Less than 48 hours after a Manhattan Republican clubhouse was vandalized by left-wing protesters, right-wing Proud Boys — an organization dedicated to “Western chauvinism” headed up by Vice Magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes — took to the streets outside of said clubhouse to brawl with Antifa agitators protesting their rally. As the New York Daily News details, violent clashes erupted outside of the vandalized clubhouse as the Proud Boys took on a small Antifa contingent in fistfights that quickly became wrestling matches on the cold concrete of the streets and sidewalks.
Witnesses also allege that a man brandished a sword before being told to get back into his car by police officers on the scene. Unconfirmed reports from the New York Daily News claim that the man in question was in fact the leader of the Proud Boys and the primary speaker at that evening’s rally, Gavin McInnes. McInnes currently hosts Get Off My Lawn on CRTV, a conservative media network.
The Daily Beast reports that in at least one instance, the Proud Boys got the better of their Antifa counterparts, kicking a downed individual. Someone in the amassed crowd watching can be heard shouting an epithet at the prone person while doing so, calling the victim of the beating a “fa**ot.”
The NYPD states that three men between the ages of 20 to 35 were arrested and taken into custody, according to The Daily Beast. It was not discerned at the time of writing whether or not the three individuals belonged to the Proud Boys or to Antifa. All three men will be charged with robbery and assault, however.
The Proud Boys have been making headlines most recently for their growing numbers and, perhaps unexpectedly, burgeoning support from people of color. As The Daily Beast details, many members of the so-called “far right” — though the Proud Boys themselves term their position as “new right” — are men of different racial or ethnic backgrounds. Asian, Latino, African American, and even Samoan members of the Proud Boys form a cohesive ideological bloc that some scholars are now terming “multiracial white supremacy.”
Responding to the media’s claims that the Proud Boys are possessed of an ideology amenable to white supremacy, McInnes lawyer issued a statement on the matter.
“Proud Boys is [a] multi-racial fraternity with thousands of members worldwide… The only requirements for membership are that a person must be biologically male and believe that the West is the best.”
Whether or not one subscribes to the creed of either the Proud Boys or Antifa, the violence that erupted in the wake of the Proud Boys rally was shocking and criminal in nature. Whether more arrests or charges will be laid in connection with the public brawl yet remains to be seen.
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