NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Protesters outside of the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in Niagara Falls are demanding change. Their anger is directed toward this podcasting studio, Yowawa Media Services. It's owned by Peter Green. The protesters say Green is allowing white supremacists to use his studio to spread hate speech.
“They have no business being inside a place where artists reside. It is dangerous and they have no business in our community,” said Jennifer Page, one the protest organizers.
“White supremacy is not an art. Homophobia is not an art. And transphobia is not an art. Harassing members of this community because you don't agree with them is not an art and it doesn't belong inside of our cultural center,” said Julia Stevens.
“We have Proud Boys in Western New York. This is a huge problem, and this place is providing a platform for white supremacy,” added Page.
“They spread unpopular opinion and that is free speech. They don't spread hate,” said Green.
Yowawa does host a show by the New York Watchmen. Green says it's a local, peaceful organization, with no connection the Mississippi Watchmen who are listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of Anti-Government organizations.
“I've gone to one of their initial meetings,” said Green. “I wanted to know what they were about. They're not white supremacist. They are not racists.”
Protesters say the NACC held a meeting on Wednesday to determine if the podcast studio can stay in the building. The NACC did not respond to our requests for clarification or comment. Green did not know about any meeting.
“They can spread whatever message they want from their basement, just not inside of our cultural center,” said Stevens.
Green says he is not worried about being asked to leave but will continue to work with his current shows.
“A cultural center like this, an art center, this is free expression. People don't come in here and aren't preached to,” said Green.
“Freedom of speech should not involve hate speech,” said Page.