- Nov 2005
Leaked Proud Boys Chats Show Members Plotting Violence At RalliesThe Proud Boys want the public to believe that they’re a “drinking club” who only resort to violence to defend themselves from anti-fascist protesters during political rallies.
But in private, these extremists have discussed injuring and even killing their adversaries, plotting tactics and optics for months in order to assert a claim of self-defense should they face charges.
According to private chat logs obtained exclusively by HuffPost, the punch-happy, pro-Trump street gang was particularly excited for its “Resist Marxism” rally, scheduled for April 6 in Providence, Rhode Island. With the right plan of attack, members said, this one could put them back on the map.
This mother f**ker needs to meet a 7mm [Magnum rifle] from about 500 yards.Proud Boy Shaun Hufton in private chats.The group had been floundering ever since 10 of its members were arrested for assaulting protesters outside a GOP event in New York City last year. Their leader, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, reportedly arranged for his followers’ surrender.
In the chats, covering a time period between February and March of this year, members claimed they needed a conclusive “win” this time around, which they defined as a bloody battle against “antifa” in Providence. If this brawl were bigger and more violent than previous iterations, they might regain some of the street cred and followers they’d lost.
“We’ll grow this group of patriots and we’ll never back down,” wrote the event’s organizer, Proud Boys member Alan Swinney, in the private chat messages. “If we win, it will make more patriots come to the next rally. We just need to go there and we’ll beat them. We’ll have enough to crush them at some point.”
The logs contained a revolving door of up to 30 Proud Boys and their allies, including militia members and other “patriots,” as Swinney called them. Those named in this story either publicly identify as members of the Proud Boys or affiliated groups, or have been identified as such in national news stories or by the groups’ leaders.
Looking forward to Providence, members in the private channel were pumped for the opportunity to cause mayhem. One Proud Boy named Anthony Mastrostefano said:
“All I want to do is smash commies too. Actually I’m lying, I’m way past just hitting them. When the time comes I will stop at nothing to fully eradicate them all!”
Anybody who believes "Proud Boys" aren't incredibly guilty of trying to instigate fights (which is exactly what happens when they show up) are just plain deluding themselves.
And note: I am not absolving any blame for those on the other side who engage in the fighting.
What I am doing is pointing out that the Proud Boys are achieving exactly what they want when both they come out swinging against other people and also when other people come out swinging against them.