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Man who protested Austin neo-Nazi speech pleads guilty

A 22-year-old Minneapolis man who protested a neo-Nazi’s speech in Austin last fall pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Thursday in Mower County court.

For the petty misdemeanor offense, Christopher Michael Lawson will pay a $100 fine.

According to a police report, Lawson was among a crowd of 25 to 30 that rallied against Samuel Johnson, an Austin resident and member of the National Socialist Movement, on Oct. 17 in front of the downtown Law Enforcement Center.

The crowd pushed in on Johnson and three supporters, while some hurled Jell-O cups and other objects. According to the report, police spotted Lawson being verbally aggressive and throwing food toward the neo-Nazis. An officer used a chemical spray to subdue Lawson and bring him in to custody.

An Austin resident was also charged in connection with the incident.

Matthew Donald Novak, 21, previously pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly, which carries a $185 fine. According to the report, Novak stepped on Johnson’s public address speaker during the melee, but he told police it was accidental. Novak was then arrested without confrontation.

A third individual, 22-year-old Naomi Alaska Snoozy, of Minneapolis, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. Snoozy pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last week and is subject to a $100 fine.

On Oct. 17, Snoozy was told by an officer to back up as she got closer to the neo-Nazis but she refused, the report states.

The officer then put out his hand and said, “Can you step back, ma’am?” Snoozy replied by saying she was a boy and continued to push forward.

When the officer took control of Snoozy by the hand, she went limp and fell to the ground, according to the report. Another officer assisted in carrying her away from the crowd.

While in jail, Snoozy said she was a boy but not born with any male parts. She said she’d be more comfortable staying with men in jail.

Snoozy was released that day and the report does not indicate whether she was detained with men or women.