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extreme politics Trump is on the way out...but the far-right is here to stay


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DANGEROUS: Trump refused to condemn the Proud Boys, seen at a rally in Oregon

DANGEROUS: Trump refused to condemn the Proud Boys, seen at a rally in Oregon

AP

DANGEROUS: Trump refused to condemn the Proud Boys, seen at a rally in Oregon

Gun-toting men wearing body armour and military uniforms have added a sinister menace to politics in the United States.

Turning up at a protests and events to "protect" the constitution, they are hostile to liberals, the media and make little effort to hide their racism.

Encouraged by Donald Trump, they have become bolder and last week appeared at election count centres to back-up pro-Trump supporters making false claims of voting fraud.

But when Trump is forced out of power, the far-right armed militias who have grown in prominence during his presidency aren't going anywhere.

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A couple poses for a portrait as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered for a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon

A couple poses for a portrait as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered for a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon

AFP via Getty Images

A couple poses for a portrait as several hundred members of the Proud Boys and other similar groups gathered for a rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon

During his presidency far-right groups and white supremacists have grown in numbers in the US and have been linked to various major incidents, including killing a woman after driving into a crowd of anti-fascist protestors, plotting to kidnap a state governor, shooting a Black Lives Matter protestor, thee deaths of police officers and plotting bomb attacks.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies said earlier this year that there was an escalating terrorism problem in the US and the majority of plots and attacks have come from the far-right.

One far-right group, The Proud Boys, received a massive boost in September when instead of denouncing them during a presidential debate, Trump told them to "stand back and stand by".

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Media reports from the US said within minutes of Trump making the statement Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio had t-shirts printed up with "Proud Boys standing by" on them.

The group's founder, Gavin McInnes, said he believed Trump was endorsing the group.

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Leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio (left) and rally organiser Joe Biggs

Leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio (left) and rally organiser Joe Biggs

AFP via Getty Images

Leader of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio (left) and rally organiser Joe Biggs

"I think he was saying I appreciate you and I appreciate your support," he said.

The men-only group describe themselves as "Western Chauvinists" while the Anti Defamation League says they are "misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration".

While members of the group have white supremacist ideologies the Proud Boys deny they are racist. They have been banned from multiple social media platforms due to their views.

Members of the group have been involved in attacks on left-wing activists.

The group was set up in 2016 by McInnes who was one of the co-founders of Vice magazine.

Former member Jason Kessler organised the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 during which various far-right groups came together and marched through the streets with Nazi and confederate flags, chanting "Jews will not replace us".

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Right-wing militia members guard a business during a vigil for Kevin E. Peterson Jr who was shot and killed by Clark County Sheriff’s

Right-wing militia members guard a business during a vigil for Kevin E. Peterson Jr who was shot and killed by Clark County Sheriff’s

Getty Images

Right-wing militia members guard a business during a vigil for Kevin E. Peterson Jr who was shot and killed by Clark County Sheriff’s

The rally turned violent with dozens of people injured and activist James Alex Fields Jnr deliberately rammed his car into counter protestors injuring 19 people and killing Heather Heyer.

Speaking after the event, Trump sparked outrage by saying there were "very fine people on both sides".

Various militias turned up at the march.

The sight of various militia groups on the streets of the US has become more common in recent times particularly at Black Lives Matters protests this year.

One such militia member, Kyle Rittenhouse (17), shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protestors in Wisconsin in August.

The teenager appeared in court this week charged with killing Anthony M. Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha in August.

His bail bond was set at $2m this week. Rittenhouse is receiving support from militia groups and far right activists across the US since being arrested.

Mr Huber's father John said Rittenhouse "has people out there that will help him, militia organisations that can raise money and harbour him."

Rittenhouse had travelled from Illinois to Kenosha as part of a militia armed with an AR 15 semi automatic rifle and claimed he went to protect businesses from vandalism. Videos show unarmed Mr Rosenbaum throwing a plastic bag at Rittenhouse who responded by shooting Mr Rosenbaum five times.

Charges

As Rittenhouse went to flee, Mr Huber then tried to stop him by hitting him with his skateboard but was shot and fatally wounded.

Mr Grosskreutz was then shot as he approached Rittenhouse.

Another militia group was at the centre of an alarming plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, last month. The FBI arrested 14 suspects linked to the "Wolverine Watchmen".

The group, which was co-founded by Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison, were only formed earlier this year in response to Covid-19 restrictions. Several members of the group are now facing federal domestic terrorism charges.

They planned to kidnap the governor at her holiday home in an attempt to instigate a civil war or a "boogaloo," according to court documents.

The Boogaloo movement isn't an individual group but a loosely organised pro-gun, far-right anti-government movement in the US, which is preparing for a civil war in America.

The group has no central leadership and mostly organises through social media. They have become a regular sight at protest where they carry weapons and wear Hawaiian shirts and armoured vests.

They have been linked to shootings and a bombing which claimed two lives and left four injured earlier this year.

Air Force Sergeant Steven Carrillo and Robert A. Justus Jr have been charged in connection with the incidents.

Three other men linked to the movement were arrested in May after initially plotting to bomb a substation in Las Vegas to create civil unrest and then planning to use Molotov cocktails on police at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Sunday World


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