Even Amid a Crackdown, the Proud Boys Are Still Agitating

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At slightest 2 twelve members of the Proud Boys look national charges successful the U.S. Capitol siege. But connected Sunday, members of the radical were mobilizing erstwhile again successful Oregon.

Proud Boys and antifascists successful  Portland, Ore., clashed connected  Sunday. The Proud Boys were protesting the incarceration of their members who were arrested successful  transportation  with the Jan. 6 siege astatine  the U.S. Capitol.
Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

Aug. 23, 2021, 8:11 p.m. ET

PORTLAND, Ore. — In the months since the siege astatine the U.S. Capitol successful January, national investigators person looked intimately astatine the Proud Boys, a far-right nationalist radical astatine the forefront of the riot. Agents person pried into the group’s encrypted messages, pored implicit video footage of their exploits and built transgression cases against astatine slightest 2 twelve members.

The authorities successful Canada person joined successful the crackdown, designating the radical arsenic a violent organization, a determination that allows the authorities to prehend assets successful that country.

The group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, was sentenced by the section territory tribunal successful Washington connected Monday to 5 months successful jailhouse for possessing high-capacity firearm magazines a fewer days earlier the siege and for burning a stolen Black Lives Matter banner aft a abstracted pro-Trump rally descended into unit successful December.

But contempt the intensifying scrutiny, an enactment that built itself arsenic a set of brothers acceptable for convulsive confrontation implicit what its members spot arsenic an battle connected Western civilization shows nary motion of going away. Members person begun regrouping online and joining rallies.

On Saturday, respective Proud Boys participated successful a objection against measures to power the coronavirus successful South Carolina — 1 of galore forays the radical is making into section politics. Then connected Sunday, dozens of activists wearing the group’s yellow-and-black colors rallied successful Portland, Ore., wherever they fought successful the streets with antifascist counterprotesters, shooting paintball guns and smashing windows. One apprehension was made aft gunfire broke out.


Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

The lawsuit had been billed arsenic a rally to unite right-wing groups, but it prominently featured the Proud Boys, a radical whose members person espoused misogynistic, Islamophobic, antisemitic and anti-immigrant views. The rally connected Sunday developed into a protestation implicit the incarceration of the rioters who acceptable siege to the Capitol connected Jan. 6.

With supporters coming from California, Washington State and arsenic acold distant arsenic New York, the lawsuit showed that the Proud Boys were prepared to proceed engaging successful the benignant of nationalist unit that archetypal attracted a instrumentality enforcement crackdown.

The Proud Boys were established during the 2016 statesmanlike predetermination and gained important momentum done the tenure of President Donald J. Trump, who famously called upon them to “stand backmost and basal by”; their members were afforded a definite grade of leniency by instrumentality enforcement agents who astatine times favored the radical successful its conflicts with antifa and different leftist protesters.

That changed aft Jan. 6, erstwhile a mob of astir 100 Proud Boys and their supporters pushed past information barriers astatine the Capitol and, prosecutors say, took a starring relation successful helping the larger throng of pro-Trump protesters violently breach the building. Members of the radical were astatine “the extremity of the spear,” tribunal papers say, among the archetypal rioters to shatter windows, interruption down doors and face the constabulary inside. The F.B.I. has further learned that some earlier and aft the Capitol attack, 2 Proud Boy leaders spoke of riling up the “normies” — the mean radical successful the crowd.


Credit...Jason Andrew for The New York Times

In the aftermath of the riot, the national authorities brought the afloat value of their powers to carnivore connected investigating the organization. F.B.I. agents person executed hunt warrants successful New York, California, Florida, Missouri and Washington State. Prosecutors culled done hundreds of backstage messages connected apps similar Telegram and societal media platforms similar Parler. Investigators person targeted leaders of the Proud Boys successful particular, arresting section presidents from Honolulu, Seattle, Philadelphia and the Winston-Salem country successful North Carolina.

Among the targets of the national crackdown person been Proud Boys from the Pacific Northwest, which has a agelong past arsenic a basal for right-wing extremist groups. One of them, Ethan Nordean of Auburn, Wash., has been labeled by national authorities arsenic 1 of the leaders of the Capitol attack. Federal agents besides arrested 2 brothers — Matthew Klein and Jonathanpeter Klein — for their roles astatine the Capitol.

Both Mr. Nordean and the Klein brothers were entrenched successful the Proud Boys’ satellite of struggle agelong earlier Jan. 6. Mr. Nordean became 1 of the group’s astir salient figures aft helium knocked retired an antifa activistic successful Portland during a protestation successful 2018. The Kleins appeared astatine different events successful Oregon, according to prosecutors, including 1 past twelvemonth successful which the constabulary stopped a motortruck due to the fact that it appeared that the men successful the conveyance mightiness person been preparing for convulsive conflict. Matthew Klein, 1 of the radical successful the vehicle, was cited for unlawful possession of firearms.

During an lawsuit past summertime successful Salem, the authorities capital, a radical of right-wing demonstrators — including respective wearing Proud Boys apparel — chased a smaller radical of counterdemonstrators, hitting them and firing paintballs. The Proud Boys aboriginal celebrated 1 of the attacks successful video posted online.

Although the Proud Boys person agelong been among Mr. Trump’s astir ardent backers, the events of Jan. 6 caused immoderate successful the radical to reassess their enactment for the erstwhile president. Mr. Nordean aboriginal told his colleagues, successful a radical chat obtained by the F.B.I., that helium felt betrayed by Mr. Trump for having encouraged the Proud Boys to judge that “great justice” was connected the skyline but ne'er pursuing done connected the promise.

“I’ve followed this feline for 4 years and fixed everything and mislaid it all,” Mr. Nordean wrote successful the chat. “Trump, you near america connected the battlefield bloody and alone.”


Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

Since the Jan. 6 riot, the Proud Boys Pacific Northwest chapter, which includes groups successful Oregon and Washington, elected to interruption from the nationalist enactment and its nationalist chairman, Mr. Tarrio, according to a tribunal declaration filed by Daniel Arellano, the president of the group’s Seattle chapter. That determination came adjacent arsenic Mr. Tarrio’s past arsenic a national informant was abruptly exposed, damaging his lasting among galore of his peers.

But passim the turmoil, Mr. Tarrio, who lives successful Miami, has managed to support his grip connected powerfulness contempt a fistful of competitors challenging his authority.

Mr. Tarrio’s idiosyncratic troubles deepened connected Monday with the quality that helium would beryllium spending a small much than 5 months successful jail.

The condemnation was handed down a time aft the Proud Boys’ latest convulsive foray successful Portland. They gathered connected Sunday successful a retail parking lot, raising an American emblem and hoisting a banner referring to radical arrested due to the fact that of the Jan. 6 riot arsenic “political prisoners.”

After antifascist demonstrators arrived connected scene, the Proud Boys pursued them with batons, Mace, improvised fireworks and paintball guns. “Let’s go,” shouted 1 of the Proud Boys leaders arsenic the radical went disconnected successful pursuit of the antifascist activists, who besides utilized convulsive tactics during the confrontation and astatine 1 constituent attacked a writer documenting the scene.


Credit...Mason Trinca for The New York Times

At a adjacent mediate school, respective Proud Boys surrounded a counterdemonstrator seated successful a truck. One of them entered the motortruck and began beating the man.

Later, astir 10 miles distant successful the city’s downtown, a antheral was arrested aft helium exchanged gunfire with antifascist demonstrators, according to a constabulary study and a reappraisal of video footage from the scene. No 1 appears to person been struck.

The antheral who was arrested, Dennis G. Anderson, a 65-year-old Gresham resident, was charged with unlawful usage of a limb and unlawful possession of a firearm, and the Portland Police Bureau said it was looking for 1 oregon much further radical who whitethorn person fired a weapon.

Mr. Tarrio has claimed that enactment for the radical has lone grown since Jan. 6 and said helium expects the Proud Boys volition astir apt absorption little connected ample nationalist events for the foreseeable future. Instead, helium said, on with supporting those being charged with crimes successful the Capitol siege, helium is exploring a tally for bureau and wants to assistance Proud Boys get elected astir the country.

“People deliberation we are conscionable going to spell away,” Mr. Tarrio said successful an interrogation connected Monday. “We are not. Like it oregon not, we are present to stay.”

Stephen Piggott, a researcher who monitors right-wing extremism for the left-leaning nonprofit Western States Center, fears that to beryllium true. “They haven’t waned successful their committedness to perpetrate acts of violence,” helium said.

Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting.

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