Among the guys indicated his white power beliefs in manner ins which were both outright and subtle: a patch with the red-and-white checkered insignia of the Croatian Legion, a department of the German Army throughout World War II; stickers on his helmet portraying the image of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell and the slogan “White Lives Matter”; and a Confederate battle flag spot on his military-style backpack.
Two days later on, the 2 men signed up with members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. Amongst the group of more than a dozen guys, about half wore skull masks. Their coats hid large tactical vests, and they carried heavy backpacks. After marching from the Washington Monument, the Proud Boys entourage gathered at the end of the reflecting swimming pool, holding a position at the edge of the large anti-vaccination crowd and near a handful of counter-protesters clumped together at a nearby knoll. At one point, a few of the Proud Boys went over to confront the counter-protesters, however then strolled off without incident.
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” These accelerationists– the people wearing skull masks, they wear that due to the fact that they … were signifying to each other that they are extremists, but to the general public they are telegraphing that they are difficult, something to be feared, manly,” Kristofer Goldsmith, Sparverius CEO, informed Raw Story. “Theyre drawing in individuals who believe its a drinking and street brawler club, and theyre putting them in a pipeline to extremism that ends in domestic terrorism.”
Goldsmith, who is also a senior fellow at the Innovation Lab of Human Rights First, stated the Proud Boys public presence in DC last month marked a substantial turn, following a year in which members across the nation have mainly focused on flashpoints of regional controversy like school board meetings.
” That weekend Friday through Sunday, in between the anti-choice and anti-vax events, was the very first significant return to DC after the attack on the Capitol,” Goldsmith stated. “Though it wasnt the exact same numbers and there wasnt violence the method there had been the year prior, what it did develop to these groups in their psychology is that it is now safe to return to DC in an election year.”
Accelerationists at March for Life
Members of the Proud Boys group also dispersed sticker labels at the anti-vaccination rally with the Proud Boys logo and text, “We are watching.” When a journalist posted a photo of herself holding up the sticker in front of the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Twitter, the Proud Boys chapter verified responsibility with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that read: “Local antifa scum wanted a business card. Thats right, we are seeing.”
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Matthew Kriner, the managing director of the Accelerationist Research Consortium, told Raw Story that he views the text as a signal that the Proud Boys and their affiliates who attended the rally “are looking for situations to insert themselves to initiate further violence and destabilize the political system.” Kriner is also a senior research scholar at the Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
” After January 6th, this sticks out to me as something that shows theyre not afraid to take part in provocateur habits, because we saw them do that on January 6th,” Kriner added. “They instigated a crowd at a conservative occasion that ended up being a riot.”
The Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter celebrated its look at the anti-vaccination rally by posting an image of a member nicknamed “Ghost” posturing with a plate carrier in front of the Washington Monument, accompanied by the text, “Were back!” Another greatly elegant image published on Telegram reveals a handful of members, consisting of the neo-Nazi wearing the Croatian Legion patch, marching far from the Washington Monument. A variation of the image posted on Telegram reveals the members superimposed on a war-ravaged city landscape with the chapter logo slapped in the middle.
Members of the chapter did not react to demands for remark for this story. Raw Story had the ability to reach Brandon Heffner, who was determined as the recipient of funds from a GiveSendGo campaign to raise cash for a current Christmas toy drive. Heffner told Raw Story that he is not involved in the chapter, but accepted handle the funds for the toy drive.
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Raw Story likewise left a voicemail at a phone number listed on the Telegram account for a user named “Joe Bonadio,” generating no response.
Regardless of Heffners claim to not be associated with the chapter, a Telegram user named “HEFF,” along with the “Joe Bonadio” account revealed interest for a prepared White Lives Matter rally in the DC-Maryland-Virginia location last March. In a channel established to promote the prepared rally, “HEFF” commented, “#f * ckantifa proudboys will be the there [sic] in plain clothing or not,” while “Joe Bonadio” wrote, “Im with ya.” The person behind the “HEFF” account also appears to have a member of the family involved in the chapter. A user named “LadyHeff” regularly talk about content on the chapters Telegram channel, including a post last month blaming people of color for urban decay in which she composed, “They can take their diversity and shove it up their ass.”
The ethno-nationalist material shared on the chapters Telegram channel echoes the white power symbols displayed in public by a few of its members. Considering that December, the channel has actually forwarded at least two posts from Greyson Arnold, a podcaster who has actually spoken approvingly about Nazi Germany and who when duped a Republican National Committee member into stating that white nationalist Nick Fuentes need to have a voice in picking prospects to run for workplace in Republican primaries. Later that month, the channel for the Maryland DC chapter forwarded a post by Lauren Witzke, a previous US Senate prospect from Delaware who has retweeted posts from VDARE, a white nationalist website.
Beyond forwarding content from other white nationalists, the channel has contributed its own white power messaging. Without specifying the target, a Dec. 29, 2021 post stated, “Special place in hell for these individuals. Day of the rope mutha fuka.”
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” Day of the rope” is an explicit referral to The Turner Diaries, a novel written by neo-Nazi William Pierce that motivated the Oklahoma City battle and a many other acts of terrorism and racist violence by criminals seeking to emulate the novels protagonist by “stockpiling biological weapons, participating in a racist shooting spree, robbing banks, and assembling pipe bombs with Black and jewish targets in mind,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
” I would portray the Proud Boys as antisemitic, racist bigots; they would not see themselves as such,” said Michael Loadenthal, a board of advisers member at the Accelerationist Research Consortium. “Its undeniable when they begin sharing content that is explicitly racist and antisemitic.”
Loadenthal and Goldsmith both stated the barriers between Proud Boys and hardcore neo-Nazi groups, constantly permeable, are becoming progressively porous.
Goldsmith stated antifascist researchers have recognized present members of the openly fascist group Patriot Front who had previously been determined as Proud Boys, showing a migration in between the 2 groups and a radicalization course towards more severe violence and racism.
Recently, the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter reshared a propaganda video produced by the fascist media clothing Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front during its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced premium video from the occasion. Goldsmith told Raw Story that one of Patriot Front leader Thomas Rousseaus lieutenants, Graham Whitson, operates Media2Rises online shop. Whitson was apprehended with Rousseau in August 2020 for plastering Patriot Front sticker labels on the grounds of county court house in Grapevine, Texas.
” Here, were establishing the skeleton of how the Proud Boy-fascist pipeline works,” Goldsmith said.
Happy Boys Telegram channels, consisting of the Maryland DC chapter, regularly share content from the “Western Chauvinism” channel, which is called after a main tenet of Proud Boys doctrine.
” Western Chauvinism produces high-production quality video that is targeting Proud Boys,” Goldsmith said. “Its shared in Proud Boys channels. Its encouraging individuals to accept fascism as the true law-and-order ideology. I recognize the propaganda videos are fatal severe, and theyre developed by individuals who are fatal major.
” The actual absurdity of attempting to whitewash Hitler and put on pedestal Hitler himself and the rise of the Nazis is intentionally too far,” he continued. “Its part of the Proud Boys claim that were not actually Nazis, simply edge lords; were just trolling the libs. The reason we had kids in their early twenties revealing up in Charlottesville is they started on the internet making jokes about the Holocaust, and after that they started to think in it.”
Two days later on, the 2 guys signed up with members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. When a journalist posted a photo of herself holding up the sticker label in front of the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Twitter, the Proud Boys chapter validated responsibility with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that checked out: “Local antifa residue desired a service card. Last week, the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter reshared a propaganda video produced by the fascist media clothing Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front throughout its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced high-quality video from the event.” Western Chauvinism produces high-production quality video that is targeting Proud Boys,” Goldsmith stated. “Its shared in Proud Boys channels.