Why accelerationist Proud Boys latched on to big conservative rallies in DC last month

The weekend of Jan. 21-23 brought the yearly anti-choice March for Life to Washington, DC, followed 2 days later by the Defeat the Mandates rally to oppose vaccine mandates. The 2 occasions brought countless conservatives to the countrys capital, together with throngs of reactionary extremists seeking to recruit from their ranks.
A phalanx of members from the avowedly fascist group Patriot Front formed their own column along the March for Life, under heavy cops security as antifascist counter-protesters confronted them. Patriot Fronts look, in turn, appeared to serve as a magnet for other extremists. Two young guys wearing khaki pants, camouflage coats, work boots and skull masks, as recorded in a video by a team member of the veteran-owned open-source intelligence firm Sparverius, appeared and heckled the counter-protesters as Patriot Front members marched past.
One of the men signified his white power beliefs in manner ins which were both blatant and subtle: a spot with the red-and-white checkered insignia of the Croatian Legion, a department of the German Army throughout World War II; sticker labels on his helmet illustrating the image of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell and the motto “White Lives Matter”; and a Confederate battle flag patch on his military-style knapsack.
Two days later on, the two males signed up with members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. After marching from the Washington Monument, the Proud Boys entourage gathered at the end of the showing pool, holding a position at the edge of the big anti-vaccination crowd and near a handful of counter-protesters clumped together at a nearby knoll.
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” These accelerationists– the guys wearing skull masks, they use that due to the fact that they … were signaling to each other that they are extremists, however to the public they are telegraphing that they are difficult, something to be feared, manly,” Kristofer Goldsmith, Sparverius CEO, told Raw Story. “Theyre drawing in people who think 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, said the Proud Boys public existence in DC last month marked a substantial turn, following a year in which members across the country have actually primarily focused on flashpoints of local debate like school board meetings.
” That weekend Friday through Sunday, between the anti-choice and anti-vax events, was the first major 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 actually 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

Members of the Proud Boys group likewise distributed sticker labels at the anti-vaccination rally with the Proud Boys logo and text, “We are enjoying.” When a reporter 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 confirmed duty with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that checked out: “Local antifa scum wanted an organization card. Thats right, we are viewing.”
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Matthew Kriner, the handling director of the Accelerationist Research Consortium, informed Raw Story that he sees the text as a signal that the Proud Boys and their affiliates who attended the rally “are trying to find scenarios to place themselves to prompt further 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 shows theyre not afraid to take part in instigator habits, because we saw them do that on January 6th,” Kriner included. “They prompted a crowd at a right-wing event that ended up being a riot.”
The Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter honored its appearance at the anti-vaccination rally by publishing an image of a member nicknamed “Ghost” presenting 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, including the neo-Nazi using the Croatian Legion spot, marching away from the Washington Monument. A variation of the image posted on Telegram shows the members superimposed on a war-ravaged metropolitan landscape with the chapter logo design slapped in the middle.
Members of the chapter did not react to ask for remark for this story. Raw Story had the ability to reach Brandon Heffner, who was identified as the recipient of funds from a GiveSendGo campaign to raise money for a current Christmas toy drive. Heffner informed Raw Story that he is not involved in the chapter, but concurred to handle the funds for the toy drive.
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Raw Story likewise left a voicemail at a contact number listed on the Telegram account for a user called “Joe Bonadio,” generating no reaction.
Regardless of Heffners claim to not be associated with the chapter, a Telegram user called “HEFF,” along with the “Joe Bonadio” account expressed interest for a prepared White Lives Matter rally in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area last March. In a channel set up to promote the prepared rally, “HEFF” commented, “#f * ckantifa proudboys will be the there [sic] in plain clothes or not,” while “Joe Bonadio” wrote, “Im with ya.” The person behind the “HEFF” account also appears to have a family member associated with the chapter. A user called “LadyHeff” regularly talk about content on the chapters Telegram channel, consisting of a post last month blaming people of color for city decay in which she composed, “They can take their diversity and shove it up their ass.”
The ethno-nationalist content shared on the chapters Telegram channel echoes the white power symbols showed in public by a few of its members. Since December, the channel has forwarded a minimum of 2 posts from Greyson Arnold, a podcaster who has actually spoken approvingly about Nazi Germany and who once duped a Republican National Committee member into saying that white nationalist Nick Fuentes should have a voice in picking candidates to run for workplace in Republican primaries. Later on 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 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 location in hell for these people. Day of the rope mutha fuka.”
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” Day of the rope” is a specific recommendation to The Turner Diaries, a novel written by neo-Nazi William Pierce that motivated the Oklahoma City battle and a various other acts of terrorism and racist violence by wrongdoers looking for to replicate the books protagonist by “stockpiling biological weapons, taking part 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 Center.
” I would portray the Proud Boys as antisemitic, racist bigots; they would not see themselves as such,” stated Michael Loadenthal, a board of advisers member at the Accelerationist Research Consortium. “Its undeniable when they start sharing material that is antisemitic and clearly racist.”
Loadenthal and Goldsmith both said the barriers between Proud Boys and hardcore neo-Nazi groups, always permeable, are becoming progressively porous.
Goldsmith stated antifascist researchers have actually recognized present members of the freely fascist group Patriot Front who had actually formerly been identified as Proud Boys, showing a migration between the two groups and a radicalization course towards more severe violence and bigotry.
Recently, the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter reshared a propaganda video produced by the fascist media attire Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front during its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced high-quality video from the occasion. Goldsmith informed Raw Story that a person of Patriot Front leader Thomas Rousseaus lieutenants, Graham Whitson, runs Media2Rises online store. Whitson was jailed with Rousseau in August 2020 for plastering Patriot Front stickers on the grounds of county courthouse in Grapevine, Texas.
” Here, were establishing the skeleton of how the Proud Boy-fascist pipeline works,” Goldsmith stated.
Proud Boys Telegram channels, consisting of the Maryland DC chapter, regularly share content 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. Its encouraging individuals to welcome fascism as the real law-and-order ideology. I recognize the propaganda videos are lethal major, and theyre developed by individuals who are fatal serious.
” The actual absurdity of attempting to whitewash Hitler and put on pedestal Hitler himself and the increase of the Nazis is deliberately too far,” he continued. “Its part of the Proud Boys claim that were not in fact Nazis, just edge lords; were just trolling the libs. The factor we had kids in their early twenties revealing up in Charlottesville is they began out on the web making jokes about the Holocaust, and then they started to believe in it.”

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2 days later on, the 2 males signed up with members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. After marching from the Washington Monument, the Proud Boys entourage gathered at the end of the showing pool, holding a position at the edge of the large anti-vaccination crowd and near a handful of counter-protesters clumped together at a close-by knoll. When a journalist posted a picture of herself holding up the sticker label in front of the crowd collected at the Lincoln Memorial on Twitter, the Proud Boys chapter validated obligation with a post of its own on its Telegram channel that checked out: “Local antifa scum desired a business card. Last week, the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter reshared a propaganda video produced by the fascist media outfit Media2Rise, which was embedded with Patriot Front during its surprise march through DC in December 2021 and produced premium video from the occasion. “Its shared in Proud Boys channels.