Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio in prison - all about the group Canada considers terrorists
Despite his lawyer's best attempts, Enrique Tarrio, the leader of The Proud Boys, is currently in prison, serving a five-month sentence for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that belonged to a historically Black church in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, September the 6th, Tarrio reported to jail to serve his sentence, which will last for 155 days. Tarrio pleaded guilty to burning the flag along with other charges which occurred in December of 2020.
Tarrio's lawyer Lucas I. Danise attempted to have his client's sentencing changed due to an alleged bias on the part of the sentencing judge, Harold Cushenberry Jr.
According to Business Insider, the judge made the following statement at Tarrio's hearing in July: "My oldest daughter was actually baptized at that church, and I haven't really had any affiliation with the church. She's almost 40 now, and we attended with some regularity when she was young." After sharing this information, the judge offered to remove himself from the case; however, Tarrio declined, saying, "that's not necessary."
During his hearing in July, Enrique Tarrio pleaded guilty to one count of destruction of property and one count of attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device.
Following the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, 2021, the Proud Boys kept a low profile for several months. However, as of late, they have been showing up at more and more public protests, and the far-right in the United States have come to consider the group their own unofficial security guards while attending protests.
In the past few weeks, members of the groups have been identified at rallies across the country from Los Angeles to Columbus, Ohio. Members of the Proud Boys have been attending protests regarding COVID-19 restrictions and pro-freedom, pro-patriot rallies.
They've had no qualms about getting into scraps with counterprotesters, either. According to USA Today News, the group has even gone so far as to "appear at school board meetings to protest the teaching of "critical race theory," much to the delight of conservative activists.
Most recently, the Proud Boys are in hot water due to violence that took place at a protest in Olympia, Washington. Proud Boys and anti-fascists clashed at the September 4th protest, which ended with a member of the Proud Boys, Tusitala "Tiny" Toese (pictured), being shot in the ankle. Olympia police are still looking for the shooter, although some claim it was a member of the Proud Boys who shot Tiny by mistake.
Over the month of August, many members of the far-right group attended protests against COVID-19 restriction in Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and California, and many of the events became violent.
Pictured: A member of Proud Boys attacks an Anitfa protestor in Oregon.
On August 14th, a group of Proud Boys and far-right protestors attacked journalists and counterprotesters outside City Hall in Los Angeles. Veteran reporter Frank Stoltze (pictured) was pushed and kicked by members of Proud Boys.
Since the group has been getting into trouble as of late with the police, many of the members no longer wear the signature gold and black Proud Boy colours. However, well-known members of the group were identified by activists in Los Angeles.
(Photo: by Becker1999 from Grove City, OH - 04IMG_9590, CC BY 2.0)
Some members have begun wearing orange hats, armbands or carried orange water bottles to identify each other as they did at the Capitol insurrection. Videos posted online show a group in the crowd chanting "Uhuru," a Proud Boy slogan.
The week before, in Portland, Oregon, members of the Proud Boys were identified attending an event in support of Sean Feucht, a conservative pastor. He has held events against vaccines and held concerts where he actively encouraged attendees not to mask up. The event ended with Proud Boys and anti-fascists clashing and brawling in downtown Portland.
Pictured: an anti-fascist protestor is tended to by medics after being hit by a projectile launched by the Proud Boys.
Perhaps you've been reading about the Proud Boys a lot online and aren't really sure about who they are and what they stand for. In that case, click on for a comprehensive look at who the Proud Boys are and why Canada assigned them terrorist group status this year.
"Proud Boys - stand back and stand by." It was a famous statement by Donald Trump during his first presidential debate last fall. He may have put the Proud Boys in the limelight then, but they had been around for several years. Join us as we examine their origins, beliefs, and the reason why Canada has now given them terrorist group status.
(Photo: Anthony Crider, Flickr, Wikimedia)
The Proud Boys define themselves as an all-male, anti-feminist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, pro-Trump, far-right group. The group is known for instigating violent conflicts with left-wing street protesters. The group takes their name from the song "Proud of Your Boy" from Disney's 2011 film Aladdin.
Pictured here a group of Proud Boys participating in a neo-Confederate protest in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
(Photo: Anthony Crider, Wikimedia)
The Proud Boys' unofficial uniform is a black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirt. Fred Perry doesn't support the group and has since discontinued the sale of the black and yellow model of his polos in Canada and the United States.
(Photo: Mohammed Berrada, Wikimedia)
In 2016, the group was started in New York City by Gavin McInnes (pictured), who was the co-founder and former editor of Vice magazine.
(Photo: Steven Crowder, Wikimedia)
McInnes (who is actually Canadian) claims he formed the group to fight what he considers to be a rising of anti-Western, anti-male sentiment in North America. Members of the Proud Boys unashamedly state that "We're proud Western chauvinists."
However, the Proud Boys do not consider themselves a racist group even though members are often seen and photographed using the white power hand signal and include parts of the "white genocide" conspiracy theory in their doctrine.
Here we see Zach Rehl, leader of the Philly Proud Boys, making the white power hand signal.
(Photo: Rhea Ball, Wikimedia)
The group's current chairman is Enrique Tarrio (pictured on the left), who has held the position since 2018.
Tarrio is of Afro-Cuban descent and may have been granted this position of power as an attempt by the group to show that they don't give importance to race but rather to other issues plaguing those of the far-right.
There are different membership levels for those who join the group and an initiation process that all Proud Boys must go through. For example, new members must swear off self gratification, name five kinds of cereal while being beat in the torso and arms by other Proud Boys members.
(Photo: Becker1999, Grove City, OH, Wikimedia)
Another part of the initiation ritual is that new members must get involved in a violent fight for the cause. Gavin McInnes himself described the group's initiation rituals on the Joe Rogan Show.
Pictured here: police try to separate Proud Boys and Black Lives Matter protesters who got into a fight during a protest after the "Million MAGA March" in Washington, DC, in November 2020.
In 2017 there were around 6,000 members associated with Proud Boy groups on Facebook in the U.S. In the same year, member Jason Kessler (pictured) aided with the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. The event led to Kessler being expelled from the group after a protester's death.
(Photo: Jason Kessler, YouTube, via Wikimedia)
The Proud Boys have since been banned from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for their status as a hate group. The group claims that these platforms silence conservatives, and the Proud Boys now use Telegram, Gab, and Parler instead.
(Photo: Jorge Antonio Miranda, Wikimedia)
In 2018 the FBI classified the group as an extremist group. The same year, ten members of the Proud Boys were arrested after instigating a fight in New York with left-wing protesters outside of a Republican club. Following the incident, Gavin McInnes quit the organization.
(Photo: Elvert Barnes, Silver Spring MD, Wikimedia)
In 2020 the Proud Boys held several counterdemonstrations and rallies in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. The locations of these rallies included Portland, Oregon, where anti-racist protesters were demonstrating against the unjust death of George Floyd. The group claimed that they were making the city safer by going against the demonstrators.
(Photo: Kohn Lucia, Flickr, Wikimedia)
Despite the Proud Boys' claims that by attending rallies for Black Lives Matter in Portland, they were protecting the public from anarchists, images such as this raise doubts. This shield that reads "F. BLM," used during a Proud Boys rally at Delta Park in Portland, Oregon, is extremely provocative and evidence of the group's white supremacist tendencies.
The general public's knowledge of the group peaked on September 29th of 2020, during the first presidential debate. Donald Trump referred to the Proud Boys by name when questioned on whether he would denounce white supremacy groups. The now ex-president famously stated, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by." Following the backlash of his comments, Trump backpedaled the next day and claimed he didn't know who the group was.
Enrique Tarrio stated to the Wall Street Journal that the group had grown massively thanks to Trump. He claimed that the group had jumped to around 22,000 Proud Boy members world-wide, with 12,000 in the U.S. alone.
Although it may seem hard to believe, the Proud Boys are active in other countries worldwide. This picture is of a Proud Boy member who was arrested during a protest against Australia Day in Melbourne, Australia, on January 26, 2021.
On February 3rd of 2021, the Canadian government assigned the title of terrorist group to the Proud Boys. Canada's Public Safety Minister Bill Blair (pictured) stated that the decision to designate the group as terrorists was based on the "pivotal role" the Proud Boys played at the Capitol riots in Washington, DC, on January 6th. With this designation, the Proud Boys' assets in Canada may be frozen, and any member of the group who commits a violent act could be charged with terrorist offenses.
The Biden Administration has not made a clear stand on what they think should be done with the group. At the moment, Biden is said to be reviewing information on the Proud Boys before determining if the U.S.A should follow in the steps of Canada and designate them as a terrorist group as well.