Two Proud Boys, members of the violent far-right street gang founded by Gavin McInnes, were jailed for four years Tuesday. Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 32, were convicted of gang assault and rioting for attacking protestors outside a speech given by McInnes to New York City's Metropolitan Republican Club.
Judge Mark Dwyer called them McInnes' "soldiers" and compared them to Nazi Brownshirts: "I know enough about history to know what happened in Europe in the '30s when political street brawls were allowed to go ahead without any type of check from the criminal justice system."
The Proud Boys describe themselves as "proud Western chauvinists" and advocate political violence. The group has chapters across North America and beyond – including in the UK and Australia.
Hare and Kinsman were jailed in a case that centres of a fight that erupted after a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at Manhattan's Metropolitan Republican Club in October 2018.
CCTV footage showed the Proud Boys members beating up a group of four anti-fascist activists – known as "antifa" – who had come to protest against Mr McInnes' appearance.
This incident was obscured by serious failures of journalism. The NYPD initially implied that the Proud Boys were the victims and some media thumbed the scales for days afterward, casting the beatings as acts of self-defense against Antifa.
4/6 The brand new footage shows what followed: two Proud Boys went east on 82nd Street, approaching protesters who were perhaps 100 feet away from Park Avenue. By the time the plastic bottle was thrown, one of those two Proud Boys was within a few feet and charging. pic.twitter.com/oHq2MamC4m
— Colin Moynihan (@ColinRMoynihan) December 23, 2018
Well this simply can't be possible. There's a whole lawsuit that say these are great guys! pic.twitter.com/rR3v2DPeRf
— Andrew Fleischman (@ASFleischman) October 23, 2019