Members of the far-right men’s group “Proud Boys” beat up at least three protesters Friday in the streets of Manhattan after an event Friday night. The members of the pro-Trump organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group had gathered at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side to hear a speech by the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes. Minutes after they left the event, some 30 members of the group took part in the beating, which allegedly began when three anti-fascist protesters knocked a “Make America Great Again” hat off the head of a Proud Boy member.
Videos posted on social media show the violence that included apparent members of Proud Boys beating protesters while shouting “faggot” and “cocksucker.” None of the Proud Boys were detained for the attacks although three anti-fascist protesters were arrested. Police accused the protesters of attacking a 30-year-old man who was leaving the rally. The New York Police Department said it would be “reviewing additional video and other evidence” to see if other crimes were committed. “If so, [we will] identify those perpetrators and make further arrests as warranted,” NYPD spokesman Phillip Walzak said.
Two journalists who were at the scene, Sandi Bachom and Shay Horse, talked to the HuffPost and described how the “confrontation turned into a mob assault” with Proud Boys vastly outnumbering the protesters. “They turned it into a pummeling,” Horse said. “This was three people on the ground and people just kicking the shit out of them.” After the attacks, the Proud Boys members posed for a photo while flashing “white power” hand signs, according to a photo posted on Twitter. “I haven’t seen a fight that violent in a long time,” Horse tweeted.
“The proud boys were totally ready and willing to be violent tonight. They didn’t even wear masks.” Members of the group also reportedly shouted “I like beer” repeatedly, a clear reference to what Justice Brett Kavanaugh said during his confirmation hearings.
A video posted on Twitter shows McIness waving a sword outside the event. Fox News posted the video on its account and implied that it was the anti-fascist protesters who were responsible for the violence and the sword. During the event at the Metropolitan Republican Club, McInnes reenacted the samurai sword assassination Japanese socialist leader Inejiro Asanuma. On Instagram, McInnes had described the assassination as an “inspiring moment.”
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus