The Proud Boys held marches on the streets of Patchogue and Bay Shore on Saturday. In both villages, the violent anti-immigrant gang took over the streets, apparently without a permit. The group was reportedly at a community gathering earlier in the day, apparently trying to recruit supporters.
Eyewitnesses say that police were not on the scene and no effort was made to block the group from marching. On Monday stickers were found in Bayshore with the group’s emblem and the words “Long Island Proud Boys” on them. Here is a photo of a sticker in Bay Shore.
A passerby in a car snapped these photos of the march in Patchogue. The photographer described the march as a small group of men in dark colored clothes. The group was followed by a yellow truck with Proud Boy symbols. The driver of the truck glowered menacingly at people watching the march.
The PB on the flag stands for the Proud Boys.
Fifteen Proud Boys were charged in conjunction with the attack on the Capitol on January 6. For several months after the group seemed to lay low. Over the summer they reemerged, conducting several dozen actions around the country. The group has focused on local mobilizations like the Patchogue and Bay Shore marches and they have tried to exploit anti-vax and anti-mask sentiment as a recruiting opportunity. In August, “nearly half” of Proud Boy actions turned violent according to NPR.
According to the Canadian government, the Proud Boys is a terrorist organization. Having the group march through the streets is equivalent to having an MS-13 parade. The lack of denunciations of the marches by local leaders is inexplicable. Many Long Island villages have adopted the slogan “Not In Our Town.” Apparently not Bay Shore or Patchogue.
The Proud Boys were founded by multimillionaire Gavin McInnes as a right-wing fight club. He has described the group as a masculinist Western chauvinist group that barred women from membership and viewed immigration as a tool of “white genocide.” McInnes has a history of incitement. According to the ADL, “Although McInnes has decried racism and anti-Semitism, his past statements tell a different story. He has posted videos of himself giving the Nazi salute and repeatedly saying “Heil Hitler.” He was accused of anti-Semitism in March 2017 when he posted a video on Rebel Media called “Ten Things I Hate about Jews.””
After Donald Trump appeared to endorse the group at last October’s presidential debate, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency posted an article with this question:
Who are the Proud Boys, the far-right group that Donald Trump name-checked at the first presidential debate? And do they hate Jews?
The answer to the second question: Some of them — including their founder — certainly do.
The Proud Boys often wear dark blue and gold Fred Perry polo shirts. According to the ADL, their ideology is “Misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration. Some members espouse white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies and/or engage with white supremacist groups.”