In the Marriott in the Center City section of Philadelphia, where Moms for Liberty had booked a room block for its conference, Agenda PAC – the nation’s sole political action committee that uses aggressive paid communications tactics to hold anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and electoral groups accountable – delivered “Please Disturb” door hangers.
Representatives from the group reserved a hotel room in the same building where Moms of Liberty had reserved its rooms, the organization said.
At night, activists wandered the hallways of the property and placed hangers on the exterior of all the doors, videos obtained by The Advocate show.
One door sign read, “AGENDA PAC Welcomes you to the Gayborhood!” with an illustration of two men kissing. “Hate has no place in Philly. Get Moms for Liberty out of our city!”
The other read, “Please disturb. Fascism in progress. Did you know a designated hate group is staying at this hotel?”
Moms for Liberty was categorized as an anti-government extremist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center recently. "Moms for Liberty is a far-right organization that engages in anti-student inclusion activities and self-identifies as part of the modern parental rights movement. The group grew out of opposition to public health regulations for COVID-19, opposes LGBTQ+ and racially inclusive school curriculum, and has advocated books bans," SPLC states.
An organizer with Agenda PAC who asked to not be identified tells The Advocate that the action was a success.
“It went great,” the person said. “It actually felt like we were in Ocean's Eleven. We had rented a hotel room and discreetly did the drop around midnight.”
They added, “We saw a manager with it in hand on the way out.”
Last week in Indiana, a chapter of Moms for Liberty released a newsletter that prominently featured a quote by Adolf Hitler. The group first defended the passage before apologizing for using the Nazi leader’s words in its messaging.
According to VICE News, Moms for Liberty chapters are associated with extremist groups like the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, sovereign citizen groups, QAnon conspiracy proponents, and Christian nationalists. Several extreme groups and militias allied with Moms for Liberty have joined forces with the “parental rights” group in recent years, pushing its already radical agenda even further.
“If Moms for Liberty thought they would have a quiet weekend, they came to the wrong city,” said Tariem Burroughs, the treasurer of Agenda PAC and a queer Philadelphia parent. “I am a proud gay man and father, and I am disgusted to see hate groups like M4L interfering in public education. We delivered these door hangers to send a message: your hate is not welcome in Philadelphia, and we will disturb your plot to take over school boards with your radical ideology.”
Republican presidential hopefuls, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ex-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump, spoke at Philadelphia’s controversial Moms for Liberty summit.
In his remarks at the Marriott in Center City on Friday, DeSantis commended the group for “coming under attack by the left,” describing it as “a sign that we are winning this fight.”
In Florida, he pushed to ban instruction about race and sexual identity from classrooms and certain books from school libraries. He also promised to “fight the woke” as president.
“2024 is going to be the year when the parents across the country finally fight back,” he said.
In addition, Haley argued against transgender women athletes joining women’s teams in sports, an issue that conservatives see as “one of the biggest women’s issues of our time.”
“They are literally trying to erase all the progress we have made in all of this time,” Haley claimed. “We have to fight for our girls.”
Trump is expected to speak later Friday afternoon.
Moms for Liberty has established relationships with influential Republican organizations, politicians, and donors to become a significant force in 2024. As of this writing, the group has said it won’t endorse any presidential candidates in the primary.
In the past year, the group has grown to include 285 chapters in 45 states, up from three Florida moms opposing COVID-19 mandates in 2021. For his backing of multiple bills the organization supported, Moms for Liberty presented DeSantis with a “liberty sword” last year.
Moms for Liberty, which held its welcome reception at the Museum of the American Revolution on Thursday, has been the target of protests since arriving in the city of brotherly love.
It is the first time Agenda PAC has launched a nationwide countermove to hate groups like Moms for Liberty that support anti-LGBTQ+ candidates. It is expected that Agenda PAC will announce its list of targeted school board seats in the coming weeks.
Agenda PAC spent five figures on a geo-targeted campaign to slam Moms for Liberty in Center City Philly, reaching an estimated 1.2 million impressions, according to a statement by the organization.
The group's ads, which target Philadelphia near the conference, are intended to raise awareness about the organization’s new campaign to affect school board elections nationwide.