Victims or criminals? How Gavin McInnes and his right wing Proud Boys are splitting American media
The incident reportedly occurred when Proud Boys, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a meeting at the New York Metropolitan Republican Club got involved in an altercation
A group of violent protesters, called Proud Boys, took to Manhattan streets on Friday in New York, kicking and punching people and some even wielding a sword. The incident, which was captured on camera on Friday, prompted the New York Police Department to arrest at least three people in connection with the incident, according to reports.
The incident reportedly occurred when Proud Boys, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a meeting at the New York Metropolitan Republican Club, got involved in an altercation. The club had reportedly been vandalized before the meeting.
However, instead of pointing out the violence which occurred on the New York streets, Fox News in its coverage of the incident, stressed on the vandalism to imply that Antifa could have been responsible for both the acts. The television network's coverage of the incident was headlined "Antifa strikes again" which suggested that the violence and footage of a man brandishing a sword were connected with the far-left group, according to Newsweek.
City officials, however, did not say that the violence was committed by Antifa, and the man with a sword, who was captured in the video appears to be the founder of Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes. McInnes, who was one of the founders of the media company Vice, had severed all ties with the media house over a decade ago, according to reports.
Newsweek reported that multiple videos and records of the arrest obtained by the media outlet, suggests that it was the far-right group which was involved in the violent attacks that occurred on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The clips of the incident show a group of men — who appear to be members of Proud Boys — rushing to kick and punch individuals and drag protesters on the sidewalk. The perpetrators in the video can be heard shouting homophobic slurs at others and prodding their group members to do more damage, according to reports.
A New York Police Department spokesperson, while talking to Newsweek on Saturday, said that there were three people arrested on Friday at 3rd Avenue and East 84th Street at the time of the incident. The men included two 20-year-olds, who have been charged with assault and robbery and a 35-year-old, who has been charged with assault, robbery, and resisting arrest.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, shortly after the arrest, issued a statement over the incident, stating that hate would not be tolerated by the city. "Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys. New York has zero tolerance for your BS," Cuomo said.
Reports state that shortly before the violent incident, Proud Boys had hosted an event at the Republican club to "discuss historical context and offer perspective on the environment that surrounded Otoya Yamaguchi." Yamaguchi was an extremist right-wing Japanese activist, who murdered a politician using a sword because he disagreed with him. The activist "in 1960's Japan" then later killed himself.
Photojournalist Sandi Bachom, who was present during the event, told Newsweek that dozens of Proud Boys members were escorted by police out of the building. Several clips also showed police officials attempting to separate the group members from protesters who had gathered near the club.
"It flashed me back to Charlottesville because of the intensity of this random violence that was so upsetting to all of us who were they," Bachom said.