While most of the Proud Boys were busy celebrating Donald Trump’s refusal to repudiate the white supremacist organization during the presidential debate last night, at least one member of the far-right, neo-fascist, male-only organization that regularly promotes and engages in political violence felt a backlash from his activities with the group this morning.
Alissa Azar, an independent journalist in Portland, Oregon — where the Proud Boys have been a long-standing disruptive presence at the protests against police violence and the unequal application of justice — posted to Twitter the details of the arrest by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office this morning of Alan Swinney, a member of the disreputable group that Trump asked to “stand by,” presumably to rise up once the president discovers that the election results are not to his liking.
Swinney was charged with six felonies and six misdemeanors related to violent assault, unlawful use of weapons, and teargas, menacing in relation to acts he has allegedly committed during the clashes at Portland’s protests. He was held on $535,000 bail.
Proud boy Alan Swinney was arrested this morning. 6 misdemeanors, 6 felonies and $535,000 bail. All his chargers are for acts of violence. Stand back and stand by! pic.twitter.com/h1mTlzEtJt
— Alissa Azar (@R3volutionDaddy) September 30, 2020
That’s not the only trouble that Swinney finds himself in.
Four plaintiffs, including a former congressional candidate, a photojournalist, and two protestors, filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against Swinney and two other Proud Boys, Corey Wyatt and David Willis, accusing them of firing paintballs at them at close range and spraying them with bear mace during demonstrations in mid-August.
It’s not a surprising allegation against members of the group which espouses a racist white-genocide conspiracy theory and which first became widely known through their participation as some of the “very fine people” attending the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017.
As confirmed by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security — over the strenuous protestations of Donald Trump who falsely blames all political violence on antifa — extremist right-wing groups like the Proud Boys, the Oathkeepers, and other armed militia groups pose the biggest domestic terrorism threat to our nation right now, responsible for the vast majority of violent acts at recent protests.
These are the people that Trump is asking to “stand by” in case he loses the election which he has manipulatively stated that he cannot lose unless there is massive voting fraud.
It’s not as if you needed any further motivation to vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump, but perhaps this latest example of the extremist danger our nation faces can help sway any progressives still butt-hurt over the victory of a centrist Democrat in that party’s primaries and who may decide to sit out the election with the false premise that both candidates are equally evil.
We can’t afford delicate purist sensibilities to hold sway at this point in the battle against demonstrable fascism.
Any failure to vote for the Biden/Harris ticket is only a move that helps ensure that we wind up with another four years of “the worst president in American history,” as Biden so aptly described the orange menace.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.