Hate-filled protest clashes with family-friendly festival in Chestnut Hill

- A festival in Chestnut Hill was meant to be a time for fun for the whole family, but a protest interrupted the day. Now, one woman who stood up to the group protesting is considered a hero. 

Hillary O'Carroll says neighbors were enjoying the annual Harry Potter Festival when a group showed up shouting down black people, gay people, women and just about everyone they saw.

"It was the most horrible things I've ever heard shouted at children and the children were coming home from school and being brought to this festival with all of their costumes on and their delight," she said. "And they wait for this all year and these people were shouting things that I would never repeat to you."

Then, she remembered there were lawn signs posted all over the neighborhood.

"Within 30 minutes I was able to steal, I'm sorry, 30 signs to surround these people," she said. "We surrounded those signs and those protesters until they could no longer be seen and at some point with our chanting 'Love lives here'' they couldn't be heard and left."

But not before Bryan Powell found himself so upset by the group, he got into a dust up.

"I'm a middle-aged man. I'm not supposed to be getting into fist fights, but I don't know what came over me I just went after him," he said. "I hurt my back a little bit. I got some bruises and some bumps and things like that."

After peace was restored, Hillary went to replace the missing signs.

"That's why I put that post on Facebook to say, 'Hey, I'm sorry I stole your sign and we'll try to get it back." But people were like, 'You could have taken whatever you wanted from my yard.' It was a universally beautiful response."

She even ordered some extras. "I'm trying very hard today with you not to cry because I've been crying all day with the generosity of spirit people have afforded."

Neighbors think the group came from out of state.

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