One of the guys signaled 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 during World War II; sticker labels on his helmet depicting the image of American Nazi Party creator George Lincoln Rockwell and the slogan “White Lives Matter”; and a Confederate fight flag spot on his military-style backpack.
2 days later on, the 2 men joined members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. Among the group of more than a dozen males, about half wore skull masks. Their coats hid bulky tactical vests, and they carried heavy backpacks. After marching from the Washington Monument, the Proud Boys entourage collected at the end of the showing swimming pool, holding a position at the edge of the big anti-vaccination crowd and near a handful of counter-protesters clumped together at a neighboring knoll. At one point, some of the Proud Boys visited confront the counter-protesters, however then strolled off without incident.
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” These accelerationists– the men using skull masks, they use that due to the fact that they … were signifying to each other that they are extremists, however to the general public they are telegraphing that they are difficult, something to be feared, manly,” Kristofer Goldsmith, Sparverius CEO, told Raw Story. “Theyre attracting people 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 likewise a senior fellow at the Innovation Lab of Human Rights First, stated the Proud Boys public presence in DC last month marked a significant turn, following a year in which members across the nation have primarily focused on flashpoints of regional debate like school board meetings.
” That weekend Friday through Sunday, in between the anti-vax and anti-choice occasions, was the very first major return to DC after the attack on the Capitol,” Goldsmith said. “Though it wasnt the very same numbers and there wasnt violence the method there had been the year prior, what it did establish 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
Two days later, the 2 men signed up with members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. When a reporter published a picture of herself holding up the sticker label in front of the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial on Twitter, the Proud Boys chapter validated duty with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that read: “Local antifa residue desired an organization card. Last week, the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter reshared a propaganda video produced by the fascist media attire Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front throughout its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced top quality video from the occasion.” Western Chauvinism produces high-production quality video that is targeting Proud Boys,” Goldsmith stated. “Its shared in Proud Boys channels.
Members of the Proud Boys group also dispersed stickers at the anti-vaccination rally with the Proud Boys logo design and text, “We are viewing.” When a reporter posted an image of herself holding up the sticker in front of the crowd collected at the Lincoln Memorial on Twitter, the Proud Boys chapter verified responsibility with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that checked out: “Local antifa residue wanted an organization card. Thats right, we are viewing.”
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Matthew Kriner, the handling director of the Accelerationist Research Consortium, told Raw Story that he sees the text as a signal that the Proud Boys and their affiliates who participated in the rally “are looking for circumstances to insert themselves to instigate additional violence and destabilize the political system.” Kriner is likewise a senior research study 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 reveals theyre not scared to take part in instigator habits, because we saw them do that on January 6th,” Kriner included. “They instigated a crowd at a conservative event that became a riot.”
The Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter honored its appearance at the anti-vaccination rally by publishing a picture of a member nicknamed “Ghost” posturing with a plate provider in front of the Washington Monument, accompanied by the text, “Were back!” Another heavily stylized image posted on Telegram reveals a handful of members, including the neo-Nazi using the Croatian Legion patch, marching far from the Washington Monument. A variation of the image posted on Telegram shows the members superimposed on a war-ravaged urban landscape with the chapter logo slapped in the middle.
Members of the chapter did not react to ask for comment for this story. Raw Story was able to reach Brandon Heffner, who was identified as the recipient of funds from a GiveSendGo campaign to raise cash for a recent Christmas toy drive. Heffner informed Raw Story that he is not associated with the chapter, however accepted handle the funds for the toy drive.
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Raw Story also left a voicemail at a telephone number noted on the Telegram account for a user named “Joe Bonadio,” eliciting no action.
Regardless of Heffners claim to not be associated with the chapter, a Telegram user named “HEFF,” together with the “Joe Bonadio” account expressed enthusiasm for a prepared White Lives Matter rally in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area last March. In a channel established to promote the prepared rally, “HEFF” commented, “#f * ckantifa proudboys will be the there [sic] in plain clothes or not,” while “Joe Bonadio” composed, “Im with ya.” The person behind the “HEFF” account also appears to have a relative associated with the chapter. A user named “LadyHeff” occasionally discuss material on the chapters Telegram channel, including a post last month blaming people of color for city decay in which she wrote, “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 signs displayed in public by some of its members. Since December, the channel has actually forwarded a minimum of two posts from Greyson Arnold, a podcaster who has actually spoken approvingly about Nazi Germany and who as soon as deceived a Republican National Committee member into stating that white nationalist Nick Fuentes need to have a voice in selecting candidates to run for workplace in Republican primaries. Later that month, the channel for the Maryland DC chapter forwarded a post by Lauren Witzke, a former United States Senate prospect from Delaware who has actually retweeted posts from VDARE, a white nationalist site.
Beyond forwarding content from other white nationalists, the channel has actually contributed its own white power messaging. Without defining the target, a Dec. 29, 2021 post stated, “Special place in hell for these people. Day of the rope mutha fuka.”
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” Day of the rope” is a specific referral to The Turner Diaries, an unique composed by neo-Nazi William Pierce that motivated the Oklahoma City bombing and a many other acts of terrorism and racist violence by criminals seeking to replicate the books lead character by “stockpiling biological weapons, engaging in a racist shooting spree, robbing banks, and putting together pipeline bombs with Jewish and Black targets in mind,” according to the Southern Poverty Law.
” I would depict the Proud Boys as antisemitic, racist bigots; they would not see themselves as such,” stated Michael Loadenthal, an advisory board member at the Accelerationist Research Consortium. “Its undeniable when they begin sharing content that is explicitly racist and antisemitic.”
Loadenthal and Goldsmith both said the barriers in between Proud Boys and hardcore neo-Nazi groups, constantly permeable, are ending up being progressively porous.
Goldsmith stated antifascist researchers have actually identified existing members of the honestly fascist group Patriot Front who had actually 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 outfit Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front throughout its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced premium video from the event. Goldsmith informed Raw Story that a person of Patriot Front leader Thomas Rousseaus lieutenants, Graham Whitson, runs Media2Rises online store. Whitson was arrested 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.
Proud Boys Telegram channels, consisting of the Maryland DC chapter, consistently share material from the “Western Chauvinism” channel, which is called after a primary 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.
” The real 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 really Nazis, simply edge lords; were just trolling the libs. The reason we had kids in their early twenties appearing in Charlottesville is they started on the internet making jokes about the Holocaust, and then they started to believe in it.”