The Justice Department indicted two members of “Proud Boys” for their actions during the Capitol Hill protests, days after three “Oath Keepers” were charged. The protesters in question were charged with conspiracy, as well as other crimes.
Two Proud Boys members in question were members of the New York chapter of the male-only fraternity-like “western chauvinist” and pro-Trump organization. They have been charged with “conspiracy; civil disorder; unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds; and disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted buildings or grounds”.
One of the members was said to have stolen a riot shield from a Capitol Police officer and used it to smash a Capitol Building window, and was further charged with “obstruction of an official proceeding; additional counts of civil disorder and aiding and abetting civil disorder; robbery of personal property of the United States; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; destruction of government property; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted buildings or grounds”.
But who are the proud boys? If you believe the media, you would think they are some sort of neo-Nazi gang. The group describes itself as “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modem world”. Its founder Gavin McInnes, former Vice reporter turned conservative, is a classical liberal, anti-racist and anti-communist. That could be obvious form the hundreds of YouTube videos he has produced over the years.
However, all of those videos have been taken down, together with the Proud Boys website. Now, the only readily-available reference to the group on the internet is from the mainstream media. While the group is explicitly welcoming members of all races, that did not stop the media to pain it as “alt-right”, “white supremacist”, and “extremist”. Someone should tell that to their former chairman, Enrique Tarrio.
The truth is more interesting than that. What set the Proud Boys different is their willingness to engage in brawls with leftist extremists of Antifa. These street fights were what had gave them the status of “extremist group” and group “with ties to the alt-right”.
Note, that these brawls did not result in taking down of Antifa websites, even as was Antifa routinely engaging in destruction of property, vehicles, businesses and assaults. It was, apparently, the group who was fighting against the Antifa that had to be silenced and deplatformed.
As the media started labeling Proud Boys as “alt-right extremists”, Gavin McInnes ultimately announced he would distance himself from the group. That did not, however, save him, similarly to how Donald Trump distancing himself from the Capitol protests did not save him from being blamed for these protests by his opponents. In fact, Trump is now abandoned not just by most of the Republican party, but by his own lawyers as well.
People who were at the Capitol protests, many of whom believed they were fighting for Trump and for fair elections, are now facing serious legal repercussions. Misguided as that may have been, do they really deserve to go to jail? That will soon be up to a D.C. jury to decide.