A group of apparent white supremacists disrupted a drag queen story hour in Taunton over the weekend when masked men entered the city’s public library and others gathered outside chanting the name of a hate group.
Five men in masks entered the room where the story hour was being held and some members of the group were escorted out of the room “when they became disruptive” verbally.
Officers were assigned to the library and there were four inside the room where the event was held, as well as “a large crowd of officers and people from the group outside in the hallway,” according to a police spokesman.
Members of the neo-Nazi group NSC-131 said in a series of social media posts that they interrupted the event on Saturday, although law enforcement has not independently confirmed their participation.
“NSC 131 shut down a Drag Queen Story Hour in Taunton, Massachusetts,” read one post on Gab, a platform popular with some on the far right. “A contingent of activists entered the event and the Drag Queen was escorted away minutes later.”
NSC-131 has been classified as a neo-Nazi organization by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.
The demonstrators chanted “NSC-131″ and yelled anti-pedophile slogans until the event ended, according to police reports and a witness.
Additional police officers were dispatched to the library at 10:23 a.m., the police spokesman said. He declined to say why.
Library officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
In a statement, Mayor Shaunna O’Connell did not specifically address the incident.
“Many people work together to ensure that Taunton is a welcoming and inclusive city,” O’Connell said. “People have the right to disagree and to protest, but it must be done respectfully and lawfully. I am thankful to the Taunton Police Department for maintaining the peace and enforcing our laws to keep our residents and all events held in our City safe.”
The New Hampshire attorney general’s office said prosecutors and police in Portsmouth, N.H., have launched civil “enforcement actions” against NSC-131 founder Christopher R. Hood Jr., the group itself, and a man named Leo Anthony Cullinan for allegedly hanging banners that read “Keep New England White” from a Route 1 overpass in Portsmouth last July.
Hood made headlines last summer in Boston when he led a demonstration of roughly a dozen masked men outside the Loring Greenough House in Jamaica Plain, where families gathered for the story hour event, police said.
Globe correspondent Nick Stoico and Shannon Larson of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.