Why #accelerationist #ProudBoys latched on to big conservative rallies in DC last month – #terror

The weekend of Jan. 21-23 brought the annual anti-choice March for Life to Washington, DC, followed two days later by the Defeat the Mandates rally to oppose vaccine mandates. The two events brought thousands of conservatives to the nation’s capital, along with throngs of far-right extremists looking to recruit from their ranks. A phalanx of members from the avowedly fascist group Patriot Front formed their own column along the March for Life, under heavy police protection as antifascist counter-protesters confronted them. Patriot Front’s appearance, in turn, appeared to act as a magnet for other extremists. Two young men wearing khaki pants, camouflage jackets, work boots and skull masks, as captured in a video by a team member of the veteran-owned open-source intelligence firm Sparverius, showed up and heckled the counter-protesters as Patriot Front members marched past. One of the men signaled his white power beliefs in ways that were both subtle and blatant: a patch with the red-and-white checkered insignia of the Croatian Legion, a division of the German Army during World War II; stickers on his helmet depicting the image of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell and the slogan “White Lives Matter”; and a Confederate battle flag patch on his military-style backpack. Two days later, the two men joined members of the Maryland DC Proud Boys chapter at the Lincoln Memorial for the anti-vaccination rally. Among the group of more than a dozen men, about half wore skull masks. Their coats concealed bulky tactical vests, and they carried heavy backpacks. After marching from the Washington Monument, the Proud Boys entourage gathered at the end of the reflecting pool, holding a position at the edge of the large anti-vaccination crowd and near a handful of counter-protesters clumped together at a nearby knoll. At one point, some of the Proud Boys went over to confront the counter-protesters, but then walked off without incident. (…) The ethno-nationalist content shared on the chapter’s Telegram channel echoes the white power symbols displayed in public by some of its members. Since December, the channel has forwarded at least two posts from Greyson Arnold, a podcaster who has spoken approvingly about Nazi Germany and who once duped a Republican National Committee member into saying that white nationalist Nick Fuentes should have a voice in picking candidates to run for office in Republican primaries. Later that month, the channel for the Maryland DC chapter forwarded a post by Lauren Witzke, a former US Senate candidate from Delaware who has retweeted posts from VDARE, a white nationalist website. Beyond forwarding content from other white nationalists, the channel has contributed its own white power messaging. Without specifying the target, a Dec. 29, 2021 post declared, “Special place in hell for these people. Day of the rope mutha fuka.” “Day of the rope” is an explicit reference to The Turner Diaries, a novel written by neo-Nazi William Pierce that inspired the Oklahoma City bombing and an numerous other acts of terrorism and racist violence by perpetrators seeking to emulate the novel’s protagonist by “stockpiling biological weapons, engaging in a racist shooting spree, robbing banks, and assembling pipe bombs with Jewish and Black targets in mind,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

via rawstory: Why accelerationist Proud Boys latched on to big conservative rallies in DC last month