Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio, Convicted of Seditious Conspiracy

The Proud Boys a far-right extremist group that has garnered significant attention in recent years for its violent and controversial actions. Founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, a Canadian-British writer and co-founder of Vice Media, the Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists” who oppose political correctness and feminism. However, their actions and rhetoric often promote hate and violence toward marginalized groups, particularly people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community.

The group gained notoriety during the 2020 US presidential election when they emerged as staunch supporters of then-President Donald Trump. The Proud Boys were known for their violent clashes with anti-racist protesters, often resulting in injuries and property damage. In the lead-up to the election, the Proud Boys gained even more attention when Trump refused to denounce them during a debate, telling them to “stand back and stand by” in a live debate with Joe Biden.

On January 6, 2021, the Proud Boys played a deliberate role in the violent insurrection that attempted to overthrow the US government and overturn the results of the 2020 election. Along with other far-right extremist groups, Proud Boys members stormed the US Capitol building, clashed with police, and vandalized and looted offices. The insurrection resulted in multiple deaths and injuries and was widely condemned as an attack on American democracy.

In the aftermath of the insurrection, law enforcement officials launched a massive investigation to identify and arrest those involved. To date, there have been over 1,000 arrests, and multiple members of the Proud Boys have been charged with a range of crimes, including seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Earlier today, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a major win in court in the case against Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio. Tarrio, along with Ethan Nordean, Joe Biggs, and Zachary Rehl, was found guilty of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election, and other charges related to the insurrection. The jury could not convict Dominic Pezzola, another member of the Proud Boys who was also charged with seditious conspiracy.

The conviction of seditious conspiracy alone carries up to twenty years in prison, and each member of the Proud Boys faced as many as nine charges, with partial convictions handed down for each defendant. The conviction of Tarrio and his associates is a significant victory for law enforcement officials working tirelessly to bring those responsible for the insurrection to justice.

However, the Proud Boys have remained defiant in the face of these charges, with many members blaming Trump for inciting them to violence. Some have even suggested that the convictions are part of a larger conspiracy to silence right-wing voices and suppress conservative beliefs.

This rhetoric is not new for the Proud Boys, who have a long history of promoting extremist and violent views. In addition to their opposition to political correctness and feminism, the group has also been known to promote white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies. Members are required to take an oath of loyalty to the group and are often encouraged to engage in violent and aggressive behaviour towards perceived enemies.

The Proud Boys have also been linked to other violent incidents, including the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, which resulted in the death of a counter-protester. The group has been banned from several social media platforms for promoting hate and violence and has been designated as a hate group and terrorist organization in Canada.

The Proud Boys have shown themselves as a dangerous group threatening American governments and posing a large existential threat to global democracy. Today’s convictions of Proud Boys leaders for seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the January 6 insurrection are a major victory for law enforcement officials and send a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated. It is important for everyone to recognize the danger posed by groups like the Proud Boys and to stand up against hate and violence in all its forms. We can only ensure a safe and just society for all by working together.