is that really much of an insult either, but he used it with the same role as their attention grabbing insults.
There wasn’t much of any substance to Ruben Israel’s circus act.