A convention for furry enthusiasts in Denver was scrubbed due to security concerns after a niche sect adopted a symbol similar to the Nazi swastika, according to a local report.
The alarming logo — a black paw on a red background — sent throngs of anthropomorphic critters into a fury, especially as the outlying “Furry Raiders” group threatened to bring weapons for self-defense, the Denver Post reported.
Rocky Mountain Fur Con Chairman Zachary Brooks blamed the rising cost of security for ultimately canceling the Aug. 11-13 event at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.
“People overreacted,” Brooks told the Denver paper. “As it got more and more heated, people started talking about beating up people wearing the symbol.”
“They said ‘We’ve got a right to protect ourselves and we are going to bring weapons,’” he added.
In a statement to convention’s Twitter, Brooks said security costs accounted for a third of their budget.
He didn’t directly identify the “Furry Raiders” as the culprits in the Monday post but said the movement “promotes violence.”
“I will no longer continue to subject my staff and our community to the lies, hate, violence and slander that was disseminated by a small, vocal minority,” Brooks wrote.
In January, the convention already started its attempt in squashing apparent white supremacist ties among its members. It issued a ban on articles of clothing, including arm bands, that “display offensive messages or symbols.”
KMGH-TV noted deeper intrigue within the furry convention.
The head of the Mid America Anthropomorphic and Art Corporation, which runs the Denver convention, sent a cease and desist letter to a furry participant who threatened to “punch these Nazis.”
Kendal Emery, a convicted sex offender, signed the letter with a blood red fingerprint, which the FBI views as a symbol of the sovereign citizens movement.
The convention would have been the group’s 10th year in Denver. The 2016 event drew in more than 1,600 participants, according to KMGH-TV.