A flyer went up on Twitter last week about a "free speech rally" for Proud Boys and other nationalists in San Francisco's Dolores Park on October 17 but this event has all the hallmarks of the weird, sometimes fictional, antifa-antagonizing rallies that happened in SF and Berkeley in 2017, which were mostly poorly attended gatherings of kooks with homemade shields gunning for street battles with libtards.
The Proud Boys are hopping mad about the fact that they were kicked off of Twitter two years ago. And while they're relegated to the right-wing circle jerk known as Parler, a bunch of gay men last week claimed the #ProudBoys hashtag to post a bunch of photos of men kissing men and the like on Twitter and Instagram, flooding social media and confusing other Americans who heard Proud Boys mentioned at last week's presidential debate and didn't know who they were.
So now, a Proud Boys event that's apparently being organized by a Black Texas man named Philip Anderson is scheduled for October 17 in San Francisco, with a focus on "free speech" and "big tech," and it appears to be, in part, a protest against Twitter itself. The rally is scheduled for 1 p.m. next Saturday, and then at 4 p.m. the flyer calls for some sort of protest outside Twitter headquarters. The rally has a website under the name #TeamSaveAmerica.
But as we learned in 2017 and saw again in Portland this year, among the multiple agendas of the alt-right crowd, one uniting purpose is going to war with black-clad youths in the street whom they see as a threat to patriotism and law and order while the black-clad youths see all these self-described patriots as fascists and racists and Trump supporters, which most of them are.
The original flyer for the October 17 event features a bunch of scheduled speakers, some of whom apparently hadn't agreed to attend like this QAnon conspiracy peddler who calls himself QAnon Obi Wan, who argued publicly with Anderson about his inclusion on the flyer.
The Berkeley Antifa Twitter account has taken the bait, and posted an alert about the event last week.
Also, Anderson claims that his group will have "police protection" at the rally.
Also listed as a speaker is former fringe mayoral candidate Ellen Lee Zhou, who infamously paid for a billboard last year with a racist depiction of a barefoot London Breed with her feet on a desk while she counts cash, apparently taken from human traffickers.
Now, to take a step back... Anderson has fewer than 1,400 followers on Twitter, and he is not a leader of the Proud Boys organization. The current leader, Enrique Tarrio, is listed as a speaker at this San Francisco event, but there's no guarantee he's agreed to this and he can't respond on Twitter because he's not on the platform. There's very little way to verify that any of these people have concrete plans to come to San Francisco and you can bet they haven't sought any permit for this supposed rally. Update: Rec & Parks spokesperson Tamara Aparton confirms that no one has applied for a permit for this October 17 event.
Like Anderson, Tarrio is Black (he identifies as Afro-Cuban), he lives in South Florida, and following the uproar after last week's debate, he spoke to a Miami TV station to declare that the Proud Boys are not a white supremacist group, they are not racist, and they are just "misunderstood." Speaking to the same broadcast, a regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Sheri Zvi, described the Proud Boys as espousing "misogynistic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric [that] is often paired with violence directed at left-wing protesters."
The Proud Boys organization was founded in 2016 by VICE Media co-founder turned alt-right figure Gavin McInnes. As the Southern Poverty Law Center explains, they are best known for their "western chauvinism" that comes with a lot of "anti-Muslim and misogynist rhetoric." McInnes has long railed against PC culture, and another tenet of the group is the "veneration of the housewife" and a pledge to not masturbate in order to have better sex. Group members have been arrested in multiple violent incidents in the last several years most recently a 50-year-old self-described Proud Boy named Alan Swinney was arrested in Portland for injuring protesters there with a paintball gun.
While members of the Proud Boys, and McInnes, have repeatedly tried to deny any type of white nationalism, their members have been present at events with white nationalists and a former Proud Boy, Jason Kessler, was an organizer of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville three years ago.
So-called "third degree" members of the Proud Boys get Proud Boys tattoos on their arms. And according to Tarrio's Wikipedia page, he became a "fourth degree" member, which is "a distinction reserved for those who get into a physical altercation, after punching a counter-protester in the face in June 2018."
In San Francisco, a group of 20 Proud Boys held a meetup in October 2017 at Southern Pacific Brewing Company in the Mission District, after which the brewery issued an apology.
Photo: Sand Crain
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