Who are 'Elder Chapters' of Proud Boys? Here's all about leaders as the group continues to protest in Portland

The group was started in August 2016 by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes as a provocative club for men who love America but hate political correctness


                            Who are 'Elder Chapters' of Proud Boys? Here's all about leaders as the group continues to protest in Portland
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Thousand of supporters of right-wing group Proud Boys rallied in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, September 26, at an event that drew far fewer followers than what the organizers forecasted. Some of the supporters in the rally were armed. The far-right notorious group is known for engaging in brawls that had led Governor Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency. According to a Washington Post report, "Organizers said they expected as many as 10,000 people to turn out. Yet the actual crowd was far smaller, and the event in a grassy park near the Columbia River started breaking up after just 90 minutes significantly less than the hours of rallying that were initially planned."

The group was started in August 2016 by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes as a provocative club for men who love America but hate political correctness. Proud Boys is now viewed by many as an alt-right extremist group, threatening enough to warrant a state of emergency in Oregon ahead of the rally on Saturday. McInnes started the group eight years after leaving the news oganization over “creative differences". McInnes descibed the group as a secret club for “Western chauvinists” men (“women are not allowed”) focused on “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” with meetings that would consist  of “drinking, fighting and reading aloud from Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West”.

In November 2018, the group named its leaders with Enrique Tarrio, designated as "chairman", and the "Elder Chapter" which consists of Harry Fox, Heath Hair, Patrick William Roberts, Joshua Hall, Timothy Kelly, Luke Rofhling and Rufio Panman. Jason Lee Van Dyke, the former lawyer of the group, was given the position of another chairman when McInnes left the goup. According to a Forbes report, in 2017, the election of President Trump skyrocketed interest in the group, and by the end of the year, the Proud Boys Facebook and Twitter pages gained more than 20,000 followers, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jason Kessler, a White supremacist who identified himself as a Proud Boy, helped to organize the August 2017 “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which attracted neo-Nazi groups and Klansmen, and resulted in the death of Heather Heyer and injury of 19 others when a self-identified White supremacist deliberately drove into a group of counter-protesters.

According to American journalist David Neiwert, they recruit with emphasis on right wing, 15-30-year-old White males who come primarily from suburbs and exurbs. Facebook banned the Proud Boys and McInnes from its platform, a main source of recruiting for the group, in October 2018, citing “policies against hate organizations and figures”. 

As soon as the news of the rally made its way to social media, people started slamming the group. A user said, "Modern day Nazis white people have never face oppression the way African Americans have. The black Panthers were armed for protection against white supremacy. It isn't the same who are the Proud Boys at war with. What systematic injustice do they deal with. Why does this exist ?" While another asked, "Why is that legal? This is a hate group and their only reason to be is to create violence. These are the people that should be removed from the streets."



 

 



 

 

Activist Amy Siskind slammed the group and tweeted, "Trump militia in Portland - out of state white supremacists and hate group Proud Boys. This is Donald Trump’s America. Who wouldn’t want 4 more years of this! Vote them all TF out!" Jounalist Amy Campbell tweeted, "Can’t wait for Laura Ingraham to investigate who paid for these shields and a bunch of Proud Boys’ airfares from across the country to attend a fascist rally celebrating a killer."



 

 



 

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