What is the Patriot Front? White supremacist group's Downtown DC rally sparks fear

The group was seen marching down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the beat of a snare drum, chanting about their plans to 'reclaim America'


                            What is the Patriot Front? White supremacist group's Downtown DC rally sparks fear
Patriot Front, an American white supremacist group, was formed by Thomas Rousseau (@AndreaMcCarren/Twitter)

A group of White supremacists rallied through downtown Washington, DC on Saturday evening, December 4, carrying American flags and plastic shields. The group was seen marching down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the beat of a snare drum, chanting about their plans to “reclaim America". 

The rally comprised over 100 members of the “Patriot Front” group, and was held blocks away from the White House. The group sparked fear among several bystanders, and law enforcement soon intervened to prevent any clashes from erupting. The members of the group wore a uniform comprising white gators, sunglasses, blue jackets, khaki pants, and brown boots and hats.

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What is Patriot Front?

Patriot Front, an American white supremacist, neo-fascist, and American nationalist hate group, was formed by Thomas Rousseau, a young man from Dallas, Texas. The group was formed back in 2017 and utilizes imagery of patriotism, liberty, and other traditional American values to promote its ideology. 

Cassie Miller, associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said that Patriot Front is arguably the leading white supremacist group in the country. It has as many as 42 chapters, including in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The group has allegedly also posted propaganda in Delaware. "They believe the country must go through a chaotic rebirth to be restored to a mythical racially pure path," added Miller.

Patriot Front recruits online, and on college campuses with flyers, conducts flash protests. It has committed acts of vandalism on certain occasions. The group has techniques such as setting off smoke bombs during demonstrations, and chanting slogans like "Reclaim America", "Life, Liberty, Victory", "Victory or Death" and "Strong Borders, Strong Nations". Patriot Front was once known as Vanguard America. However, it changed its name after a man from the group murdered a woman at the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.

The group had once published a manifesto, which read, in parts, "Those of foreign birth may occupy civil status within the lands occupied by the state, and they may even be dutiful citizens, yet they may not be American. Membership within the American nation is inherited through blood, not ink. Even those born in America may yet be foreign...Nationhood cannot be bestowed upon those who are not of the founding stock of our people, and those who do not share the common spirit that permeates our greater civilization, and the European diaspora...In order to survive as a culture, a heritage, and a way of being, our nation must learn that its collective interests are fighting against its collective threats of replacement and enslavement...The damage done to this nation and its people will not be fixed if every issue requires the approval and blessing from the dysfunctional American democratic system. Democracy has failed in this once great nation."

At the March on Saturday, December 4, Patriot Front’s leader Thomas Rousseau spoke beside the Capitol. “Our demonstrations are an exhibition of our unified capability to organize, to show our strength—not as brawlers or public nuisances, but as men capable of illustrating a message and seeking an America that more closely resembles the interests of its true people," he said, when asked about the reason for the march.