Published: Thu, February 04, 2021

Seattle-based Proud Boys member charged for role in Capitol riots

Seattle-based Proud Boys member charged for role in Capitol riots

The Canadian government is classifying the Proud Boys as neo-fascist organization, saying it has semiautonomous chapters in the United States, Canada, and overseas, all of which engage in political violence, and whose members espouse "misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacist ideologies".

Government officials say the move will help Canada freeze the groups' financial assets and criminalize financing, training and recruitment for all such groups.

The officials nonetheless insisted that the decision to list the Proud Boys along with The Base, Atomwaffen Division and other groups was not political, but was based on assessing their level of threat against legal thresholds.

To be listed as a terrorist entity in Canada requires "reasonable grounds to believe" that the group knowingly participated in or facilitated terrorist activity, or has knowingly acted in association with such a group.

The Canadian government has been keeping an eye on the Proud Boys' movements since 2018, but their involvement in the attack at the capitol heavily affected the country's decision, leading the House of Commons to unanimously pass this motion last week.

Prosecutors said Nordean had been posting before the riot about plans to organize a group and posted a video with a caption reading, "Let them remember the day they decided to make war with us".

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, asked last September whether he would denounce white supremacists and militia groups, called on the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by".


The group's founder, Gavin McInnes, is Canadian who lives in the United States. Proud Boys are designated a terrorist organization.

"I think the minister (Blair) met some of our concerns today which we appreciate but that doesn't mean we're not going to continue to look how terrorism is discussed, how the labels are applied and so on", said Balgord, adding that the government has not publicly disclosed any intelligence or charges against the Proud Boys in Canada.

"We of course have a review underway, a domestic violent extremism review that's underway by our national security team to take a look at violence and this type of concerning group activity across the country", Psaki told the daily media briefing. Anyone belonging to the group can be blocked from entering Canada.

Blair said Canadian intelligence agencies had been working for months and in some cases years to gather evidence needed to list the groups. They have operated for a long time out in the open.

Founded in 2016, the Proud Boys lists among its central tenets a belief in "closed borders" and the aim of "reinstating a spirit of Western chauvinism". But members are often seen carrying firearms and bats and donning protective gear, and some have been convicted of crimes against anti-fascist protesters.

The group's profile was raised in September when former U.S. president Donald Trump, asked in an election debate if he would denounce white supremacists and militia groups, called on the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by". He estimated there are between 1,000 and 1,500 Proud Boys in Canada.

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